Besides many other special things about this Christmas, it is also the Christmas where I have been behind in just about everything. I am still sending Christmas greetings! So I borrow this comprehensive post from Number Two's blog!
Christmas morning at the Braga-Henebry's
We already had had a bunch of presents under the tree... but Santa still makes a stop at this house despite our lack of little kids!
Sisters in the early morning. We had to do presents earlier than usual because my brother Gus and his fiancée Emily had to drive down to Kansas City to spend the rest of the holiday with her family.
Present time! We had a first round of gifts from littlest sisters Maria and Tessie. All the gifts were either adorably homemade, or from one of the town's many, amazing antique shops. I took shots of some of the impressive art Maria gave out.
After that, I gave out the gifts Othman and I had ordered for the family from fair trade site Seven Hopes United (having had a good experience when they were one of our wedding registries)... before I knew I was coming! Mom and dad got a serving dish handmade and painted in Mexico,
and each sibling (and one future sibling) got hand painted cups from India that I thought were just lovely.
Othman and I also gifted a book to Emily and Gus that we've benefited from in our relationship.
Gifts from Othman's family in Morocco were next! Maria and Isabel got some cookbooks which they're looking forward to using...
and Tessie got some stationary which she thought was just too cute.
Mom got a beautiful shirt from Marrakech,
and she and dad are enjoying the beautiful coffee table book full of photographs of Morocco,
and the boys are loving the entire KILO of chocolate!
Patrick's gifts to the family were an Apple TV (whose use he had to explain to us of course),
and official World Cup Brazil jerseys for the girls! Also, not pictured, is a stylus and corresponding iPad app for the artists of the family to make spectacular illustrations. More on that in a future post.
Then came Santa's presents, including some great piano music and composition book for the pianists Maria and Isabel, lots of arty things for Tessie and others, and some things made by mom or coming from her travels... because as she explained to us when we were younger (to explain the wrapping paper we helped make with potato stamps), busy busy Santa employs moms as his helpers.
The future-weds got some crocheted pot holders and a door mat made from Gus's old tee-shirts.
Patrick got a Lonely Planet stickerbook to prepare him for his upcoming (and slightly insane) vacation to Antarctica...
and Tessie fangirled over an ultimate Percy Jackson guide.
Maria rejoiced over a thermos cup that wouldn't get polluted by old coffee taste...
and Emily fell in love with a scarf mom crocheted for her!
I got no less than THREE additions to our turtle collection, including this adorable handfelted one mom got on the streets of Santa Fe,
and Isabel loved the plaid dress Gus and Emily gifted her!
There were many more gifts given and received throughout the morning, but the greatest gift of all was both the joy of giving to our loved ones, and the presence of ALL the siblings at a Christmas for the first time in many years! After coming home from church on Christmas Eve we all sat around our dining table to eat some desserts (and maybe drink some wine and port) before heading to bed. Mom gave a toast to the love between family members and suggested that we all follow with our own toasts. We ended up making two trips around the table toasting to each other, to absent loved ones, to the trials and triumphs of the year past, and to our love for each other which has morphed and changed over the years but has never waned. It truly was a very, very merry Christmas.