Sunday, January 3, 2021

Christmas Wrap Up

Whew! Considering this was a Christmas during a pandemic, it was still busy. Quiet, but busy!

We started Christmas Eve at Stephanie and Nicky's for breakfast. Their house is more open and easier to social distance. 
Every year, we do something to surprise the kids. This year it was these shirts from Christmas Vacation. I was upset that they were grammatically incorrect. It says "A Eads Christmas" rather than "An"--something little, but I don't want people to think that I don't know proper English--which if I were in England, I actually don't!
Steph had it set up so that Butch and I could be away from the rest of them. We wore masks the the entire time except for eating.  For breakfast, our backs were to them about 10 feet away, so I think we were safe.
Stephanie's house was beautiful. Her table was really pretty too.

Steph and Nicky did not have one of the tiny elves that we all had so much fun with this holiday season. I ordered one for her right after Thanksgiving, but it didn't arrive until the 23rd. We brought it over and Butch "hid" it in their little nativity set on this table. She actually noticed it on Christmas Day! At least they are all set for next year.
After breakfast, Butch and I sat across the room here by the tree while we opened gifts. Stephanie is in charge of our "themed" secret exchange every year. This year, the theme was "something from Cracker Barrel." That was a fun one. Also, I learned that if you see something Christmasy in October, it's going to be gone by November.

After this, Morgan and Oliver opened their gifts. They left shortly after as she had to sleep. She works nights at the hospital and was working Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. 

In the afternoon, Stephanie, Nicky, Mindy and Justin came over. We girls decided to play a game.
We were trying to play a new game based on A Christmas Story. It was impossible to understand. The directions were 4 pages long!

We ended up switching to a simpler Christmas trivia game.

A little later, while I was napping, the girls did this:
The cookies were from a kit that Stephanie brought. These kinds of activities are not my "thing"! Of course there was judging involved. The winner was the one with the polar bear scene---Jordan did that one.

It was soon time to get food going while Stephanie and Jordan went out looking at Christmas lights. When they got back, we started our gift opening. We all got such thoughtful and fun gifts. 

One thing I got Stephanie--that I knew she would love, but that the rest of the family would laugh at---was a subscription of historical letters. Once a week, for 3 months, she'll get a letter in the mail from some historical figure like Benjamin Franklin. I knew that sort of thing was right up her alley. The rest of the family thought it was pretty funny--only Steph. When she mentioned Clara Barton, that set everyone off! Mindy called her a nerd. Half the "kids" didn't even know who Clara Barton was. 

Anyway, we had a fun time. No sit down dinner this year, but actually, that made it really easy for me!! Other than I did miss setting the table.

Just like our Christmas with Sandy and family last weekend, I got some awesome gifts.
Jordan and Morgan gave me a new robe, Russell Stover chocolates (my all time favs) and some aromatherapy candles. Unfortunately, I didn't think to take a picture.

Stephanie also got me this which was on my list.
I had gotten a couple other scenes as gifts for Jordan (coffee shop), Victoria (a 70's loft) and Stephanie (a library). I wanted this for the beach, but part of the gift is for her to put it together. Remember, I do not like craft projects!! Butch is going to help her. I think this will be so cute at the beach!

Stephanie also gave me the cutest sweater with matching scarf and a white blouse. 
As I was putting everything away, I realized that the bracelets that I got from our secret santa exchange match this set perfectly. Poor Oliver--he got me---so I'm sure Morgan helped him! Anyway, those bracelets are a match!

Mindy stepped up her game this year with this:
It's interactive wrapping paper! You use your phone to scan that square thingie. When you do that, Mindy and Justin start to dance. They are both excellent "flossers!" So clever. Leave it to Mindy. She's always full of surprises. 
These were their matching shirts this year---Schweddy Balls from Saturday Night Live. So cute!

Her gifts were awesome too!
Mindy gave me the cutest Kate Spade purse and a trio of Kate Spade clutches. They are all so darn cute. Kate Spade is my favorite designer. The girls know what I like!! 

Mindy also gave me a box of tea from their trip to Scottsdale. 
Since they are tea bags, I put them in a decorative jar that I'm taking to the beach. When I took them out of the box, I didn't realize each one had this saying. So true!!! For me, tea is happiness!

Butch did a great job this year.
This beach towel was a total surprise. Does it look familiar? It matches my travel purse that he gave me last Christmas! I was so surprised that he would think of this. Maybe he looked at the purse to see the brand, but how he knew they had beach towels is crazy. Or maybe he remembered from last year. I love it. When we're at the beach, it will be a good conversation starter. Oh wait, I don't want to talk to people I don't know while I'm on vacation! Actually, people do talk to me all the time. I think I have a sign on my forehead that says "ask me a question!" Or I have a friendly look about me. Yeah, that's it. They do ask about my purse. They always want to know where I got it. The brand is Spartina. It's really cute and so is the huge beach towel. I love it. Oh wait, I already said that!
I can't remember the last time he bought me clothes. Way back---waaaaayyyy back, he always bought me an outfit or a dress. He did a great job picking out a couple blouses. But then, he also bought a pair of earrings to match the floral one. They do match perfectly. 
It's kind of hard to tell, but they are a sort of iridescent and do have the green shimmer in them. I would have loved to see him looking around to find earrings to match. So thoughtful.

And then there was this. Apparently, my early morning walking in the dark bothers him. He bought me this florescent harness thing to wear so I won't get hit by a car. I told him that considering I never leave the neighborhood, there are rarely any cars at 4:30 a.m.!! Still, so thoughtful. It has a place to carry your phone which is perfect since I listen to podcasts. I usually have had to either carry it in my hand or put it in my bra, which is what I do most of the time. That did make me wonder if sweat could ruin my phone. No more worries on that front.

I had a great Christmas. I must have been a very good girl this year. At least I have the presents to prove it!!

This year, after the gift opening was finished, only Mindy and Justin spent the night. Turns out  that was a good thing. 

Early in the morning, before everyone was up, I got this picture from Sandy.
She was waiting for her family to get up. They are an hour ahead of us.

As for us, we woke up to a white Christmas.
This is pretty rare for Nashville. 
It's white, it's snow, we'll take it!

But sadly, after being happy about the snow, we got the news of the bombing downtown. Mindy and Justin live about 10 blocks away. Glad they were here instead! They got an alert from their building manager that there was some very minor damage to their building. They live on the opposite side of the building from where the explosion was. So sad! Stephanie said it woke her up and she lives a couple miles away. She said she thought there was a serious car accident on the highway.

It's amazing that within 24 hours, they knew who did it and where he lived. It was a suicide bombing--not like a terrorist, but just some random guy with paranoia. They have not released a motive yet, but he must have had a beef with AT&T. Little did he know that the AT&T building is one of only two downtown that were built to withstand a bombing. Unfortunately, the same is not true for the surrounding, historical buildings. Phone, tv and internet service for those who have AT&T was out for a couple days.

It's been a tough year all over, but particularly in Nashville. We had terrible tornado damage right before the lockdown, then that and now this bombing. Surely 2021 is going to be better. At least we hope so!!


  1. Weren't you a lucky girl?! Lovely, thoughtful gifts from all your family. I have never seen wrapping paper like that before - so clever!
    When I heard the news of the bombing I wondered if you lived anywhere near that but it looked like it was in the city. Pleased to hear that your family were safely with you when it happened.
    Happy new year!

  2. It looks like your Christmas was very festive. You had proof positive you've been a very good gal!

    How terrible about the bombing! I wish there were some years where we weren't reminded that the holidays can wreak havoc with the mental well-being of so many people.

  3. Wow, it sounds like a great Christmas & y'all were able to have time with family. And what a great bunch of gifts!

    I'm so glad your kids didn't have any damage from the bombing - so many horrible things happening these days!


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