My mother-in-law Maureen is always very easy going about the holidays. She loves having her family around her, but she is quick to tell us to do what works best for our family. If that means we don't strictly alternate years between families, that's fine with her. She just has one simple request: every so often, she would like her entire family to be present for a celebration. That was this year. All six Yantes kids (plus spouses and children) returned to Rapid City for Christmas.
With up to fourteen people in the house at any given moment, it was anything but a "little" Christmas. Their next door neighbor was kind enough to lend their house while they were out of town for the week, so everyone even had a bed to sleep in. But honestly, a bed was the only thing we used that house for; we were all desperate to spend as much time together as possible.
Our traveling day was the 23rd, so we were in town all of Christmas Eve day. We attended a celebration with Paul's grandparents, then we spruced up and walked to "midnight" Mass at 10:00. The snowflakes were so big and slow-falling that I felt like I was in a snow globe. It reminded me of Christmas five years ago, when we attended this same Mass at the Cathedral, had a beautiful snowfall and welcomed a beautiful baby boy into the world! I can't believe that little boy is already five years old.
We sang the opening song, said the opening prayer, sat down, and all three kids promptly fell asleep for the remainder of the Mass. It was such a wonderful service, I almost felt bad that the kids were missing it... almost, but not enough to wake them up. It was nice to have my attention undivided for once.
We went home after church to stuff stockings, prepare for the morning, and hit the hay. Christmas morning came quickly for two excited little boys. We exchanged gifts and hugs, had a fabulous brunch, and basked in each others' company for the rest of the day. Christmas dinner was prime rib-- a Yantes family tradition that I didn't miss out on even when in the hospital with Max five years ago! Although I must say, if given the choice, I preferred to eat it off of a plate at the table with the whole family rather than out of tupperware in a hospital bed. After dinner, we sang happy birthday to Max and he got to blow out some candles and open a few more presents (wrapped in birthday wrapping paper, mind you!).
We stayed in Rapid City for a whole week and just got home yesterday, but we had so many great adventures that I will close here for now at the close of the great feast of Christmas.
Hail, Lord, we greet Thee, born this happy morning!
Jesus, to Thee be all glory given.
Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing,
O come let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord!
|Lucian and his new banjo|
|Max does brain surgery on his human body kit|
|Audrey get 'stachified by her aunties and uncles|
|Happy birthday to Max!|