Four days before Christmas, Mark went to the doctor to find out about a pain in his abdomen, and it turned out to be an appendicitis! He had surgery that day, was in the hospital for two days, and was mostly immobile for the following ten days.
Christmas itself took a bit of a back-seat due to our situation with five kids and Mark's surgery. We were not able to go to our church's Christmas Eve service, which we were looking forward to.There were a few other traditions that were skipped out of necessity as well.
Christmas morning was a surprisingly pleasant time. The boys loved their presents. We noticed that we gave them the same thing as last year: Shoes, books and guns. The essentials. Only this year the guns fired Nerf darts instead of water.
On Christmas day Mark surprised the family with a Viola performance. He had been secretly taking lessons for 3 months. To the shock of those gathered, he played a few Christmas songs.
And on Christmas Evening, we all got together with the cousins for dinner and more presents. It seems like the Cousin Count increases by one each year. Aaron was last year's addition, and Maria is this year.