Christmas Celebrations

As I sit here in my living room, having just returned from a week long vacation, it’s hard to believe that the Christmas season has already come and gone.  The kids are back in school, the last of the holiday leftovers have been thrown away, the final Christmas cards have been picked up out of the mailbox and sit on a shelf, constantly falling over and knocking each other to the floor, reminding me that it’s time to pull the storage boxes back out of the basement and tuck away the red, green and gold for another year.

Having spent the last hour sorting through the hundreds of pictures taken over the last few weeks, it’s no wonder the season seemed to go by so quickly.  We did a lot of celebrating recently.  A. Lot.  Holiday parties, birthday get-togethers, presents wrapping, present giving, present opening.  And family.  Oh, so much family.

And Santa.

Ben played Santa this year at his office Christmas party, which we left as a surprise for our kids.  Watching their faces as they realized who was behind the beard was the highlight of the party for me.  The kids lined up for a turn on Santa’s lap, but not before General Breedlove got in on the action.

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And now you can say, “Yes, I have seen the Supreme Commander of NATO sitting on Santa’s lap”.  You’re welcome.

And then it was time for another party, full of presents, music, good food and wine, singing, dancing, riding on bouncy balls, several languages, babies, dogs, a six foot tall antique ladder, Japanese scotch, and the latest bedtime ever, for my kids at least.  And that’s how you put together a Martin family Christmas party.

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E’s seventh birthday fell on the same weekend, so we celebrated with cousins and aunts and uncles and godparents and grandparents.  To gather everyone together, we walked to the neighborhood bowling alley, then headed back to Ben’s mother’s house for cake(s).  Friends birthday party coming soon.

Next it was time for a gathering in Mons with Ben’s mother, two youngest sisters and their families.  We headed downtown to show off the city, then gathered for more, you guessed it, present opening.  It’s hard to believe but it only took ten short years for the three couples to produce nine children.  The excitement of Christmastime with nine children in the house?  If only their were a scale to measure it.

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The annual, decorated by kids buche de noel.  Always fun, yet hard to cut through.

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It’s not a party until someone gets a snowman made out of silly putty in their hair.

Santa Tracking

Santa Tracking

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And then it was Christmas.  And more presents.  Besides the requisite Lego and Playmobil sets, horseback riding everything and books, there was one big hit.

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And so it begins.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the Martins!

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