A mix of photography, recipes, personal thoughts, faith, and lots of family stuff, but not necessarily in that order.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Holiday traditions

This was a weekend of holiday traditions, which kicks the Christmas season off for our family every year. Friday night we attended a large Christmas party at a friends home, they host this party every year on the 1st Friday of December. I left my camera at  home but believe me we have a blast. After a large buffet like meal, there is the much anticipated "white reindeer" gift exchange. It's always fun to see what crazy gifts people have found around their homes to bring as gag gifts, it's a night full of outrageous laughter, good fellowship and fun.
It's a hard act to follow but on Saturday night, my husbands family gathers for the annual 
Hemmer progressive dinner
We usually get a good crowd but as the kids have grown up, moved away and have gotten "big-people" jobs we sometimes have to go on without a few of them, they are always missed!
We started at Rick's sister's house for appetizers, then moved to Rick's brother's house for the main course, finally ending up at our house for dessert and the (always fun) ornament exchange.
Cheese cake from Hy-Vee
I found this yummy recipe in Pinterest and had to make it !
It had to be created in layers...Mint ice cream, a layer of Chocolate ganache and  oreo cookie crust. Topped with whipped cream.... It's a frozen dessert that is "to die for"!
Sixteen of us gathered in my living room
 (a few are lingering in the kitchen)
The ornaments just waiting to be chosen
My son-in-love is thrilled with his Pickle ornament!
This was the first year Audrey was REALLY able to get into the game.
She picked the sparkly green gift bag 
My daughter-in-love admires a spectacular reindeer ornament.
My daughter and her elf
The game involves the "stealing of others ornaments" If you see an ornament that someone else has, and you really want it, you can steal it instead of taking one in a gift bad...
there a little stealing going on here.

Our grandson Carson with his Great-grandpa (Rick's dad) 
Audrey didn't have to ask twice.... 
Travis (our niece's fiance) was glad to play the princess matching game with Audrey. 
 I love it when my three end up together, laughing and chatting-it-up with each other.
It makes a mommy's heart glad!
  Carson and Rick chillin'.
Carson is teething on an ornament gift bag

 It was such a fun weekend spent with friends and family, a great way to start the holiday festivities off with a bang.  Do you have any fun holiday traditions, I'd love to hear about them.


  1. We have a Christmas party at our Family Game Night at church, in January this year. We bring white elephant gifts (although I really like your reindeer gift idea). Every year the same gaudy picture frame turns up and is circulated. Not so flattering photos have been added to the frame. We laugh and laugh and then laugh some more. Sounds like your family has a GREAT time together.

  2. Yes, Audrey we have those gifts that make repeat appearances every year, that's what makes it so fun. So you'll have something fun to look forward to after the christmas rush. It's nice to have events spread apart, so you're not so busy around the actual holiday!

  3. Does Rick have his fingers in Carson's ears in the pic with Brie?

    1. Good catch Cheri, I noticed that too. I need to ask him what that was all about, I'm guessing things were getting loud from the ornament game and he was protecting Carson's little ears :)

  4. Looks like everyone had fun.