#1,834 Christmas 2014.

Merry, Christmas friends! We’re dog tired after a very busy day spent with our families (while battling a bad cold—but thank goodness it’s not the flu!) and I can barely keep my eyes open. Today started with homemade biscuits with Jim, Mal and Lucy at our house since she made us donuts last year.

Then they went home and Ben and I opened our gifts. We used the brilliant idea I got from Lora this Christmas—giving each other 4 gifts: something you want, something you need, something to wear, and something to read. It’s the best! It made it so easy to figure out what to get each other. 

He gave me the coolest thing—a 3-D architectural history of New York! You look at each page through the viewfinder that’s built into the book and the antique photographs become 3-D, like you could reach out and touch water, metal, glass. It’s awesome.

Then we got showered and dressed and headed to Collins for the Napier family Christmas at Ben’s grandparents. I kept tissue shoved in my nose to stop it from pouring most of the day. Lovely, right?

Then we headed back to mama’s in the late afternoon to open gifts and have our usual Christmas night throwdown. This year Jesse came with us and, of course, there was target shooting (political signs + clay pots).

Walker learned how to slide in his brand new “treehouse.” And it was adorable.

We gave him a baby Beard-O so he can be twins with Big.

Mama gave me some home design books I’ve really been wanting that will be handy in the coming year…

Daddy gave mama a little handgun. And she was THRILLED when she pulled it out of her stocking. He’s been worried since that nice realtor lady was abducted in the news earlier this year and he wants to be sure she’s safe when she’s showing houses.

We had to go outside immediately and test it. Clark taught her how to fire it.

She fired it and it scared her to death:

Mal, Lucy, Amanda, Walker and I went over to Mammaw’s to deliver her gifts since she didn’t feel like getting out in the cold tonight.

My grandfather gave her Whitman’s Samplers for every special occasion, and when he passed away I took over the tradition. It’s always my favorite gift to buy and to give.

And every year Ben and I give her a new pair of moccasin shearling house shoes. She tried them on to be sure they fit her tiny size 5 foot.

Then supper time back at mama’s with turkey, dressing, mac and cheese, yeast rolls, green bean casserole and pecan pie.

And the grand finale of the night every year—the thousand dollar firework show over the lake, compliments of Uncle Danny. This year’s show didn’t disappoint, and Jim’s hair didn’t get set on fire this time. Success.

Our brave boys do the lighting down at the dock for us to enjoy by the fire pit.

Daddy was posted up watching from “underneath the Festivus Pole.”

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

I absolutely cannot wait to see what 2015 has in store for us. It’s going to be crazy, y’all. I hope you’ll be here for it!