It's beginning to look and feel a lot like Christmas! And we are sure enjoying all of the celebrating.
For us, it started with the Hutson Family Christmas, which is always held on the second Saturday of December. The location rotates around the central Illinois area, and we were fortunate that this year, it was at our church in Hillsboro.
|Grace loved a visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus.|
Mom did most of the planning, and we helped as we could. Kyle offered to run this year's game, and we had fun putting it together before the party. Mom also suggested an ugly sweater contest, which turned out to be fun too. Kyle and I didn't go for sweaters, since we were afraid we would get too hot. But I found a darling Snoopy Christmas shirt that said "I'm Just Here for the Cookies," and Kyle found a t-shirt with a tacky Christmas vest pattern. He was most excited about the bowtie on it.
|Fun family photo op!|
We arrived at the church just before dinner, to one of the largest crowds for a Hutson family reunion in quite some time, with about 80 present. The best part of the evening is always catching up with everyone. My favorite part this year was a surprise visit from my cousin, Stefanie, who didn't tell anyone she was coming home.
|Yup, I'm just here for the cookies!|
The food is always great too. My Aunt Cathy is famous for her cheesy potatoes and cookie press cookies, which are always gone very quickly (and was the reason for my "I'm Just Here for the Cookies" shirt). But no one went away hungry, that's for sure.
|Ugly Christmas sweater contest!|
|Kyle the game show host and the winning Family Feud team!|
After dinner, we had a special visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus, who greeted all the kids and passed out presents. Grace was so excited to get a new Minnie Mouse purse and Santa hat, as well as a bedtime stories book and some new nail polish. It's always so much fun to see the kids excited about their presents, and then watch them play together afterwards. I have such fond memories of playing with my cousins over the years at get togethers, and it's neat to see the next generation having fun too.
|Cheesing with Grandma and PaPa Galer.|
When the presents were opened, voting started for the ugly sweater contest, and Kyle won second place!! I think everyone really enjoyed getting into the Christmas spirit. Then, we got two teams set up to play Hutson Family Feud, and Kyle was the game show host. The winning team got to take home the coveted Hutson family medals.
|Kyle and I can't wait to hang this awesome wall hanging up in our house!|
Before packing up our belongings, mom's brothers and sisters gave Kyle and I a very special gift, an "Amazing Grace" wall hanging made of horseshoes. And we can't wait to hang it up in the family room.
|Cousin Stef gave us some of the bags from her new company, Rowdy Goose.|
And then all too soon, Grace was getting tired, and it was time to say our goodbyes. Facebook makes it easier to stay connected to family members, but it's always wonderful to have the chance to visit in person. We feel so blessed that everyone keeps Grace in their thoughts and prayers, and look forward to seeing them at the next Hutson reunion on Labor Day!