Starting on Christmas Eve: we started a new family tradition when we had our first Klaasen family Christmas Eve dinner. This seemed to be the perfect prelude to the usual midnight gift exchange, and helped to pass the time for the kiddies who were anxious to see what Santa had brought them.
|Christmas Eve Dinner in Grabouw|
|Gabbi (4 months old), Santa's youngest little helper|
|Opening Christmas gifts at midnight|
|One happy and tired family|
This was also Zac's first sleepover in Grabouw, and he behaved so well: not only did he smile and play without any performance, he also slept well, and didn't disturb anyone! By the time we left late Christmas morning, Zac was in full Christmas cheer!
For the first time in five years, the full Hendricks family had lunch together. It was a nice change, and was filled with the usual excitement and drama that accompanies the Secret Santa exchange.
Andel bought for Ashleigh, and cashed in on his adidas connections to get her a pair of trainers and a SA T20 cricket top.
Ash bought for Yaya, and got her a leather handbag and a pedicure voucher.
|Yaya showing off her multi-tasking skills|
Yaya bought for PJ - arguably one of the most difficult to buy for - and thankfully, all went well. PJ got a the carving knife he wanted!
|The only time that I am able to take pics of PJ|
PJ, who had to buy for Dom, stepped out of the Secret Santa guidelines this year, and got Dom what she needed, rather than what she wanted: a new phone. We're all really happy about this as we are now all able to contact Dom when necessary!
|Back into the world of connectivity|
Dom drew Kim's name, and bought her a docking station for her ipod. I have never seen anyone quite so grateful for a gift.
|The epitomy of excitement|
Kim bought Andel a pair of jeans he wanted - and there's a really funny story attached to this. On Andel's list he always puts down all the information you need: the sizes, the store you can buy it from, even the price. This year he had a few things from the adidas original store on his list, as well as a George Foreman original. Kim, thinking that the original stood for original adidas store, spent the better part of a shopping outing arguing with a number of adidas staff members insisting that they show her a George Foreman. Eventually a soft spoken manager suggested that she go to Game, and look for the George Foreman grill there. It was hilarious!
|Andel laughing at Kim's story|
Speaking of George Foreman. Papu drew my name, and got me a George Foreman Grill and Griddle. Not before a dose of drama though: insisting that he'd forgotten who to buy for, I first received a letter of apology, and a couple R100 notes - monopoly notes, that is! It was worth it in the end though. And I suppose you could say that Andel scored on this one. We didn't even know we had the same thing on our list!
|Note how many layers of paper Papu used here, ai!|
Finally, I had to buy for Papu, who has threatened to resign from this exercise, and submitted a list with absolutely nothing on it - no pressure! I considered a number of things, and watched as week after week Papu proceeded to buy these things for himself. So in the end, I got him an external hard drive for the entertainment system he's setting up at home. I've also hooked him up with old favourites like Police Academy and Vetkoek Paleis, that he can watch until his heart is content!
|Me anxiously waiting to see Papu's response|
Annie, Natasha, Jorja, Ethan and Zac are still very much with their bottoms in the butter: still scoring gifts from everyone, and by the end of the gift exchange, the living room in Newmans Avenue looked like a paper bomb had gone off in it.
|Little Matthew who's with us for the holiday|
|Annie very happy with her stocking|
|Eagerly awaiting the opening of the gifts|
|My very own little Santa|
The afternoon and evening were quiet. Having babies around certainly does change things. And by 22h00 we were at home getting ready for bed. Not that a (marginally) shorter day dampers any of the Christmas spirit, I was glad for us to have the chance to focus on the real meaning of Christmas, and remember the ultimate gift of the life of Jesus.