Monday, December 25, 2017

A Glimpse of Our Christmas

It all began on Saturday with the movie---The Greatest Showman. OMGosh! It was fabulous---maybe the best movie I've seen this year---and I've seen a lot of movies! I love Hugh Jackman. He can do it all---sing, dance, act. Go see it! Stephanie, Mindy, Morgan, Jordan and her friend Paige all loved it too. As soon as I got home, I did this:
I put the soundtrack on so I could listen to the music again. I loved it so much that I'm going to see it again with Connie next week. It's the story of P.T. Barnum and how he started his circus. I love period pieces to begin with. This one was great.

Saturday night, Stephanie, Nicky, Mindy and Justin moved in. We played poker all evening. They stayed up way later than me. I called it a night around 11:15---AND after losing $12.50. It wasn't my night.

Christmas Eve begins with a big breakfast---bacon, eggs, biscuits, gravy, hash brown casserole and fruit salad. Jordan brought her friend Paige. Andrew (Jordan's boyfriend) was there too. After breakfast, we had our secret santa exchange. Stephanie arranges it. We are all informed of our person and the theme via a website. It's all secret---no one---not even Stephanie knows who has who. Last year was the first year. The theme was that you had to purchase a gift that began with the first initial of your secret person. We have a $15 limit. I drew Butch and gave him a case of Bush's Best Barbecue Beans and Beer!

This year, the theme was "It's a snow day!" There were so many creative gifts. I drew Nicky and gave him a sherpa throw ($5.00 at Target) and a Movie magazine of all the 1980's movies. I thought he would have fun checking off all the movies he saw during the 80's while snuggled under the throw!

Andrew drew me. He gave me the cutest mug---clear with polar bears around the top. He included some premium hot chocolate. When you have your drink in the cup, the polar bears appear to be swimming! I'll have to post a photo when I use it for the first time. The gifts were so creative. Jordan got a Christmas Pokemon sweatshirt from Nicky (yes, she's 23 and still in to Pokemon!) I already have forgotten the others, but they were good!

After breakfast, we did our food prep for Christmas Eve and Christmas dinner.
Here are Morgan and Butch on Christmas eve---before gift opening. Some family members put on Christmas jammies. Butch disappeared and came out with his! I didn't even know he had any Christmas clothes! I didn't have anything. But then Mindy gave me some Toms that had Christmas lights on them. I put them on right away. I found out the next day that the shoes actually light up! An added bonus. So cute.
Mindy and Justin in their Christmas finery. They even had Mickey mouse flannel pajama bottoms that they put on later.

We do pick up foods while we open gifts. We had: boiled shrimp, beef tenderloin sandwiches on Sister Shubert rolls with homemade horseradish cream, meatballs in bbq sauce, mushroom crustades, spinach balls, the Donnellan family cheese ball, crab spread, green onion dip, sausage balls, cheese  cubes and summer sausage.

And then there is the dessert tray. Mindy was in charge of keeping it replenished this year.
The only things I made were the pecan balls and chocolate chip cookies in the center. Mindy made the peanut butter kisses. The little sugar cookies came from our realtor. My friend, Nancy made the pralines (I look forward to them every year--they are awesome), Sara, my garden girl dropped off the homemade chocolates and frosted cookies and Christy, my interior designer sent some gourmet chocolates. Besides this, I had ordered "bundtinis" from Everything Bundt Cake. I forgot to snap a picture.

Stephanie, Jordan,  her friend, Paige, Morgan and I drank champagne---
mostly so we can use my fancy glasses! I've collected 2 every year for a number of years now. Personally, I think water can seem fancy if you put it in a fancy glass!
 Butch arranges the gifts under the tree. I love how he makes it look so nice.
Notice the tree skirt that my mom made for all of us girls (Janet, Janice, Jennifer, Jeanne, Sharon and Joyce) in the 1970's. I made a quilted tree skirt myself in the 1980's, so this one was packed away for about 20 years or more. After mom died, I got it out and passed the one I made on to one of the girls. I don't know who will eventually get this one. It's about 44 years old now.

When it comes to the gifts, we each take turns opening. But first, we move all the furniture up against the wall. It's quite an ordeal and I didn't want to do it this year since we were only going to have 9 for gift opening. I was quickly overruled by Stephanie and Mindy with, "MOM! You can't just change the traditions!" I stayed out of it and let them have at it. Jordan declared herself the MC of gifts (just like last week at Sandy's). She likes handing out the presents. We started with the family gifts and then moved on to our gifts to everyone.. Butch collects the wrappings right away---no mess of wrapping paper and boxes everywhere. We're very neat and organized about the whole procedure. We have to be with this many people! You can hardly move as it is.

After the gift opening, we played several games. Then we had a dance party!
 Doesn't everybody? I'm going to try this video thing again:
Okay, I have to admit, this was our first Christmas dance party. But we had great music playing and you just can't sit still then! I was dancing too until I decided to take the video---plus I was tuckered out (this wasn't our first dance)! Another tradition in the making. I hope you enjoy it!

It was another late night. Christmas morning, we had to get the house put back in order because I had invited my bridge partner, Joan and her husband, Sam to join us for dinner. I can't stand the idea of people being along on Christmas. I feel so blessed that our Christmases are so much fun---we need to share! Jordan's friend, Paige didn't have anywhere to go this year either. She said she had a great time with us. The more the merrier.

Christmas dinner was all the regular stuff: turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, corn pudding, carrot casserole, green bean casserole, peas and Sister Shuber rolls (leftover from Christmas Eve). We ate about noon and finished by 1:30. Joan brought a pecan pie, so we had that sweet to add to our desserts. After dinner, I sent everybody home with food. Joan and Sam seemed really happy to have shared our Christmas. I sent them home with plenty of food too.

Jordan and Morgan came by in the afternoon to gather their stuff. They go to their other grandparents for Christmas day. I sent food with them too---and still I have a lot. I'm going to freeze some things. We'll see how that goes.

Butch and I had most of the kitchen cleaned up by 2:30. I napped, he watched football. I finished the clean up after and then just chilled for the evening. As much as I love all the craziness, I have to admit, I am happy to have some peace and quiet when it's over. I'm always amazed that they all want to stay here for a few days. When I asked Mindy about it, she said it's like a vacation. I guess so. You get to sleep in and just hang out, eat and drink. Everyone pitches in so the work is spread out. But I do like getting everything back in order when they leave.

How was your Christmas?

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