We spent Christmas in Va. with my family. It was so nice to be home for the holidays with my parents, two of my three siblings, and their significant others.
Although it was tough to leave the glorious summer in Argentina, it was really special to have a truly white Christmas. It was so cozy inside with good food and family.
We started with brunch -- French croissants (including chocolate-filled ones, my favorite!), Mom's classic quiche, and Mom's fresh-squeezed orange juice, a tradition that includes using the same juicer my mom has had for my entire life.
Nile had a bottle. She and Dad coordinated their attire for the occasion, though! The outfit was actually a baby shower gift from a dear Argentine friend. Perfect timing that it fits 9 mos. later, in time for Christmas!
Nile's cousin Jayden was so sweet and helpful. That's her mommy, my sister Kendra, looking on.
Jayden received the little baby doll in her hand for Christmas. She named her "Baby Nile" :)
After brunch, the gift exchange began!
Good work, Dad -- Mom always knows she'll like a gift that comes in the classic Red Envelope box.
And lucky for Mom, Dad's leather jacket fit PERFECTLY.
Insert funny joke here. Whatever it was, it sure got Mom laughing :)
Kendra and James had helpers -- Jayden and their dog Teddy, and our dog Bolu.
My brother Zak and his girlfriend Aranessa took turns.
I would have to say the award for the most unique and/or unusual gifts goes to my Dad -- here Zak got a paperweight that looks like a solid .999 silver bar.
Speaking of silver, I gave my parents a traditional Argentine alpaca (metal alloy; not the animal) pitcher with a horn handle ...
... And the gift I owed them since last Christmas: a request from my mother for a photo of the Floralis flower in downtown Buenos Aires. It's an 18-ton flower that opens and closes hydraulically at sunrise and sunset .... (or is supposed to, but I think it was broken during most of the two years we were in Buenos Aires). At any rate, it is very beautiful and impressive.
Nile was content to chew on the plastic wrapper of her candy cane.
Jayden was just as cute as can be.
Sometimes I think I'm too serious, and I think Nile has inherited that from me!
Perhaps Daddy will teach her to be more fun-loving.
After all, Neil does love a good gag gift -- as he says, what do you give the woman who has everything?
A one-year membership to Gun Owners of America, of course!
One of the best parts of the day was just the time Grandma and Grandpa got to spend with their granddaughters.