Saturday, December 29, 2012

Making Memories at Christmas Time

Well, I must say, so far this has been an amazing holiday season!  It's been a blessing to see my children experience another Christmas.  Their mischievous faces would get serious when their dad and me would warn them that our Elf on the Shelf, "Natalie" was watching to see if they were behaving naughty or nice.  But the best was seeing their little faces light up as they woke up on Christmas morning to see presents under the Christmas tree and then to see they're eager faces as they tore open the presents in great anticipation!  Nothing beats seeing our children happy, smiling, with not a care in the world but just being a child.  My heart and thoughts have been with the families of the children that are now angels in heaven as a result of the fatal Newtown, Connecticut shooting.  It's so unfortunate that it takes a tragedy to make us realize how very blessed we are by God.  We are blessed with children, spouses, mothers, brothers, sisters, other family members and friends. I made sure to take a moment to pray for these families and to thank God for his many blessings that morning.

My family celebrated our Christmas a little differently this year.  We would normally do something intimate with just immediate family.  This year, we spent Christmas with my mom's side of the family in Brooklyn, NY.  While there, I tried to do something special that my children hadn't done before.  My brother, who lives in Georgia was visiting for the holidays so he and I decided that we would take the children to see the tree at Rockefeller Plaza in New York City.  That turned out to be exhausting but worth it to see the expressions at the city's sites!  They loved seeing the enlarged Christmas ornaments, the Rockefeller tree, the Rockefeller ice skating rink, and of course my babies are from New Jersey, so they just couldn't believe the large crowds!  We met up with some of our cousins while at Rockefeller Center.  We also managed to visit other family and friends who live in Brooklyn to spread more holiday cheer!

My Aunt Shirley and Uncle Kenon who also live in Brooklyn decided to host a Christmas day brunch.  Me, being the family-oriented person that I am, was elated to accept their invitation.  It was great to reunite with my extended family - my brothers, my cousins, uncles and their families!  Hanging out with the Francis family is a guaranteed great time.  We talked politics, reminisced on old times and departed family members, my uncle played the piano, the men did White Hennessy shots, we caught up on each others lives and accomplishments, all the while enjoying each other's company and making memories.  

Afterwards we went back to my mom's house, my hubby and I put the children to bed for my mom and then continued our night.  My brother joined us for cocktails at my girlfriends' apartment.  She had already been entertaining other mutual friends.  A Panamanian-inspired Coquito was the drink of the night, along with a separate shot of the Carriacou (Grenadian) produced Jack Iron rum.  I decided to pass on that shot as I was forewarned that it could start a car engine!  The Coquito, however, was pretty tasty.  We hung out for a bit and decided it was time to call it a night.  Overall, this Christmas turned out to be one of the best that I've had in a long time.  Hope you all enjoyed your holidays as much as I did.  Check out some of my family pictures as we bask in the holiday season.

My babies opening their gifts on Christmas morning.

My munchkins share a hug and my baby girl is so happy for her American Girl Bitty Twins.
Me and my cousins at Uncle Kenon's house for Christmas Brunch.
Me, my brother, my mom, and my munchkins at Rockefeller Center.

We met up with our cousins near Rockefeller Center.

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