Last Sunday after church, Gary and I packed all our stuff into the van and headed out for the long trek down to So Cal to spend Christmas with our families. We went to Gary's family first, in order to meet up with the Bonus before he had to get back to work. We calculated that our last Christmas together was at least four years ago, before the Bonus' stint in Minnesota, so this was a very special reunion.
On Christmas eve, we spent hours telling stories and catching up, enjoyed a Christmas ham dinner with all the fixin's, traded presents, tried out Gary's new board game, and watched a silly Christmas movie. Christmas morning included more family visits, a local church service, then a hilarious trip to the park to test out the boys' new toys: remote control helicopters.
Our time together ended all too soon before it was time to say our goodbyes, get back in the van, and head to my parent's place in Simi Valley (where I'm blogging from now). We were blessed with more great eatin' (turkey this time), a visit from my brother, and more fun gifts. Gary and I gave my parents the game Hoopla, which led to much silliness and laughter. Tonight, my parents are hosting a Christmas gathering with friends and neighbors, and we look forward to the musical festivities that await.
After the busyness and stress of the past month, I've found the time away with our families to be refreshing and relaxing, and I can't help but praise God for the gift of loved ones.
Merry Christmas, everyone!