I put Christmas quilts on the wall, one of them serving as my tree.
My favorite Santa, a gift from my former in-laws, was up. He even spent a few days at a local historic museum.
My nativity from Spain was also displayed at the local museum for the holidays, and then came home to remind me of the story behind the holiday.
All three of the Christmas paintings that I've done were up on the walls.
My favorite grandson spent several nights with me. He's almost 18 and very responsible and sweet. But the Mom in me really comes out whenever someone spends the night here. He went to midnight Mass on Christmas Eve. I had gone to bed at my usual time (all those visitors makes me tired!) but woke up at 1 am and noted that he wasn't home. Thankfully, he answered my text and was safe and just a little delayed in coming back.
We had a White Elephant exchange. We did family pictures. We did a full sit-down meal with 15 family members, including my daughter's father and his wife. We did presents.
We played games. Different combos of relatives spent time together and got to know each other better - e.g. the 22yo uncle from Ft. Worth and the 8yo nephew from Louisiana went to see Star Wars. I spent time with my precious 3yo greatgranddaughter who had a bit of a cold and needed some quiet time. I actually fixed breakfast for my grandkids!
What a wonderful way for all of us to be together.
I give special thanks to my co-greatgrandmother who hosted the Louisiana family by providing hotel space and hosting several meals.
Obviously, we can't do this every year. It took a lot of coordination of schedules, foregoing of being together with other arms of the family, and some sacrifice. (e.g. My grandson skipped playing in the band at the state football finals in Arlington.) But I am really glad it happened.
Thank you, sweet daughter.