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30 December, 2013

Sander Family Christmas - When Evie Wore my Christmas Dress!

My maternal grandparents, and two of my mom's three siblings live in Atlanta.  We celebrate Christmas with them on the Saturday before Christmas, whenever that happens to fall.  It was nice this year that it was few days before Christmas Eve and Christmas. Gave us all a little breather between festivities :)

There are so many aspects of this night that are special traditions. But I wanted to add a little element of surprise.

A few weeks ago my mom was cleaning out the storage area of their house and stumbled upon my Christmas dress from when I was two years old.  I was a late September baby and Evie an early November, and built the same.  There was a good chance the dress would fit Evie... and it DID!

My parents and me - please note my mom is also 5 months pregnant in this photo!
 Eric, Evie and me 
 Side-by-side with my Mini-Me - we both have the same nervous hands!

My mom and grandmother loved the surprise of having Evie dressed in my old Christmas dress for our big family Christmas dinner.

Whenever we get the opportunity we love to take 4 generation photos.  My grandmother, mother, myself and Evie are all the first born child in our family too!  Somehow the blond gene skipped me!  (Yes, my grandmother and mother are still natural blonds!) 

One of the nice things my grandparents do for this night is hire a caterer for dinner.  They make, serve and clean up dinner.  It's absolutely fabulous to start the Christmas season so spoiled!  We can all really relax and enjoy each others company.

After dinner the "adults" exchange their sibling Christmas gifts, my grandparents give all the grandkids their stockings, and the cousins exchange their cousin gifts.

This year I drew Hilary's name.  Hilary is a senior in high school and is active in the youth group at our parish.  We're blessed to spend a lot of time with her.  I made her this bracelet with a tiny Miraculous Medal that was recently blessed by Pope Francis.  Hilary's Confirmation Saint is Mary, and who doesn't love Pope Francis?  It was the perfect gift.  I hope she loves it too :)

Hilary's older brother, Steven, had my name for Christmas.  He bought me this stainless wine glass that nests in itself for easy travel.

Eric got a tiny flash light for biking / camping / etc.  He loves it!  And he gave a Barnes and Noble card to my tweenage cousin who LOVES to read.

My grandparents are always generous with fun treats in the stockings.  This year we got some "goodies" picture above and a gift card to the new movie theatre in town. So excited! We always get an apple and an orange, too!

And before the night is over, we celebrate the real meaning of Christmas -- Jesus' birthday!  My grandparents buy a fabulous cake and put baby Jesus in the center.  The whole family sings Happy Birthday to Jesus, and the littlest kids get to blow out the candles!

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