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Monday, December 19, 2016

Home for the Holidays

Hi Blog!

On Thursday, December 15, 2016, we flew back to Washington, D.C. to spend the holidays with family. The first big gathering of the season is the annual Pollyanna Party held the Sunday before Christmas. It has come to our attention that folks outside of the Philadelphia area have never heard of a Pollyanna Party. According to World Wide Words the term first appeared in print in 1947, but is not widely used today (except in the Philadelphia area). It is basically a gift exchange or Secret Santa. 

Back in the day, Mom use to organize the gift exchange. Family members wrote their name and three wishes on a piece of paper. Mom would then collect them and hand them out making sure one didn't get their spouse or adult child. As Mom got older, the fam switched over to The exchange is now organized by email, but the fun is still the same.

On Sunday, December 18, 2016, we drove up to the Philadelphia area to Kathy's sister's house. In order to sustain us for the long drive, we started the day with a big breakfast. Here is Sir William helping to prepare baozi - lovely stuffed steamed buns. Ours were stuffed with either sweet nuts and seeds or pork and veggies. Just what we needed to get the day started off right.

Of course, it wouldn't be a Pollyanna Party without Christmas sweaters. Here is Dave sporting his favorite Christmas sweater along with a pair of wolf ears that William got at Great Wolf Lodge.

Presiding over the family gathering is Kathy's Mom's sister. She's really a sister - Sister Jane Hill, S.J. Next to Aunt Jane is brother Steve. He is not a brother brother, but is Kathy's brother and the oldest of the McNee kids.

The newest member of the clan is Holly. At 10 months old, this is her first Christmas. Parents T.O. and Michelle are so excited for Holly to meet the rest of the family. Holly is not so sure. There are some pretty ugly sweaters in the room!

Aunt Barb is helping Nick Morrison, Jr. open his presents.

Matt and William get into the swing of it.

"R" proudly displays his new Harry Potter game.

Jen and Drew did their best to appear merry despite the Eagles loss.

Vicki and Michelle - cookie baking cousins!

It didn't take the boys long to get down to some serious play.

Great Aunt Kathy face-timing with Holly-berry.

While Great Aunt Leenie and Great Uncle Dave keep Little Nick entertained.

Sir William takes a spin around the house riding the Christmas Flamingo!

Matt and Drew commiserate during the Eagles post-game show. There is just not enough eggnog in Wawa to make this season any better.

Uncle Tom entertains "R" and William with math questions on a pocket calculator. (It's an accounting thing.)

Of course, it wouldn't be a Pollyanna Party without presents for the kids.

As for the adults, several family members took the opportunity to designate their favorite charity to receive a monetary gift this season. For it is in giving that we receive.

Stay tuned for more holiday mayhem!

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