Sunday, January 15, 2012

Christmas 2012

This year Jared and I decided to go home for Christmas. We had such a great time visiting family and friends. Oh, and don’t forget how much we BOTH enjoyed shopping and going out to eat! Until you’ve lived here in Germany, you wouldn’t understand why we would say that. First of all, German food is very blah. None of it has much flavor. For example, one of my co workers went to dinner at a Germans house and took brownies for dessert. Her neighbors were quite blunt and told her not to bring brownies back to them again because they were way too rich. Second of all, there main food is schnitzel (pork) and bratwursts. We are not big pork fans, so we don’t enjoy eating out much. Lastly, good quality clothes and shoes are very expensive, especially when you’re dealing in Euros!

The famous 1/2 meter bratwurst at a Christmas Market
The Friday before Christmas, we had a Christmas party with Jared’s family. Jody and Kip graciously invited everyone to their house. Jared was so excited because he actually got to see all of his brothers. Mike was supposed to be driving a truck to California but was able to get off work at the last minute. We had yummy pulled pork sandwiches, salads, and pumpkin rolls. Afterwards, we did a small gift exchange.

Gabe, Mike, Jard, and Steve Jackson

The Jackson brothers and mom (Clara)

The Jackson brothers, John, and Clara
This year, since Christmas fell on a Sunday, mom switched things up a little bit, which was fun. On Saturday, Teresa, Adam and family came for Christmas and a short visit. We had our big Christmas dinner for lunch. Then while the kids were outside playing, all of the family gifts were brought out. We brought everyone back together and had CHRISTMAS! The kids were ecstatic that they could open gifts before Christmas day!

Thomas was so excited to get a Nintendo DS
 I have to tell you about this shirt.  Grandpa LOVES to play the "IT" game, especially with Rachel and Anna.  For Christmas he had grandma embroidery on shirts, "Anna/Rachel, You are IT forever~Love Grandpa.

Thomas sporting grandpa's socks!
Then on Christmas day, we opened the sock gifts that Santa Claus dropped off during the night. Needless to say, the grandkids were in heaven having two Christmases in a row. They kept saying, “Wow, this is the best Christmas ever!” Afterwards, we attended the Christmas program at church, which was wonderful. Then we came home, ate leftovers, relaxed, and enjoyed one another’s company. The way my mom and sister chose to do Christmas so was nice. It wasn’t full of the hustle and bustle that usually happens. I just may make this my new Christmas tradition.
Jared and his buddy~Benjamin

The remainder of the week was filled with shopping, eating out, visiting friends and old coworkers, playing games, and visiting grandpa Wren. 

Jared, cousin Buddy, and Tammy
Friends~Anja, Alison, and Tammy
Stephanie and Tammy

Tammy, Grandpa Wren, and Jared
It was difficult to come back but was reminded that this was my last year being so far away from home. Don’t get me wrong, I have enjoyed living in Europe and being able to travel the world, but there is no place like home!