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Christmas, 2013 at our house, in words and photos...

Photo:  Wednesday, December 25, 2013, our house looked like a parking lot, as we had quite a large Christmas party, and a house full of guests.  Photo shows only a small portion of the vehicles that were parked in, and around our house.

Photo:  Our Christmas tree, with a few of the many presents, before they were opened.  Since almost everybody has celebrated Christmas "somewhere else," we celebrate Christmas in the late afternoon and evening.  For us, and many of our guests, our Christmas is the second or third Christmas they have enjoyed during Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Photo:  My favorite four Christmas, 2013 ladies, from left to right:  Savannah, Tristen, Rei and Riley.  Note that Tristen and Riley are quite preoccupied on their "smart phones," rather than giving their attention to the photographer.

Photo:  We had a HOUSEFUL of guests!  So to keep things simple, Sharlene made lasagna a couple of days in advance, froze it, and thawed it out and heated it before our guests arrived during the afternoon.  To compliment the meal, we enjoyed a tossed green salad, and lots of baked garlic bread.  To the dismay of the "green team," we used aluminum pans, aluminum foil, paper plates, plastic utensils, paper napkins; you guessed it:  Throw-away items to keep clean-up to a minimum.  Just because clean-up is kept to a minimum doesn't diminish the great taste of the food, nor does it negate the fantastic company.  In the photo, Nichole helps herself to dinner, as Josh, in the background, grabs a paper plate and his utensils before entering the chow line.

Photo:  My dinner... tossed green salad, dill-ranch dressing, baked garlic sourdough bread, and lasagna.

Photo:  After dinner, Casey handed out presents to our beloved family, friends and guests.  New for 2013, we had Christmas set up in the family room, rather than the living room, as due to the new furniture we'd acquired in the living room, securing space for the Christmas tree, presents, and assorted logistics would have been difficult, so we just moved the whole operation into the family room.  With all of the Christmas diversion, the "younger set" forget about the giant toy box that we maintain for family occasions, therefore we were spared with the agony of retrieving toys, puzzles and pieces from all over the house.

Photo:  Thanks mom!  My lovely mother-in-law, Donna, gave me my favorite Christmas present, several jars of salted peanuts!  I'm a man of simple pleasures...

Photo:  After all of the presents had been opened, we fired up the Apple TV in the living room - we have a separate living room and family room, which allows discrete venues - and I was treated to a demonstration of how-to-dance-to the latest YouTube videos from Victoria Justice, Katy Perry, and a number of other contempary artists.  Riley and Rei demonstrate the latest dance moves to the video "What Does the Fox Say?" as Jayden attempts to join in, and Rissa looks on.  Now I know what the fox says...

We enjoyed a fantastic afternoon and evening, celebrating Christmas with a very full house of family and friends. Lots of fun, great company, and delicious food.  Christmas, 2013, was a blast!!!

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