Saturday, December 17, 2011

Christmas with the Fam 2011

Christmas for us this year came early. My Ex Husband is battling cancer and my kids wanted to spend the Holiday with him this year instead of the usual split between us both. In order to facilitate this, and because I had the week between Christmas and New Year's off, Bruce and I planned to leave town. I made an impromptu plan to have a visit with my side of the family a week early. A quick call to Mother found her willing to hold the celebration at her house with all the decorations. She did a marvelous job putting together a tree full of Red Hat Snowmen. The whole house was decorated... everywhere you look, there's a Holiday SOMETHING! Nice job MOM!

Our family is getting bigger... We had Mother and Carla, Melissa and Michael, Brittney and Matt, Mark, Laura and Nathan. Quite enough people to fill Mother's little home with noise. I was in charge of the main course... Lasagna! We were done with the traditional Turkey and Dressing at Thanksgiving. I made a huge batch of Lasagna with plenty to send home with each of the girls and still have a couple to keep at home. I will say I overcooked the noodles and it could have used more salt, but I guess less salt isn't always a bad thing. Anyway, Carla brought a huge salad and Mother supplied the bread and dessert. Too many desserts!

Nathan was the entertainment.  He had spent some time at Mother's house recently, and while making snowmen for the tree, they made some soft fluffy "snowballs" that could be thrown in the house.  A snowball fight ensued and even Mark got in on the action.  Nathan worked up quite a sweat.  Evidently it takes a lot to lob a fake snowball.  Snowball fight over... time for dinner. The lasagna was toasty and everything was really good.  We had to find spots all over the house to eat, but nobody complained.  It was a cheese fest!

After the meal there was nothing left to do but open PRESENTS!  Bruce and I had brought all of our presents to be given out for the family and ourselves... except for those that we didn't even bother to wrap.  This was to be our only "Christmas".  Everyone else would be celebrating on Christmas Day with other family members.The tradition in our family is for the youngest member of the family to pass out the gifts wearing the obligatory Santa Hat.  Nathan is becoming quite a pro at reading all the tags.  He worked hard to get all the gifts passed out and stacked in front of the recipient.  That done... we start opening with the youngest and progress up through the ranks to the oldest.  That way everyone watches everyone else and we all get to see what the others got.

This year, Brittney's "Big" gift was a bedroom suit complete from dust ruffle to duvet covers and shams. 

Melissa got an ounce of Chanel No. 5.  Look it up!  I don't think that when she asked for it she realized that it would be her "Big" gift, but... you ask for it... you GOT IT!  I hope she likes it.  It really does smell nice.

I think everyone was happy with their haul. 

I know we were.Bruce and I did some shopping for ourselves as well.  This year, the only presents we asked for or bought would be things that could be used on the new boat and for cruising.  No stuff for the house... just "boat stuff".  We opened our stuff as it arrived via UPS.  No need to wrap the stuff and drag it over to Mother's house.  This Christmas was another baby step towards cruising. 

After the gift exchange, we all had dessert until our eyes glazed over...and we all started thinking how nice it would be to get into our jammies. It wasn't long before we all headed for the door.  It was a nice visit with the family.  I know Mark and Laura were a bit disappointed that we weren't able to come to their house on Christmas.  But they'll have plenty of fun with Mother and Carla, and Laura's parents there on Christmas Day.  The girls and their beaus will have fun at their Dad's house and Bruce and I will be on the road.  I would say for this pre-Christmas get together, a good time was had by all.