We finished school on a Thursday. Whew. Christmas parties were done. Classrooms were shut down for the break. CC and I had planned for this last Christmas before sending Firstborn to college that we would travel somewhere fun. We'd keep the budget small, which would mean awful flight schedules and basic hotels, but we wanted to do it. He desperately wanted to show them Scotland. And after seeing it for our anniversary, there was no place I'd rather go! Our flight left the Sunday after we got out of school. So, we had the little tiny window of Friday and Saturday for Christmas to celebrate before we left.
I have this very happy memory of this little day preparing for Christmas. Everyone needed presents for everyone. We'd been so busy with school and basketball and everything else, we had not really had time to prepare. So, CC drove us all down to the closest little mall. After shopping for about an hour, we left with just a few small things and a few big promises that, "I'll buy you a gift in Scotland!"
But it was so fun to see my kids thinking of each other. Sweet Cheeks and I only managed to find a giant Toblerone chocolate bar for CC. We just found nothing else for anyone. So, we went across the street and bought coffees!
...and she got something wonderful called a "New Year's Cake." Looks awfully Christmassy to me!
And on the way home, Firstborn mentioned she didn't want to leave Turkey without a Turkish teapot. So, her sisters had me stop in the grocery store and bought her one. No one spent too much, but they were just so thoughtful of one another.
Saturday morning, we had Christmas breakfast with egg casserole, birthday cake for Jesus (cinnamon rolls), and cheese grits. With wassail of course. I've been making that for Christmas all 20 years I've been married to him.
That theme of thoughtfulness carried over into our Christmas day. Twinkle had stayed up late the night before creating a hand-painted card with a beautiful letter for each of us.
The girls found their papa a lion mug, our school mascot.
Firstborn spotted some hedgehog house shoes. You do remember we had a "pet" hedgehog for a few hours. He ran laps on our balcony all night. We set him free...
And she made her sisters a shadow box collage of all their ticket stubs and souvenirs from their summer trip to NYC.
And just as we left Moscow last Spring, she spotted a little frame in the outdoor market. She bought it and made me a tiny memory box of our trip. The gifts were small, but very much from the heart. Christmas in Turkey has always been simple. And I love it that way.
That night Aunt B stopped by to deliver some gifts. Can you believe she found me a tiered dessert plate in Stockholm with a Scottish castle on it? Now that's thoughtful!
In the afternoon, I cleaned out my fridge of the fresh produce and veggies that would not keep while we were gone. We drove over to our new friends' house to see if they could use it. This was a family that we met while my Bible class delivered gifts for an outreach. I was happy my kids got to meet them as well.
That night, we quickly threw things into our bags. Our plane tickets were cheap, so we didn't have any checked bags. 10 days in Scotland with carry-ons! The Campbells can do it!