Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Our Christmas Present

This year as a Christmas present to our family, we wanted to give them all something more than a gift card or trinket. We value our relationship with each one of them so much, and as I get older and wiser I have really started to depend on them for support, knowing that when everything else is broken a strong family bond can fix things. I've said in the past that Jim and I are "foodies in training" and that we have a real appreciation for good food and great service. While eating at one of our favorite places last month I remember thinking "this food is SO great, I wish my family was here to enjoy it too!" 

Now, I realize that the last sentence up there sounded cheesy, but I'm not kidding when I say "appreciation for food." There are some restaurants that we have eaten at that give me a true sense of satisfaction and enjoyment. This food isn't there to simply meet a need-calories ingested to provide energy and sustain life-this kind of food is savored. As I thought about wanting to share this experience with my family a few things came to mind:

1. My modest family probably wouldn't go on a "date" or choose a restaurant this fancy
2. My family probably won't drive the 45 minute drive out here to join us, unless I make it special
3. My family probably wouldn't take a kid-free night out unless told to

So we talked about it and did the math and decided that spending $20-30 a person for a meal with great memories was better than spending $20-30 on each person for a DVD and stocking stuffer. I can't tell you how many time's I've said to Jim "what did so-and-so get us last year?" Or "what did we get them last year again? I can't remember, can you?" We didn't want that to be our verdict year after year, so we went on a quest to make some memories. (And we did!)

We went to a place that I've actually blogged about before, Chelsea's Kitchen!
Julia snuck back and took this picture-she told me to come with but I was too afraid to end up looking like the paparazzi and get in trouble...The head chef came up and introduced himself and told her to take all the pictures she wanted...Me = 0, Julia = 1
This is Greg and Julia Hull. They have been part of our family for the last nine years and have been nothing but a blessing on us. Julia did a blog post on this as well which had me blushing. 
My sister and brother-in-law...not looking at the camera. Okay I think we might have been acting "paparazzi" here. (Yes I just made that into an adjective. You know, where too many people are taking pictures and you don't know which one to look at-I should trademark that one.)
Another example.
Sister, dad, mom.
Jim Bob and myself. He's so cute.
Here's the group shot (and all of our purses). Check out my cute preggo sister-in-law, due in just a few weeks! I can't wait to meet baby Zoe Mae! (Baby "sprinkle" blog post is going up soon.)

So we all got a little gussied up, got some babysitters, and drove ourselves up to Chelsea's Kitchen in Arcadia. Man do I love good comfort food and a chic atmosphere. I'm pretty sure my family does too now! It's true what Joey from Friends says "there's no unselfish good deed," because I felt GREAT after giving this gift to my family! 

Seriously though, we had so much fun doing this with/for our family. We made fun memories and giggled and laughed. I'm pretty sure that we'll be doing it again next year, and while there may not be physical presents to open on Christmas morning....well it doesn't really matter, we're all adults and somewhat over present time anyway! Jim will just dress up as Santa this year and pass out lovely cards instead of gifts-I mean otherwise what is he going to do with his Santa outfit?

Keep it real,


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