When I was growing up, Grandma Jeanne would provide the 12 Days of Christmas. Sometime in early December, a HUGE cardboard box would arrive in the mail that we would open and it would have dozens (6 dozen to be exact) of wrapped presents inside. We would open a card that would tell us which wrapping paper was ours and we would pile our 12 presents up under the tree. We would start opening on my birthday - December 14 - and keeping opening until the day we celebrated Jesus' birthday - December 25.
Imagine the joy of being Grandma Jeanne and Grandpa Vernile's granddaughter! So fun. Some other memories I have of Grandma Jeanne and Grandpa Vernile were raspberry milkshakes in Morgan, Utah; Grandma's dollhouse in the back yard; HUNDREDS of different kinds of teddy bears; hearing awesome rivalry stories between grandma and her neighbor over the University of Utah and that other blue school (one time grandma made them a cake as a peace offering covered in blue frosting and then when you cut into it, it was blood red cake); whistling together while we were walking down the street and then when I got home realizing that I got my whistling habit from my grandma; horses in the back yard with grandpa.
These grandparents are the real deal. And now, they bring the 12 days of Christmas joy to my children. So we hosted the Matheson Thanksgiving Pre-dinner. It's our second year, and although it was minus the Wii, I think it went splendidly. Thanks to everyone for bringing everything to make a true stress free pot luck. Thanks to our grandparents for giving away fun presents.
Here's how it worked. Grandma and Grandpa come in with many cardboard boxes filled with UNWRAPPED toys. They pile them on the table for all to see.
After many Christmas seasons of being instructed not to touch wrapped presents, Isaac was thrown off by the new rules.
Isaac (to Trey, his first cousin, once removed): I can't believe we actually get to touch them. I'm so nervous!
Then Grandma puts everyone's name in a bag and when your name gets pulled out of the bag, you get to CHOOSE your present. Genius, people. Pure genius. Grandma lets everyone go around 3 times and everyone walks away getting exactly what they wanted from the table.
Hanging out after present distribution.
The siblings - Sterling, Grandpa, Grandma, my mom Teri, & Kristen.
Some branches of the extended Matheson family tree.
My cousin, Miah, holding my daughter Evelyn. According to wikipedia, they are first cousins, once removed.
Miah hanging out with Weston.
The big picture (my favorite part is Nigel upside down)
It was a fun way to start the season of celebrating together. And let me reiterate the importance of being together over being together on a certain day. Who cares about November 26 or December 25? Time is measured only unto man. It's the creative man that invents new holidays and gathers the family together so instead of missing out on celebrations, you only create more time together as extended family members.
And by the way, it's awesome to have kids that are too young to care about what they choose because then you get to choose books for them! Thanks Grandma Jeanne & Grandpa Vernile! We love you.