On November 11th-November 14 our house became the headquarters for the Esau Sibling Early Christmas. It was the weekend everyone was able to all get together, so together... we got.
The grass in the backyard is still green and the sun was shining except for the one day when we got rain, but inside it was all Christmas.
My brother Jord and my sister in law Michelle helped set up the tree and decorate the house, and by the time my sister Ness, her husband and son and my Grandparents showed up on friday the carols were filling the air, and my house smelled like Cinnamon from the headstart baking I'd been doing.
Saturday morning we had a baking blitz so everyone had baking to take home for the season.
This was awesome. we did mostly recipes that didn't need the oven, so instead everything went out to cool on the back deck.
my sister in law always makes these wicked south african desserts.
Here is where my Grandmother shines at her best, she whooped our buts and churned out Chocolate roll, white chocolate nut bark, crispy crunch and , chocolate peanut butter squares in the time it took me to make white chocolate candy cane popcorn....we all agreed, that someday we want to be her.
We did only gifts for the kids and tried to do low-cost, re-used, or homemade items. I was remiss in not getting pictures of some of the things we gifted. (wooden blocks for my nephews some we homemade and some were secondhand from the salvation army and for my two kids, second hand books and paper dolls from the Salvation army too) Then there were pajamas, books, craft kits, and this sweet little hand-me-down car from my nephew Jude to Jackson made of recycled materials... gosh I love this car, I find myself pushing it around, enjoying the weight and feel of it in my hands.
And of course there were games...lots and lots of games.
My family are all game people, and my favorite thing about the weekend was just having everyone gathered around the table laughing and joking and occasionally breaking into song over cards and trivia.
Playing "Wits and Wagers"
For dinner, we did an appetizer potluck and had waaay more food than we could eat, but almost zero clean-up and our energies were preserved for the Turkey dinner slaving we'll all surely have later in the season.
only missing me and grandma
There is something about just being with the people you come from, the people who know you so well that just exchanging a glance over some inside joke is enough to make you both fall apart laughing. (husbands are the best people in the world for having inside jokes, but I think siblings are a pretty close second ). I love just being with my grandparents who make me laugh and whom I look up to and enjoy so much.
and of course it's so special for my kids to be with their cousins and grow up together,sharing these holidays
It was pretty exciting to find out there will be even more little cousins joining our festivities next year (not of my own, in case anyone is wondering ) but yes, more crafting will be started to make gifts for new babies in the new year,
Yay Esau Siblings
Yay Grandma and Grandpa
Yay Early Christmas...
this may just become a new tradition