Monday, December 27, 2010

Our Holly Jolly Christmas

We had a holly, jolly Christmas! It was the best time of our year. There wasn’t any snow, but we sure did have a cup of cheer. We said hello to friends (and family) we know and everyone we had the chance to meet. Oh, by golly, we had a holly, jolly Christmas this year… and hope you did, too!

Staying true to our holiday swapping traditions, since we spent Thanksgiving in KC with the Fagans, we hit the road and traveled to Wichita for Christmas. Although we heard about the possibilities of, and waited for, snow throughout the long weekend, but didn’t see a single flake or flurry while we were there. We arrived in Rose Hill just in time for our favorite meal, my mother-in-law’s famous Pizza Tacos! Haven’t heard of them? I’m not surprised. They originated in Pratt, Kansas where Charlie and Phyllis Hoffman (founders and owners of Charlie’s Pizza Taco) invented the amazing pizza/taco creation. Having a hard time imagining it? Just picture a pizza crust with sausage, pizza sauce and cheese folded up like a huge taco and baked in the oven. Once it comes out cooked to perfection, lettuce is added and voila! You have an amazing meal! I’m craving one right now… My MIL is one of the lucky few that “purchased” his recipe and expertise. She spent an entire week with Charlie in his restaurant learning the ins and outs of the Pizza Taco legend (you might be chuckling to yourself right now, but there is more science, precision, technique and heart required to make these than anyone can imagine). If you’re on Facebook, check them out and be sure to drop by if you’re in the area. You won’t regret it! Charlie's Pizza Taco on Facebook

After the amazing meal and catching up with the in-laws we jumped in the Envoy with Dan and Erica, Caton’s brother/my brother-in-law and our sister-in-law, and headed out for a night of dancing and catching up over a few drinks with the cousins. We assumed the country bars would be packed with everyone in town for the holidays, but we were dead wrong! The first place we tried, Club Rodeo, was completely closed (who does that?!) and the second place, Denim & Diamonds, was open, but we practically had the dance floor to ourselves. Not that we’re complaining! We danced up a storm, took advantage of a great drink special and had a blast catching up and two-stepping our boots all around the dance floor.

The girls - Erica, Jessica, Kat

Having a great night with My Love

The boys - Caton, John, Dan

The whole group

We spent Christmas Eve in Pratt, Christmas Day in Rose Hill and Christmas Night and Goddard. It was so great to see family members we hadn’t seen for a while and we had a blast listening to music/singing, catching up on conversation and playing games.

The Holland family in Pratt

The Christmas tree in Rose Hill

Christmas morning with the Walkers

Since we spent the long Christmas weekend in Wichita, we actually celebrated a week early with my side of the family. Even in your mid-twenties it’s still exciting to give and receive gifts early, isn’t it?! The Fagan Christmas celebration started out the best way imaginable… with a surprise visit from Santa! Who knew he could deliver presents to your grandparents’ house?! Hehe Since my sister and brother-in-law have such a crazy-hectic Christmas celebration schedule, they decided they could get away with an early Santa delivery at least one more year. My 5-year-old nephew, Scotty, knew (thanks to a letter to and from me Santa a few weeks before Christmas) that Santa would deliver his gifts early IF he was a good boy up until Christmas, but he didn’t know when or where they would be delivered. The look on his face was P-R-I-C-E-L-E-S-S when we walked into the Family Room that afternoon to see the Santa spread waiting for him and his baby brother, Aiden. After we made it through the slower-than-a-snail amazingly-fun-and-totally-worth-it traditional Fagan method of opening gifts one-by-one so everyone can see what you’re receiving, we enjoyed wonderful Christmas music, our new items, great wine (for the ladies) and Scotch (for the guys) and sat down to a delicious meal of grilled sirloin steaks, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole and fluffy Hen House rolls.

Santa visited Scotty & Aiden at Mimi & Pop's house

One surprised and happy boy

Our smocked stockings

Jackson and his Angel

The Christmas tree in Prairie Village

The beautiful early Christmas dinner

The Fagan family on (early) Christmas

I have always been one to get more joy out of giving gifts than receiving them; and not only giving gifts, but watching the gifts being opened by the recipient. I love everything about it: the way my heart races just before they tear open the wrapping paper, the look on their face as they realize what it is, their first words or reactions, everything about it! This year may not have been our biggest spending year, but it was definitely one of our best gifting years. Every item was well thought out, meaningful, and purchased after much discussion. Many of the gifts we gave this year were also given from the heart - literally. I made the majority of gifts that we gave this year (whether it was jewelry, a personalized calendar, or a potted plant) and it made the entire experience that much more special and fun!

We were blessed with many wonderful gifts from our family members. Here are a few of the highlights.

Ahhhh! Isn't she beautiful?! What a great husband.

The hubby also surprised me with my favorite perfume, VS from VS.

And the lotion to go along with it!

My parents got us a Butter Bell Crock. So exciting! I'll explain more later.

My 63" HO Blast Combo Skis!

I was beyond shocked when my in-laws surprised me with these... my very own water skis! I have rented these exact skis (they're blue, of course, and child's size so they actually fit my narrow little feet) the last two years we went to Table Rock Lake. They secretly bought them at the end of the trip after I had returned them and I had NO idea. Oh, I just love them so much! Hurry up, summertime!

One of my favorite gifts for the hubbs.

The North Face fleece from my parents.

Another North Face item from his honey.

Caton's AC Delco jack stands from his parents.

My husband has developed an obsession with all things Elvis. Gotta love The King!

We are so very blessed to have each other, our families and friends. It was a great year and wonderful Christmas holiday. We can't wait to see what 2011 has in store for us!

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