Christmas Eve is always at my parents house. The Russell family tradition is to open presents on the eve of Jesus' birth. It's the way we have always done it. It works out pretty well since the Smith family tradition is to open presents on Christmas morning. Everyone from my side of the family this year just did gift cards and simple stuff. We had lots of fun!
Santa, a.k.a Mama Smith, surprised us on Christmas morning at the Smith house with stockings and lots of gifts. It was fun to open up all the gifts from the siblings as well. This year David and I did something a little different for everyone and made shoe boxes filled with gifts for orphan children in Africa. We sent a gift in honor of everyone in both families. Our hope was to give these children the joy of Christmas morning we were so fortunate to have when we were children ourselves. Unfortunately, the only picture we took on Christmas morning was blurry. :(
On New Years Eve we hung out with Ryan, Missy, Jamie and her friends on the Smith family back porch playing games and having a good time together. At 10:00 we drove down the street to a neighbors annual New Years Party where we enjoyed a magician and some live music put on by various musicians including Ryan & Dave Smith on the bongos, Joe Smith on the block, Missy Beish on the triangle, Danielle Smith on the shakers, and Jamie Smith & co. as back up dancers! There were also a few guitarists and singers that cannot be named at this time. We had so much fun! I wish I had a picture of the craziness that it was! Jamie and I made new years resolutions to get buff this year! We'll see how long that lasts. :) We at least have to make it last until the wedding in March so we can fit into our bridesmaid dresses. I think we can do it!
Dave and I headed back to Gainesville on New Years Day after the Outback Bowl. It was nice to be home in our own home again and relax from our adventurous vacation in Tampa. We took down all the Christmas decorations and got everything organized before it's back to the grind tomorrow morning. Oh, how I wish to be in college again when I could go to class 2 days a week instead of working 5. I guess it could be worse. I hope all of you had a restful holiday and that 2009 brings lots of health, peace, joy and love to you all. Merry Christmas and Happy 2009! Until next time...