Christmas 2011 was a fun-filled trip to Yuba City. It had been over four years since I had been to Christopher’s hometown, and we were long overdue for a Christmas visit there. Because of Logan’s aversion to the car, Christopher decided I should fly down with Logan and he would drive the twelve hours with the big kids. Initially I balked at this plan, but I definitely got the better end of this deal.
I flew to Sacramento the Wednesday before Christmas. The flight was barely over an hour, and I arrived around dinner time. Logan was fussy but manageable. He woke up a bunch during the night but I was able to sleep in. Thursday I had a free day while Christopher and the big kids drove. I watched two movies and just relaxed.
Every day the name of the game was keeping Ben occupied. He was sleeping in a toddler bed and up bright and early every morning. Thankfully, the California weather cooperated and it was high 50s, sometimes 60, and sunny every day. We played in the backyard, visited the playgrounds, and took walks around the neighborhood.
Friday night we went to a Chinese restaurant and had a big family-style dinner with three of Christopher’s sisters and their families. Afterwards we went caroling and treat delivering. Because we were car-caroling from house to house, Logan pitched a fit and we bailed early and headed home.
Saturday was Christmas Eve and Christopher’s sister with three kids was in town. We kept the kids occupied at the park and in the backyard. Ben took a great nap. In the evening all Christopher’s immediate family who live nearby, which includes five sisters and their families, came to the house for a Christmas Eve dinner and program. We dressed up and every family performed a song. We sang “Away in a Manger”, Megan played “O Come All Ye Faithful” on the piano and Gavin played “Jolly Old Saint Nicholas.” The kids did a nativity play. Megan was Mary, Gavin was Joseph and Ben was a wise man. Grandpa played the donkey, and Megan had fun “riding him” to Bethlehem. It started well but by the end of the whole program the kids (read: Ben) were out of control. There were also four babies under one, which did not help the noise level. It made for a fun time but a chaotic program. One by one everyone left except for us, and Ashley, who lives at home. It got very quiet and we cleaned up and snuggled in our beds, waiting for Santa’s arrival.
We slept past seven Christmas morning. Megan was the first kid up, of course. Santa had put DS for both Megan and Gavin in their stockings, and a Leapster in Ben’s. Megan and Gavin were so excited about their new gadgets they were hardly interested in opening presents. Ben was mildly interested in his gift, and later, when we caught him dragging it around by the attached stylus, we put it away. Ben’s favorite gift, on the other hand, was a scooter. I was so excited to give it to him, as I had wanted a mini kick scooter for our family since we saw not yet two-year-old Arden riding one in Arlington. In fact, later when we took all three kids to the park, Megan wanted to ride the mini kick rather than her Razor, because “Ben’s scooter is more fun”. Thankfully the weight limit goes up to about 70 pounds.
At night, when we mercifully got Ben into bed, the adult activities included watching Jimmer’s NBA debut for the Sacramento Kings, and playing Rook.
Wednesday morning I flew out of Sacramento early. Logan had his first stuffy nose, and I was worried about the flight hurting his ears, but he fell asleep at takeoff and I had to wake him up at the gate. I sat by a very chatty Navy submariner who talked constantly about how much he wanted to get married and have kids.
All in all, it was a fun and relaxing Christmas vacation. It was good to see almost all of Christopher’s family (only a sister in Canada and brother in Michigan weren’t there). The weather was gorgeous, and with the exception of a few stuffy noses, everyone was healthy! Two Christmases in a row with no major illnesses. What a blessing.