Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Letters, Sugarplums, Nuts and Chinese Gift Exchange.......

My FAVORITE Christmas memories of 2010!

Summer first began the tradition of Christmas Letters (or cards) back when Amber and Benjamin were babies! I have kept them all! I joined her in this tradition in later years. The first one I penned was to my mother and it continues to be the very FIRST one I write each year! Amber has since joined the ranks of Christmas Letter befits a writer by profession! These are very special to all of us. Once Summer told me,
"The only gift I really want from from you is my Christmas Letter!"

These were read after our Christmas Eve meal.....some aloud and most in silence.

I love the ones I received and will treasure them always....I keep them in my journals and often reread them throughout the years.

My next favorite memory of 2010 is the SUGARPLUMS!
I have been making Sugarplums since Summer was a baby!!
Sugarplums have been a favorite treat for ALL my children!
As far as I know....THIS is the FIRST picture I have of all FOUR of my kids rolling sugarplums!
I made the dough the day before and after it is well chilled you roll it into balls and then roll the balls in candy 'sprinkles'.  We divided it up and all four kids got to take their share home with them!
It is much like 'Chocolate Butter' as someone once described them!

All pics do not turn out as well as we would like! However, I DID want to be included!

After the Christmas Letters and Sugarplums.....NUTS is my favorite Christmas activity!
Or ANYTIME! I LOVE playing NUTS!!! A super fast card game Solitaire on steroids!

I USUALLY win!!! This!
Benjamin must have been saving up because he won FOUR games straight!
Amber finally got a win in for the girls (although it is an individual WIN teams!).
MIKE won the next round and he is a very deliberate player as befitting an engineer.....
 I don't believe he has EVER won before! Summer won one round but this Christmas Eve the males ruled!

I did not get very many good pics from our Christmas morning celebration at my sister, Nita's, home!
Their tree is beautiful....complete with a vintage train.....TWO of them circling the base! These are from the 1950's.
We all participate in what is called a Chinese Christmas Tree. Everyone brings a gift. You draw a number and go in order to open a gift from under the tree. The person holding #1 opens the first gift. The person who drew #2 can either open a new gift from under the tree OR take the gift opened by #1! This can get confusing! After three 'takers' the gift is frozen! We all have fun with this!
We came out out on the winning side this year!

I came home with TWO winners! TWO hand painted glass lamps! did a GREAT job on these! They are now in my bedroom and I LOVE them!

AND I was the ultimate owner of the desired 2011 Calendar made by Leah!
This calendar features some pretty cool 'vintage' pictures as well as current ones of our family!

Christmas with my daughters......Amber and Summer!

AND my sons, Benjamin and Jesse!

Grandchildren.....Sam, Levi and Faith!

Sabrina and PRIZE son in law of whom I did not get a single pic of him alone!

and......Baby Abigail Rayne Parks!!

The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree:
the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other.

Burton Hillis



  1. So wonderful, Linda. Happy that your were all together!

  2. Looks like you've had a lovely family Christmas, Linda. Best wishes from the north of Scotland for the rest of the holiday season.

  3. what a nice Christmas with your lovely family...