From the second we arrived home to Canada we were completely wrapped up in all things Christmas.
The smell of fresh pine boughs greeted us in a gust of cold air as soon as we opened the front door.
Every warm and cozy hall in my parents house was truly decked with boughs of holly, and with ornaments, and with nativities, and with sprigs of red and gold. 
Candy and nut trays were filled (and kept filled I might add) and set out in strategic locations for easy access throughout the holiday season. 
And our welcome home dinner of brown sugar roasted salmon, sweet potatoes, and Brussel sprouts also seemed somehow wintery and festive.
Every sense was feasting on all things Christmas from the get go.
The card playing started that very evening, right after dinner. 
We hit Christmas in full swing.

Typically it is difficult to keep the momentum going when you have such a delightfully perfect start to a holiday, but each day home was more fun, more family filled, more lovely than the last.
Nearly every night we welcomed another family member home with cheers, and hugs all around.
So the house was in a steady and constant stream of increasing bodies, gifts, and laughter.
It was as perfect a Christmas as ever I can remember.

It reminds me just how much I ache to have them all living so much closer -- everyone move to Utah already! 
I wish that they were around for the casual day to day stuff. 
For running to the grocery store, or going on walks, or meeting up for lunch, those low key last minute type of things. 
I can't help but feel like we are missing out a little.
But the trade off is totally worth it.

Because a couple of times a year all 18 of us come home and live under the same roof.
And it may be short lived, those few weeks together, but never does it feel more like we are a family then when we are spending those late nights and early mornings together.
All the talking, and laughing, and planning our days together. 
Staying up until 3:30 in the morning playing games, then watching movies, then in hysterics in the living room over less than nothing, none of us being able to break away and actually go to bed.
Cooking breakfasts, and lunches, and dinners, and cleaning up, and sitting around in our pajamas, and playing games all day and into the night, and talking each other into doing things we don't want to do but end up having so much fun doing them anyways. 

I can't imagine not ever living all together again, even if it is just for these few short weeks a couple times a year.
It's just like old times.
But maybe even a little bit better. 





 
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