By K.J. Cardinal
Christmas for this Cardinal family was once again filled with lots of travel and lots of fun.
We continued the annual tradition of celebrating the holiday on Christmas Eve in Ludlow and Christmas day in New Hampshire. We again mixed in a stop at our house in Hudson to sleep here on Christmas Eve so Anna could wake up in her own house on Christmas morning to open presents here.
In Ludlow we planned to open gifts at 9 p.m., but things got pushed back a ways and by the time we got around to opening presents Anna was already sleeping on my lap on the couch. So, we woke her up to open up her presents, but unfortunately she was so groggy that she wasn't really into it.
The first (and only) gift that she opened in Ludlow was a baby Cabbage Patch Doll. As you can see above, she thoroughly enjoyed it, but she was gassed after just one gift and proceeded to sleep on my lap the rest of the night.
On Christmas morning, Sammy woke Anna up and carried her down stairs where Angie and I were waiting. Anna saw her rocking horse (AKA "rock, rock") and was psyched. We had a hard time holding off in buying Anna her "rock rock" for Christmas because every time we'd see one in the store she'd go nuts for it.
Anna also opened the remaining gifts from Ludlow on Christmas morning as she was now much more alert. Angie's Aunt Fatima got Anna this hilarious little outfit. We all liked it so much, that we decided to bring her up to NH in her new get up. Mink coat on Christmas? 'Nuff said.
The ride to NH was pretty uneventful and it actually saved us a few minutes since we were going to Tiff & Pete's new house in Northwood as opposed to Mom & Dad's up in Farmington. Tiff & Pete's new house is so great and VERY spacious, so we had lots of room to spread out and watch the kiddies open their gifts and whatnot.
Anna was more interested in playing with Andrew's everyday toys that were in the playroom and livingroom than opening presents. No one really seemed to notice or care that Anna wasn't opening gifts because we were all too busy watching Andrew be hilarious and Nat Nat have at the wrapping paper, bows and boxes.
Eventually Anna got around to opening her gifts and she got some really great stuff. My favorite photo of Anna from the day is the one at right. Anna opened up this cute hat from Gail (I'm assuming handmade?) then I put it on her and she felt the need to lay down on the tissue paper with it. I'm not sure if she liked the way it felt on her head or what, but it was pretty funny. Thanks Gail!
After eating the annual Christmas Day feast of Beef Whellington, we headed to Farmington for the night and to get ready for the Cardinal-Denton brunch the next day.
We usually have separate parties for my mom's side of the family and my dad's side of the family, but nothing really got planned by either side, so my mom stepped up and invited the entire crew over for one big brunch on Dec. 26.
At first I thought it was going to be pretty hectic with that many people, but quite a few folks couldn't make it because they had to work, so it wasn't too bad.
Unfortunately my cousin Billy and his family (Kathy, Samantha, Ethan and Kaeleigh) couldn't make it because Sam is in the hospital fighting off this nasty infection in her leg. This was a MAJOR bummer for me. Not only because Sam has been having quite the battle with this infection, but also because my cousin Billy is one of my favorite people in the world. Plus, I missed my annual photo with Ethan, which has turned into a pretty cool ritual... he's such a good kid.
Despite missing Billy's family, we still had a great time... as Katie mentioned in her previous post. It was great to see both sides of the family together and it was awesome to see that my grandfather was doing well. His body may be failing on him with Parkinsons, but his mind and sense of humor are still right on point. He always amazes me by remembering stories I've told him about Pack Network and whatnot and we got a chance to chat about that stuff for a while... I think my inner dork comes from him :)
So as you can see, Christmas was action packed over the span of just three days. We really had to squeeze everything in this year because I left for Hawaii on the 27th. I had a blast in Hawaii, but Christmas is my favorite time of the year because I get to hang out with family. Thanks Mom for setting it up so I could get to see everyone AND go to Hawaii. What a treat!