My mom's family gets together on Christmas day. Several years ago, because so many of us came from out of town, we started having our Christmas celebration at the hotel we stay at. That sounds pretty cold and impersonal, I know, but it actually works out great. They have a kitchen that we can use and the hotel blocks off the large lobby area for us. There are couches, tables, a fireplace, two televisions and a kitchen. We're all set!
My Grammy and Grandad proudly hold the first great-grandchild in the family. Grandad has always loved babies, so it was cute to see him with one -- it's been awhile!
My Uncle Matt gave everyone a really cool gift -- CDs with my grandad's WWII army pictures on them. Here Josh, Anna and Emily are examining the proofs closely.
My creative Aunt Donna (on the right -- she's an artist who has worked designing greeting cards for as long as I remember. I think that is such a cool job!) had another fun idea this year. She had everyone in the family help to paint a canvas to hang up at Grammy and Grandad's house. The design was based on Sudoku, with each number being replaced by a symbol/color. Here Josh begins the painting with yellow dots, as interested family members look on.
My cousin Rob adds some red diamonds -- and even my little niecelet Schmader gets in on the action. Unfortunately, when you are a mere 8 months old, it is a bit difficult to know if you are painting a canvas or your daddy's shirt. Janet is laughing here, but this shot is just seconds after she wisked away the brush!
Emily and I get in on the action by adding pink hearts. (Meanwhile Nathan's shirt is being unsuccessfully scrubbed in the kitchen). Might I add that this was such a fun party idea?!
Here is the finished result. I think it looks a bit like an amish quilt pattern (of which my Grammy is enormously fond!). It's sort of a "friendship painting", not unlike the friendship quilts of old, where everyone adds a square. It is so cute and fun, and it will look fantastic framed and on the wall at the Wilkinson home.