If you’re expecting a review of the movie Four Christmases you’ll have to click on the link. Instead, this is a re-cap my 3 day Christmas adventure with Maggie and our families. Tuesday night Maggie and I kicked off the gift-giving a little early by exchanging gifts for each other. Maggie gave me a backgammon set which we subsequently learned how to play. It turns out is a really fun 2 player dice game; I’m surprised I’ve never played it before now!
On Christmas Eve Maggie and I trekked up to Coon Rapids, MN to celebrate with the Johnstons. We went to church with Maggie’s dad and step-mom, grandparents and cousin and then headed back to her dad’s house for the Johnston family Christmas which they were hosting. We enjoyed LOTS of great food (it just kept coming!), a gift exchange and a competitive game of Scrabble. I’m proud to report that team MAARON (Maggie + Aaron) won decidedly. It was a nice afternoon/evening and a good time was had by all.
On Christmas Day Maggie and I again made the trip to Coon Rapids, this time to have a Christmas brunch with Maggie’s Mom, brother Jake and uncle Marty. We enjoyed some delicious quiche and spending some time with Maggie’s mother and brother. After a short stay we hit the road for Eau Claire in order to make it to Christmas at the Bergs (my aunt and uncle on my mom’s side).
We arrived at the Berg’s just in time for some more food and another gift exchange. The last few years we have drawn names and everyone bought a gift for the person whose name you drew. This year we decided to do the gift exchange differently and have everyone bring a generic gift for the same gender as you are, and then play a game with it. Each person drew a card to see what order to take a turn in. Each person could either open a gift from their gender’s pile of gifts that had been brought or steal a previously open gift . It added a fun spin to the gift opening, and I think everyone enjoyed it. Only a few people “stole” gifts, one of which was me. When my turn came up I grabbed a gift basket of beer/cheese/crackers/sausage that my cousin Cody had opened. I only held on to it for a short while though as my uncle Dave stole it from me when his turn was up. I ended up with a camouflage folding chair and a gun case that my brother Brent had brought for the exchange.
The night ended by playing some games back at my parent’s home where Brent, Kristen, Maggie and I all were staying for the weekend. Maggie and I taught everyone how to play Last Word and then we ended with an epic game of dirty clubs.
Friday morning we all piled in the mini-van for a trip to Beaver Creek Reserve for some cross-country skiing. The weather Friday was not very cooperative though, and we were greeted with a high of 38 with fog and drizzle. This made the snow extremely wet and sticky, making it nearly impossible to ski in (at least with the skis we rented from the reserve). To add to the agony, while following the trail we made a wrong turn and were pretty far from the lodge when we decided that our skis weren’t going to work and that we were ready to head back. Oops! We eventually found the right trail, and everyone took their skis off for the final hike down into the valley and back up the other side through knee-deep snow in order to make it back to the lodge. The ski trip turned into quite an adventure! Somewhere along the way, probably as a result of one of my falls down a hill, my camera appears to have broken, causing my subsequent pictures to be completely black and no image to show on the LCD screen. The last picture I was able to take before it broke is of everyone preparing to descend a somewhat large (by x-country skiing standards) hill:
The day concluded with an “appetizer” style dinner, a traditional gift exchange, and another round of games. This time we played a few tense games of Sequence and concluded with another round of dirty clubs. Both games were perfect for a group of 6 to be able to play and enjoy the competition. Finally, we had to get a family picture in front of the tree.
It was a fun day with family and a great way to wrap up 3 days worth of Christmasses!
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