We once again did “early Christmas” with JC’s family in WV this year. I like that we do this, as it allows us to all spend time together without feeling like we have to squeeze it in between running to all the in-laws and out-laws.
This year was a strange one, and, frankly, kind of rough. Our niece Elsie was diagnosed with neuroblastoma two months prior, and so she and her mom and dad (Katie and Jeremiah) weren’t with us because she was getting chemo for part of the time, and because her immune system is very fragile. We felt incomplete without them, although we did get to enjoy big sister Elora. On top of that, everyone was sick, and we all left sicker; I’m not sure what our family brought home, but I imagine all of our bodies just put the different viruses everyone brought with them into a blender and messed us all right up. We also didn’t get to see either of JC’s grandmas because we didn’t think they needed our germs.
The kids had a good time with their cousins, though. Everyone is old enough now to be … relatively chill. They enjoyed playing with vintage Little People and Potato Heads, doing some mysterious thing on the tablet, reading to each other, and going to the park.
I brought the knitting loom and the kids took turns working on a hat for Elsie (which I still need to finish and send to her! Whoops!). Even Lizzie, who is only three, was able to do some of it. I didn’t get a picture of her or JJ working on it because my hands were full helping them.
One of our traditions there is to do a fun Christmas dinner. Katie and Kassi always conspire to come up with a themed tablescape and Christmas crackers. Even though Katie couldn’t be there in person (and had so much else going on!), she still sent along decorations for this year’s Nutcracker themed table. We knew she was there in spirit, although it was not the same.
Next year, I hope we’re all able to be together (and I hope I take more pictures!)