“A Baby Changes Everything”- Faith Hill

I heard this song a few years ago on the Adoption Christmas Special on TV and Faith Hill was talking about being adopted and she sand this song in true Christmas Spirit and it’s now in my rotation as a Holiday Favorite.

It also lets me begin this post with a fun fact: I have wanted to adopt since I was about 16. I have gone so far as to research laws in other countries about adoption. I personally want to adopt from South Africa if I can or within the United States. I am not baby hungry- I would prefer a toddler or a slightly older child. Ones that get looked over.

Honestly I am completely opening to fostering teens.

I had some medical issues a while back that put children in “probably not an option” category and I was almost..relieved. Not that I don’t think babies are great and all that jazz. But I have so much love to give- and who says a family has to be biological children only?

But enough about family-to-be and more about the right now.

The Siblings

It’s CHRISTMAS EVE! I love Christmas Eve- on my mom’s side of the family we always do a huge tree with tons of presents. My mom has three siblings- David (+ his wife Yvonne), Gail(+ Her husband Alan) and Meg (+ her husband Johnny).

Eating Christmas Eve Lunch at Aunty Meg’s B&B in Durban

They each have children. Dave has: Sean, Kiron, Jonathan, and Ryan. (Both Ryan and Jono are married and Ryan has two kids.) Gail has: Tarryn ( + her hubby Jason and her daughter Tristy… and a nugget on the way!!!), Stacey( + her husband Mike and a Nugget on the way!!!!) and Angela. And Meg has Candy ( + her hubby and three beautiful daughters) and Samantha ( + her hubby and two beautiful daughters.)

Christmas Eve Dinner- No one does it like we do… Dance Party, Sing-A-Long, Shots and jumping into the pool

So… as you can see- that’s a heck of a lot of presents to fit under one tree. But as kids we all went to Aunty Gail’s in Waterkloof Ridge or Aunty Meg’s in Durban ( I will be there soon!!!) and we had a huge tree and a mountain of presents to hand out. And Christmas Eve was spent together as a family, opening presents, eating mountains of food and swimming.

The Rae men + Uncle Andre. Basically- the longest talking section of the table. And the most likely to debate.

Then Christmas Day is always spent with my dad’s side of the family. Usually at my Aunty Les’s place. We see his brother Robin and his wife and their son Vincent and then Lesley’s husband Andre, and daughters Nicole and Camille ( each who are married and have two fabulous children).

One of my favorite photos- taken two Christmas’ ago at my aunt’s place. My dad, his brother, his nephew and my gramps. My dad is screwed- just look at those eyebrows he has to look forward to.

It’s always a great time with them and we open round two of presents and have a lazy lunch and then a swim and then a lazy dinner and lots of cocktails. Because it’s super hot and wonderful in South Africa.

I miss Christmas in South Africa- but there is something to be said for hot cocoa and cold weather and snow on the ground. For Tacky Lights and Holiday madness.

And here we have new traditions.

Every Christmas Eve we rent a movie and order Chinese food and open one present- usually from our family in South Africa.

Here’s us as a group. Miss these guys!

We usually have Christmas day dinner with a bunch of misfit South African families.

And we spend all day on Skype- calling and getting in touch with everyone we can. Saying our ” I love you’s!” and “Merry Christmas!” to all.

The Troutman’s!!

Or current family makes a trip to us- or us to them in Atlanta 🙂

Looking at all these photos- I am so blessed. I have a family that I love and adore in all parts of the world. And I have grown up with some amazing Christmas Traditions.

I hope you and your family enjoy and celebrate this special Holiday with as much love and fun as we do.

I wish you all a Merry Christmas!



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