...and they all lived happily ever after...

...and they all lived happily ever after...

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Family Christmas Fun

This week we had  our annual Whitmer family Christmas extravaganza!
(That's our family party with my parents, brothers, and their families.)
My mom was blessed with creativity plus one so these events are always full of something interesting and fun.  We had the party at the cemetery (or, actually the seminary where my dad teaches, but Ellie didn't quite catch the difference there so it was the cemetery all night to her).
We generally have a theme for sibling gifts and this year our theme was "something from your childhood" which turned out to be a fun walk down memory lane for all of us.  We yacked about games we played and adventures we had (like my Grandpa Grange getting us to chew pine gum over and over and then laughing at how silly we looked when we weren't looking).
Anyway, the gifts ranged from Popple coloring books and 80's movies (like Goonies) to mini rockets and Ninja Turtle fun.
Brian and Paula (born in early 80's) got Josh and I this awesome vintage (ha ha) game that they grew up playing called "Pogs."  I knew nothing about these things (I'm about 6 years older than Brian so I guess I missed this fad but it seems that it was huge when he was growing up).  My boys have been all over them today so maybe they will make a comeback.

We also got these fabulous red blocks.
What?  You don't remember these from your growing up years?  Well, I had a passion for horses when I was young and I used to clomp around the house pretending to be a horse with blocks just like these clutched in my hands as hooves (I may have also forced by brothers into this fantasy as well).  It was really fun to remember it all.

As interesting as the gifting part for grown ups was, we didn't just ignore the children all night.
We involved our littles in a mini-program that was also reminiscent of things we did as kids.  My mom put together unique musical programs that or family performed all over the place for a couple years (ward parties, for neighbors, at old folks homes etc).  Here is the song we performed with our kidlets at the party.  Wow, this brought back memories!
My sisters-in-law (Heather and Jenny) put together some fun things for the kids.  They made Christmas tree shirts for all the girls...

...and moustache hats for all the boys.

We also invited Santa to the festivities.  Each family brings a little something to put into a stocking for the kids so pretty quick everyone's stocking is full of fun stuff without too much trouble for any one person (sometimes it is a home made treat or a little thing from the dollar store, it can be anything you want to share). 

We had a small glitch when Santa teasingly told Ellie and Logan that they didn't get a stocking because they were on the naughty list (silly Grandpa Santa didn't realize how seriously they would take that).  There were some tears and lots of soothing involved.

And everyone turned out happy in the end. 
We had fun together...

and had more fun together...
(Here we are making snow men out of toilet paper and cut outs...the kids LOVED this!)

It was a fabulous evening spent with many of our favorite people in the whole world.
Hooray for family!  Hooray for Christmas!
14 grandchildren...and counting!

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