If you read my post about my favorite things about the seasons , you'll remember that my favorite part of winter is the Annual Brown Family Christmas Party where we take the Brown tradition of a Christmas program filled with skits and talents and amp it up with our Mackley goofiness which results in an afternoon filled with tons of food, silly skits, and hilarity. This year was scheduled to be held at Brad and Dorothy's house in American Fork. Too bad the snow storm of the century was scheduled to hit that afternoon. We figured that we would be okay getting there and the roads back would be difficult. Ohhh, were we wrong. After Dad, Mom and I drove through Salt Lake City with holiday traffic and three inches of slushy snow, they made an executive parental decision and told the rest of the family to stay put. We were very happy when we made it to Brad's house in one piece but rattled after a very l o n g five hour drive (I-84 was closed so we had to detour to Pocatello and come down I-15).I'm glad we made it because even though our party was smaller than expected we had a delicious lunch of shredded roast beef sandwiches (wants some? we have LOTS of leftovers!), my tasty vegi tray with double servings of olives (I love you Daniel and Loriel!), and mom's scrumptious potato salad. Plus, since there were only eight of us, we were all able to eat at the dinner table... in one room. weird. :) We missed the rest of the family, of course, and especially Lisa's chip and dip, Erica's fruit and dip, and dippy Chris's spinach salad (sorry Chris, I had to make the sentence parallel!).
We do a gift exchange, which was a little tricky with only half the family in American Fork and the other half in Syracuse but we still managed to enjoy some Christmas cheer!
(Dorothy's dad, Kay, Brad, and Grandpa Brown share a joke)
I had Brad and Dorothy's name for Christmas. This spring when the kids came to visit we played Taboo where you are given a word and you try to get your teammates to say it, but you're not allowed to say certain words. The best one was,
Loriel: "Mom has one of these on the glass outside the house when you try to get in and during a season near halloween it has eyes that pop out and sings."
Daniel: "Oh! a wreath!"
When I told the story, it cracked the whole room up. I think they're really going to enjoy it... or at least I hope they will enjoy it when they pull it out for parties or for Family Home Evening. Daniel and Loriel, you'll have to let me know what some of your funny clues were the next time you play!!!
After presents, we went downstairs for comfortable chairs for a slightly broken Aunt Cindy and a sound system for a slightly deaf Grandpa Brown. Since we were short on acts we got to hear their whole performance from that morning (that we missed because we were still driving!) so I was thrilled that we still got to see it. Even better, we got to see it in the comfort of the basement :). Here are a few of the highlights.
First, the Von Trapp Family Singers... Opps, I mean the Brown Family Singers sang, "Angels We Have Heard on High," with Brad on bass, Daniel on tenor, Dorothy on alto, and Loriel on soprano.
Next is Loriel singing, "Born is the Light of the World". Please excuse the sound but I recorded it on my phone! who knew?! If you'll listen to the first minute and a half you'll be shocked at the voice that comes out of that tiny thirteen year old! It even made Grandpa Brown cry a little.
When I was telling the Syracuse folks about their performances, I told them about Daniel's two performances. It made us proud that he has such expression and dramatic presentation and may I venture to say a certain flair of Brown Family Christmas Party goofiness. Were proud to call you a Brown!!!
Here are Mother and Daughter singing, "What Child Is This". It was a complicated arrangement where sometimes the alto part was singing melody and the soprano singing harmony as well as a cannon part where they did a kind of a round. Gorgeous, you guys!!! It still gives me chills to think about it!
We did a rousing group production of Jingle Bells as the Brown Jug Band with Daniel on funnel horn, Brad and Grandma Brown on sandpaper blocks, Grandpa Brown on Bass Jug, Dorothy on kazoo-slash-wax-paper-on-a-plastic-comb, Loriel on washboard, Grandpa Thomas on jingle bells, and Cindy (not pictured) on shakers ('cuz I'm a mover and a ... wait for it.... shaker!).
As a fitting finale we had a 53rd year return of Angie the Christmas Tree Angel. I know, I know. Angie doesn't look 54 years old. But over the last several years Sweet Angie has been played by Grandpa Brown, Brad and now Daniel. Doesn't Sweet Angie look pretty?!
A favorite memory for the family of Sweet Angie is the year that Mom and Dad remodeled the kitchen: replacing the sub floor, clearing out the soffit, six week without a kitchen sink (it was in the back yard), custom cabinets, and new flooring. That was the year Sweet Angie said she was all dressed up in "Sawdust and tinsel." Sawdust and tinsel?! Oh my gosh! I think were all going to die from laughter! All Brown Family Christmas Parties end with a Sweet Angie performance. Enjoy!
Stay tuned for Part 2 of the Brown Family Christmas Party scheduled with Trevor's family in Burley on December 24th! :)