Christmas 2015

Kevin and I had a wonderful Christmas – well, many Christmases. We don’t really have a set Christmas game plan now that we’re married because Kevin’s schedule changes every year. Our first married Christmas, we went to both families. Last year, we stayed here in Louisville and went to Cincinnati and St. Louis in January. This year, we did both families again. I love that we get to see everyone, but it is so exhausting traveling all across the midwest. We keep saying that when we have kids of our own, we’ll create our own traditions for Christmas, but for now, we mostly follow our family’s traditions. So, let’s get to it!

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Christmas #1: we decided to exchange gifts the day before Christmas Eve. Our one little family tradition is to make a nice meal and watch It’s a Wonderful Life together the night we exchange gifts, but Kevin got sick the week of Christmas so we skipped the fancy dinner and went straight to the couch after presents to watch the best Christmas movie ever.

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One tradition going strong three years in a row: we put beer and really, really terrible-for-you snacks in each other’s stockings.

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Christmas #2: After Kevin got off work on Christmas Eve, we hightailed it to St. Louis and went straight to my grandma Bladdick’s house for her big party. It was the first Christmas without my grandpa, and it was really weird. It felt…empty. But, we shared plenty of good memories of him from all of the Christmases before.

Nevertheless, Christmas Eve was a hit. Santa came and there was an Olaf piñata. And per usual, I ate way too many cookies.

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Christmas #3: Christmas morning! After we all poured ourselves a cup of coffee in the morning (with Bailey’s), we were allowed into the living room to open presents. Kevin tried to go in before my parent’s had the video camera set up and it was like he committed a federal crime. Traditions at my mom and dad’s house a strong, and you do not go into the living room to see the presents until everybody can go in at once (and the video camera is turned on). Yes, we’re 26, 27 and my brother is 21.

We took turns opening gifts once the unwrapping opened. My favorite was my new Kate Spade wristlet (this one, but in gold) and selfie stick. I’m so basic, it’s not even funny. Kevin got a drone, which I practically broke on Christmas day, but it survived and I’m never allowed to touch it again. All in all, Christmas #3 was amazing.

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Christmas #4: After opening gifts at my parent’s house, we headed back over to my grandma’s house for breakfast and exchanging more gifts. I swear, her house is like the North Pole exploded in her living room, but I love it!

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My immediate family got together and got my grandma a beautiful silver bracelet that has my grandpa’s actual handwriting engraved in it. The handwriting was a line from a letter my grandpa wrote my grandma when they were dating (aweeee). Suffice to say, she loved it!

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Kevin and I got matching Valpo attire (our stuff from college was looking pretty worn), Brendan got an XboxOne and my grandma made Kevin and I a Cardinals // Reds blanket. It’s perfect!

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Christmas #5: No photos, but after my grandma Bladdick’s house, we went to my other grandma’s house for the afternoon.

And then we came back to my parent’s house for our longstanding tradition of a movie and dinner. We watched Planes, Trains & Automobiles and indulged in my dad’s famous chicken wings, along with a special surprise for us kiddos – Angelo’s Pizza (the best in STL).

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Did I mention how much I loved Christmas? Okay, onto the next celebration.

Christmas #6: On the day after Christmas, Kevin and I drove (in the rain. the whole time. nonstop.) to Cincinnati. Once we got there, we exchanged gifts with his mom and sister. Kevin got a new golf putter and we got a new chair for outdoors!

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Christmas #7: The final Christmas of 2015. Later Saturday night, we went to Kevin’s aunt’s house for a family-wide Christmas party. We had to wear Christmasy outfits – anything we wanted – but it had to be Christmas. I borrowed my grandma’s sweater and Kevin wore a pretty clever outfit…he wore a regular sweater and taped a mirror to it, going as an “ugly sweater” whenever someone looked at him. Ha!

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Except the winner, by popular vote, was Chris as Cousin Eddy. I mean, that’s a classic.

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Four days, three cities and seven Christmases later, we’re settling back into “normal” life. We put our gifts away, went through our closets and purged a whole lotta stuff that we just don’t need anymore. We’re both looking forward to starting 2016 with less stuff, but more on that later. Merry (belated) Christmas!

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