Friday, December 31, 2010

The Schwartz's vs Florida Christmas

Nothing screams Christmas more to me then being at Leighton Ave in FL with my family.  Growing up we spent every other Christmas there with my dad's family packed into my grandparents wonderful home which hasn't changed since they moved in there in the 70s (down to the blue carpet in the aptly named "blue room").  I love being there, it completely exemplifies everything which makes me a Smith.  As a kid there could be up to 19 of us when you count Grandma and Grandpa, Aunt Sarah, mom and dad and us 3 kids, Uncle Ken and Aunt Ludonna and their 3 kids and Uncle Steve and Aunt Peggy and their 4 kids.  We'd run around until someone inevitably hit the glass door which an adult closed and we didn't notice as we chased about.  All 3 tvs would be on blaring louder and louder as one viewer competed to hear their program over the other viewer.  Emily would play the piano I'm sure trying to drowned out the rest of the noise.  Aunt Sarah would be making an army of Christmas cookies, raspberry tarts, coconut crips, magic cookie bars, and pies, pies, and more pies which would be devoured before everyone left.  Then as the evening would wind down, the kids would watch a movie while adults played the Smith family card game of Oh Heck!  "Arguments" carried through the house of who stole who's trick and stuck someone with points.  Grandma's furious because someone led trump on the first round.  Mom's giggling hysterically as she racks up the points.  And I looked on enviously waiting until I was old enough to play (Had to be 18 to play cards with the adults.  I think they made that rule so they could have some time to themselves.)  By about 2 in the morning after the cards were put away it looked like a war zone with bodies strewn about the house finding whatever soft place to lay down on.  Christmas was chaotic and loud and I loved it!

Since Peter graduated from college I've only been back to FL Christmas one other time, 5 years ago when Chris and I had been married for a year and it was a Smith rotation.  So it was extremely important to me that we take Sarah to FL for Christmas this year.  At first there was concern that Pete and his family wouldn't be able to go, but thankfully it all worked out and our entire family was together for the first time for Christmas in years.

Grandma makes all the stockings.  Everyone's is just slightly different from the others.  And you can see Baby Sarah got her stocking this year, it's down there on the right side next to mine and Chris's as opposed to Aunt Sarah's that's on the left.  

So we commenced with our traditional Christmas activities.  
Mom, Melissa, Elizabeth, and Aunt Sarah worked on the army of christmas cookies.

We did a puzzle together.

We played Oh Heck!

And Grandpa fell in love with my Nook.  He read the entire new John Grisham novel in 2 days.  Since he was enjoying the book so much there was less dueling tvs.  

Christmas morning cuddling with daddy waiting to open presents.

Grandma made Sarah some adorable outfits.

And then she crawled off to check out the gifts other were getting.
Logan loved his gifts.  

Aunt Sarah helped Sarah open presents.

 A book!  I love books!

The reason why I'm opposed to Christmas morning pictures.  From now on I'm showering and putting on real clothes. 

This year, since it was costing everyone a fortune to travel to FL, we decided not to exchange gifts and instead played As Seen on TV themed Dirty Santa.  It was fantastic!  Uncle Steve and Aunt Peggy came over with Stetson and McKenzie and so we had 17 gifts to steal and swap around.  It was a hoot!

It was a great trip and we had a great time!  Merry Christmas to all!

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