We have a tradition that every year with get together with Papa's family, and all 14 cousins and have a big ol' brunch (and the prime rib was delish I tell you!) with lots of cookie decorating and a surprise visit from you-know-who! In retrospect, after over 15 years of doing this I'm surprised that anyone is surprised that you-know-who shows up, because he does it every single year! Yet, they are so surprised every year!
The event always starts off with a lot of cookie decorating. And by decorating, I mean squeeze-the-frosting-directly-in-one's-mouth-and-eat-four-m&ms-for-every-one-you-decorate. It's amazing that they eat brunch at all after the decorating.
Jude takes the decorating business very seriously.
And he also got the stuffing squeezed out of him by his little sisters!
I was lucky enough to sit across the table from this little guy, M. He is my nephew. Here he is winking at me. I mean really, does it get cuter!
And this is his baby brother, H, who is all of 3 months old now and is totally convinced that table food is the way to go. He's trying so hard to chow down on some bacon. And melon. And pancakes. He really doesn't care which!
M and his pretty mama, my sister-in-law, AKA Auntie K.
Another too-cute moment. This is another nephew, P. He was so patiently waiting for you-know-who and snagged a waiting place under his grandma's chair. Goodness, how sweet is he? Gonna have to eat him up!
Finally, Mr. you-know-who showed up! And he brought his lovely bride to help dole out the presents!
It was hard waiting for their turns to visit with Santa, but they did very well.
Well some of them did very well, and some of them are stinkers and don't have nearly as much practice when it comes to waiting. Like little Miss Mimi.
But she eventually got her turn. As she happily went off to see Santa, Jude pushed her because he didn't think she was going fast enough. So this happened...
But it was short lived, and Mimi was quickly okay with Mr. Clause.
Jude, who was so apprehensive last year, was lovin' Santa this year! He was excited and more than happy to share his wish list!
He, as did many of the kiddos, got a headlamp for Christmas. I think it's the best present in the whole wide world! Really, a day later, and the kid still will not take it off.
And then came the big kiddos. There comes an age when it's not longer appropriate to sit on Santa's lap. Which may explain why Sunny left the event early. Nevertheless, the other big kiddos did not escape the humility. Above, Boo, just thought the whole thing was so silly!
Patrick took the whole thing pretty seriously and had a heart-to-heart with Santa. Not sure what it was about, but I think they both had some good advice for the other.
Even Livy got a turn. I think I heard her ask for a new President and a health care plan that all Americans would be happy with. And I think I heard Santa reply that he'd do his best. (And yes, that is the most political you will ever hear this blog get.)
One of my favorite images of the event, Tess getting some face time with both the Mr. and the Mrs. after everyone else had gone. She is showing them how her brother's head lamp can double as a Rudolph nose. Just in case Rudolph gets sick or something.