For Christmas this year, my side of the family decided to replace gifts with a couple of days in a large rental home all together during the week before Christmas.
It was amazing, to say the least!
We spent time swimming in the indoor swimming pool/hot tub,
playing lots of games in the racquetball court,
enjoying way too many treats,
and making a dent in the endless supply of hot chocolate that was on tap.
We had a white elephant gift exchange among the grown-ups,
the kids enjoyed a dollar store gift exchange,
we had our annual Christmas dinner, talent show, and nativity re-enactment,
Sam and all the kids had an epic snowball fight,
and the kids put together activity bags for siblings of patients at Primary Children's.
The cousins loved all sleeping in the same room minus the babies (with 16 bunk beds and a loft!),
we enjoyed the snow flurries on the 12 acres of surrounding property,
we admired the playhouse, gazebo, swingset, and statues of kids in the yard,
we played Pie Face and solved Laser Maze puzzles,
and a group of the guys discovered a couple of secret safe rooms that were opened using a hanger pressed against two screws to complete an electrical circuit...totally spy-like!
and all in all
we had a perfectly marvelous time.
It was such a meaningful way to begin our Christmas festivities.