Christmas celebrations

>> Monday, January 4, 2010

This picture is from Christmas day, and is probably one of my favorite pictures from the Christmas this year! Although to be fair, I wasn't as picture-happy this year as I usually am, but still. This is a picture of a bunch of (second) cousins on my dad's side of the family (my dad's dad's side of the family, to be exact). I spent part of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with this bunch, and it was so much fun!

I knew some of these cousins from before, and by "knew", I mean had met a couple times when we were really, really young. You may recognize one of my cousins as the same one from our Indianapolis trip. She and her mom kindly invited me to their Christmas celebrations after I mentioned how nice it was that she and the other cousins were so close. I was actually really nervous about going, because it was basically like meeting a bunch of new people, but everyone was incredibly nice.

They welcomed me to the party just like any other member of the family, and I'm kind of embarrassed to say I've been fangirling over how fun they are (but only a little!).

In other Christmas stuff, MK and I stopped by a friend's "ugly sweater" party. We don't own any ugly Christmas sweaters, but we swung by Target quickly before we headed over to the party (sadly, there was no Wal-Mart in the area). MK got this wicked cheesy t-shirt to wear. We didn't even realize that the t-shirt has an outline of a sweater vest until we took this picture back at home.

MK and I also hosted our annual holiday party. I love this tradition - it is probably one of my favorite things about the holiday season. This is the fourth year we've had this party, and I'm so glad that it has really turned into a tradition. Basically, we get all of our closest friends together and they come over, and we have a sit-down dinner and do a gift swap. In the past, I've cooked the entire dinner, but we did it as a pot-luck this year, and it was really great.

MK and I made the main course (some kind of beef roast) and a couple of sides (mashed potatoes and green bean casserole), and everyone else filled in the gaps - appetizers, beverages, desserts, more side dishes. All the food was delicious, and it was great that it was more of a collaborative dinner - and less stressful! Here's a picture of almost everyone chowing down. (One friend was in the kitchen, checking on the mulled wine.)

MK and some of the guys played this drinking game called Wizard Stick. They kept taping their empty beer cans together to make a long stick, and there was a full/in progress beer on the top of the stick. Our friend Mike ended up with the longest chain of beer cans.

As for Christmas festivities, we actually hit up 5 different places over the course of 2 days. We went to MK's mother and stepfather's house, my uncle's house, my cousins' house (same cousins from above), all on Christmas Eve, and then my parents' house and another cousins' house (but still same cousins from above) on Christmas Day. It was a lot of driving, but it was really nice to be able to see so much family!


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