Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Happy New Year!

We spent the first day of 2011 celebrating Christmas with the Sturges side of the family at the home of my parents.  For several years now, instead of traditional gift giving, we have had a grab bag gift exchange.  We have a 10 dollar limit, and it can be a new gift, a re-gift, a homemade gift, or any creative combination.  We draw numbers to see who gets to choose first.  When it is your turn, you can either steal someone's already opened gift, or select a wrapped one.  The stealing makes it fun, and it reminds me a little of "Let's Make a Deal."  Is it better to take a sure thing, or go for something better behind door (bag) number three? 

Here are all the gifts in a pile waiting for the fun to begin.

Jennifer opens a big box of microwave popcorn.  I wonder if she'll be able to keep that until the end?

Cheryl, Dara, and Shylah watch as the gifts are opened.

Jon, Adam, and David wait their turn.

Ted tries his basket on as a hat.

Evan's turn to choose a gift.  Hmmmm.... which one should I take?

Just what I wanted!  A Santa plate!

What will Dara find in her bag?

An assortment of popcorn!

Sam gets a lovely and practical flashlight.  You never know when you might find yourself in the dark.

Shylah is thrilled with her appliance remote.  Almost as good as a clapper.

Andrew watches as Boomie opens a delicious package of Oreos.

Jenny finds an iTunes card.

But Cheryl got the most coveted gift of all, a Justin Bieber calendar!

Please don't steal this one!

Dara can't believe her eyes.  Or maybe she's plotting a way to claim this for her own.

David has a nice new extension cord.

After Ted's basket of goodies was stolen, he had the chance to select again, and received this beautiful scarf.

Quite the fashionista.

Michael had number 1, so at the end of the game, he had the opportunity to take any of the gifts.  Although he considered the flashlight, I think he stuck with his Wendy's gift card.  You can't beat a Frosty.

Haleigh helped with the wrapping paper.

Matthew and Haleigh didn't participate in the grab bag, but there were gifts for them too.  Matthew had to act surprised when he opened...

the Lego set he picked out with Nana at the Children's Museum.  Oh, was he ever surprised!

Darci and Matthew helped Haleigh open her gift.

A sweeper!  It's never too early to start helping around the house.  :)

Evan got to open a very belated graduation gift.  A blanket!  It even has the logo of the school which must not be named.  Your Aunt Susan must really love you Evan!

After the gifts, Nana enlisted Jim's help in preparing the dessert, Bananas Foster a la Brennan's.  We felt just like we were in New Orleans.

They discussed the proper interpretation of the recipe.

And someone suggested a fire extinguisher.

Nana added a little rum... and... success!

We didn't even have to use the fire extinguisher.  Maybe we should move to NOLA and Jim can get a job at Brennan's?

Ready to eat.  Beautiful and delicious!

After the food and the fun, Evan curled up for a little rest with his new blanket.

Of course, Christmas is ultimately about celebrating the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ. We are blessed to live in families in which we can share the love, the grace, and the peace that God has given to us. 

"We love because He first loved us." 1 John 4:19. 

1 comment:

Ann said...

I loved reading this and seeing all of the members of one of my favorite families in one place! You are truly blessed, Susan.