Four Christmases plus One

A handful of Christmases ago, part of our McLaughlin family Christmas experience was going to see the movie "Four Christmases". This was pk (pre-kids) when going to a movie theater wasn't something to manage and would still enable you to remain off food stamps after buying the tickets and popcorn for everyone. The first thing that I remember about that trip was sitting next to our then-13-yr-old cousin. I fought urges the entire movie to cover her eyes. I digress... The movie dealt with the featured couple having to travel to 4 different places to be a part of each family Christmas. Well, we have little distance traveling to do, but we still traverse the rare blessing of making it to FIVE family Christmases yearly - and sometimes more depending on how much traveling we opt for.
This year, Santa came to our house on the evening of the 22nd. Because we were preparing for all of our family Christmases, there was no time to make cookies, so he was left 4 icy oatmeal chocolate rocks from our freezer. (Don't feel bad for our children on the cookie thing, we seriously normally make cookies here ALL the time.) Because we use Green Bean Delivery (which is awesome, by the way) for our grocery service and because carrots were not delivered last week, Rudolph received a parsnip. Here is a "before" shot when Santa had left everything. Following that is an "after". I didn't want to pretty it up with Instagram... after 5 Christmases, it ain't pretty. Just imagine our bedrooms and laundry room...

After Santa came to our house, he then visited Jeff's parents, then my grandmother's house, then Jeff's grandparents' house, then, finally, my folks' house. He had to work out special arrangements to then take everything from their house up to the cabin where we all stayed for 2 days and opened presents. All on behalf of S & J. He mustn't be union.
We had a beautiful time celebrating a myriad of different traditions, praying together, laughing together, singing together, and, of course, my favorite, gathering around the table together again. For many families heading to a cabin means bringing games, food, and walking shoes. We brought all of those things, but we also had percussion instruments, guitars, keyboards and amps. Ahh, Scharbrough family traditions...
We are a bit worn out, but very grateful for full cars and hearts.