christmas that is.
you probably thought we skipped it this year.
we did not.
but i would feel ungrateful if i didn't document our fabulous holiday.
we spent it in canada.
and it was simultaneously relaxing, hilarious, and fun.
one of those really great combinations for a christmas holiday.
everyone but elder petey was home.
{he is serving an lds mission in england until july.}
still 14 of us, 'cause pete had a substitute this year - tim's friend ryan.
{it was amusing having two ryans in the house.}
so chronologically it went like this:

christmas eve-eve:
tiffany {my cous} & jimmy {her spouse} joined us all day.
badminton and basketball at the church gym.
visiting, laughing & reminiscing.
dinner & dessert.
while we're home we rotate dinner nights.
ryan & i made chicken pot pie & salad on christmas eve-eve.
avery helped and tasted a lot.

christmas eve:
the traditional spread:
hors d'oeuvres & appetizers aplenty!
our favorites of the night?
1. jonny's stuffed mushrooms
2. grandmas fresh, still warm amadama rolls
3. mom's now famous apricot cranberry cheese spread
4. mini cream puffs {of course}
but truly, everything was delicious!
the mama & papa looking fabulous.

tara and grandma all aflutter from all the christmas activity.

some of the siblings awaiting the go-ahead.

post-dinner pre-pajama sister posing in front of the tree.

you would think after so many years of the christmas pajama tradition,
we would be better able to control the laughter.
no such luck. here is the girls attempt:
and the boys attempt:
benji & avery looking cute & festive.
{we all got the giggles after noticing how ben's little tummy stretched his p.j.'s tight.}
and this year a break from tradition!
since there were already 11 of us sleeping upstairs,
tara, tim, & katey joined us up there & slept in the hallway.
{instead of the usual basement turned bedroom.}
snug as bugs in a rug!
ry & i, after retiring to our bed chambers,
realized we had no pictures of the two of us.
the problem was quickly solved.

the customary gathering in parents room before the descent.
we had all stayed up until around 2:00 am
putting the kitchen together and fulfilling other santa duties.
consequently no one except avery was up until 9:00 am on christmas morning.
youngest to oldest parade down to see this:
the wood family was the center of all our attention with
ben and avery so excited for their kitchen.
avery fondly said: "i just love this kitchen. it's so white!"
and our little corner of the room:
to ryan:
-tickets to brian reagan
-new racquetball racket
-bird feeder & birdseed

to leah:
-90 minute stone massage
-table calendar organizer
-personalized recipe book

to the reigles:
-food storage {yeah!}

dad received this hat all the way from jolly ol' england from peter.
we immediately requested a line of:
"that'll do pig." he complied and we giggled.
anyone else see the resemblance?
looks good on him, no?
so. many. games.
in addition to the usual {rook, scrabble, blokus}
we played a celebrity type game and
something about popcorn that was actually about movies.
remington sisters before christmas dinner.
brads angle of the whole family at dinner.
dad's angle of the whole family at dinner.
just look at everyones faces!
dad also prepared the entire turkey dinner. mmmm!
we all agreed staying in your pajamas all day long is one of the best things about christmas. the woods are hard-core on this point. i absolutely love it! and them!

boxing day:
saw us in waterton for the day.
{it's a beautiful national park only 20 minutes from home.}
i don't know how this tradition even started.
but despite all good sense, every winter we spend a day in a camp kitchen.
it's usually freezing cold, and it's always windy.
we bring games, start a fire, take a picnic, and bunker down inside a wooden igloo.
we're a big reading family. the popular read this year was dan browns the lost symbol. luckily both dad & jordan got one for christmas, so we had two copies to fight over juggle.

we went shopping.
{i think the boys especially loved this.}
we shoveled snow.
ben wanted so badly to join the fun.
ryan played a lot with avery & sammy in the snow.
it was hard to tell who was having the most fun between them.
dad persistently worked on warming the kids up to sammy.
they both {especially avery} love the idea of him,
but are clever enough to be wary when he is close enough to lick them.
ben giggled an awful lot. it was adorable.
both avery & benj were preoccupied by ornaments much of the holiday.
they were both really good about not touching them.
but they would stand there and look.
and doesn't avery look like christmas personified?
and my favorite picture of the season thanks to tara. she captured perfectly the stress and intensity of what is a remington game of scrabble.
dad's a tough nut to crack at the scrabble table.