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Despite the busy day they had yesterday and the evening at Pa’s, the boys still got up early! I heard them get out of bed about 5:30, but I didn’t get up until 6:00. They were playing on their iPads and patiently waiting for everyone to get up (although they had already catalogued every present under the tree by its recipient. Anyway, I let them go into their stockings, which, if you know Cindy, is crammed full of treasures–toys, candy, games, and more candy…

Christmas Day

After the boys finished with their stockings, I put some coffee on and we waited for the rest of the family to get up. And at 7:00, which seemed like an eternity, the unwrapping began!

Christmas Day Christmas Day

Let’s see, there were Harry Potter wands, which they thought were pretty cool. Alex got the actual Harry Potter wand, while Adam was pleased to have the wand used by Lord Voldemort…

Christmas Day Christmas Day

Naturally, a fast-handed wand battle ensued…

Christmas Day

One of the neatest presents they received was a retro electronic football game from the 70s. I loved this game when I was a teenager, but the boys weren’t too impressed! LOL.

Christmas Day

Nope, what they were really excited about was the official 2018 FIFA World Cup Soccer Ball…

Christmas Day

and the gear that went with it…the uniforms of their favorite players: Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo and Brazil’s Neymar da Silva Santos Junior (aka Neymar Jr.)…

Christmas Day

There was a lot more, of course, but these were the highlights. I enjoy watching the boys on Christmas morning and remember the excitement I felt as a child while ripping the wrapping paper off the presents left for me under the tree. It’s nice to relive those moments through their eyes.

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Well, the boys were up at 5:00 a.m. and a few minutes later they were at the side of the bed informing me that Santa had indeed visited them while they slept. This was a great relief for Adam because he was almost certain he was on the naughty list. Anyway, everyone else was still snoozing, so I started some coffee and the boys brought their stockings to the front of the tree…

Boys with their stockings

Fortunately, Santa had left the boys enough in their stockings to keep them occupied until the coffee was done and everyone was up. Then, we passed-out the presents and they went to town…

Opening presents

Opening presents

My favorite presents every year are the one’s the boys’ buy at their school’s Christmas shop…

Opening presents Opening presents

After the gifts were opened and the wrapping paper, boxes, and other packaging were cleared-out, we retired to the kitchen for breakfast, which included Cindy’s specialty, reindeer pancakes, for the boys…

Reindeer Pancakes

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and the family is gathering at the home of my 97-year-old grandfather, affectionately known as “Pa”. In about an hour, this old turn-of-the-20th-century house will be filled to the brim with people, all family…

Pa's House

Something like this…and this isn’t everyone! Six generations are represented here tonight.


Of course, the highlight of the evening is the kids sitting at Pa’s feet and opening their presents . When I was a kid (and the family was quite a bit smaller) we all used to draw names and each would buy a present for the person he or she chose. Now, it’s become a bit unwieldy, so parents bring modest presents for their kids and Pa presents his gifts, and everyone brings something for Pa. This year, Pa’s gifts included a Florida Gator hat (I wonder who got him that 😉 )

Kids opening presents Pa with his Gator hat

After the Christmas Eve activities at Pa’s, we returned to Mom and Dad’s cabin on the hill to get ready for Santa’s visit. So, after a couple quick photo’s with the selfie-stick…

Family Selfie Cindy Selfie

the stockings were hung by the chimney with care…


in hopes that Saint Nicholas soon would be there…


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…were hung by the chimney with care! We’re ready for the Christmas season!

Christmas Fireplace

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It’s Christmas morning, and the kids are still asleep, well, not really asleep, the boys are playing in their cribs and Kameran is in that twilight realm between dreams and reality. Just enough time to capture the moment just before the carnage begins…

Before the carnage

The kids’ stockings…

Kids Stockings

Santa brought the boys a train table. This is the “Before” picture:

Train Table

After: The San Francisco earthquake!


Look what I got! What is it??

Look what I got

So many presents, so little time…

Opening presents

So much wrapping paper mess! 😉

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Although this was technically the boys second Christmas, it was the first time they really knew (or at least had an idea that) something was going on.

Their stockings were hung by the chimney with care…

Were you boys good this year? I don’t know….

Finally! They got to open their presents!

Of course they would rather play with the wrapping paper, than the presents…

Now we have to get all this stuff back home! I’m thinking we’ll need a U-Haul! ( sigh )

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