Normally on the Eve of Xmas Eve we go to our friend Rick’s Restaurant, La Tavola for a private family and friends party with tons of scrumptious food and lots of fun. Unfortunately, this year they’re not able to have the party so we are going there for a family dinner instead. Daniel’s girlfriend, Audrey and her mom are also joining us.
Beth and I have spent, what feels like, a 1000 hours making gifts for everyone (you would think that would mean I wouldn’t spend as much buying gifts, but no.) We ended up making 250 magnets, about 6 journals and Beth made 14 necklaces for her friends.
She also spent about 6 hours working on my apron (I haven’t seen it but I’ve been blindfolded for a few fittings) that I asked her to make me for Xmas. Beth and Thomas made more beaded candy canes for gift bags. Today, Beth & Dan will be making chocolate candies. They did that a few years ago when Beth wasn’t nearly as enjoyable to work with. There were many tantrums during that chocolate making adventure. This time around should be much more pleasant. Beth also has plans to make some stuffed snow man dolls for her 4 younger girl cousins.
Then tomorrow is Xmas Eve, we’ll finish up wrapping and gathering all of our gifts then head to my mom’s house around 2 when she gets home from work. Aunt Pauline will be meeting us over there. Mom has a few gift giving games planned that we include Shauna and kids in thanks to the computer and a web-cam. Plus we always try to play a few board games with the kids. Then George and Melissa will be coming over to visit, eat dinner and do a gift exchange. Dan and Thomas will be leaving at some point to go to Mass with Dan’s parents. Santa Claus used to come visit us, bring the kids each one present and stay for pictures. But ever since the population has increased he just doesn’t have time for all of that. Now he just drops off the presents at the door, rings his bell, then heads off to the next house.
Then we spend the night at moms so we can get up super duper early Xmas morning to open presents! Aunt Pauline is going to go home this year so she can sleep in her bed and not be stuck on the couch. Hopefully, she’ll wake up early and make it back before the kids all wake up. As they have gotten older we have started opening presents a bit later. Instead of everyone being up at 4:30 it’s more like 6:30 now.
As for Xmas Day we stay at moms until about noon. Then we make a quick pit stop at home to drop off all our goodies and grab our gifts for Dan’s family. The kids are not allowed into the living room when we’re at home so they can’t see what Santa has brought for them to our house. Then we head over to Joe and Marilyn’s for Xmas with all of Dan’s family, all 26 of us (if Carol is in town.) Everyone meets at Dan’ parents around 2:00. We do the huge family gift exchange first then we all eat dinner.
We’re usually the first to leave since we haven’t been home yet to open our gifts. So around 5 we head home to finally see what Santa has brought us. After we’re done with all the gift giving we watch a new movie together (where I promptly fall asleep.) After the movie Dan will head to bed and I will stay up to attempt to clean up the house and put away some of the new toys that have by this point over taken the house.
The day after Xmas was declared, by me many years ago, to be an official holiday. Where no one is allowed to leave the house so we can stay home all day to play with all our new toys. This year Daniel will be breaking tradition, by leaving us at 8am to go on vacation to North Carolina with Audrey and her family. That’s very sad for us but very exciting for him.
And that is our Xmas holiday in a nutshell. Man I’m tired just thinking about it!