Wednesday, January 02, 2008


We do our celebration on Christmas Eve. Our family has gotten together since 1969 and celebrated on Christmas Eve with dinner, gifts, and then midnight Mass. Over the years as my mom got debilitated with knee replacements, we switched from celebrating at her house to taking turns at the three sisters' homes, hosting the dinner. Last year was my turn, and one sister opted out with her family; my mom's serious illness kept my parents from joining us. This year should have been the eldest sister's turn, but her illness precluded it, and I announced I would host the do. My aunt suggested having it back at my parents' and so my daughter and I ran the show from there. We were most grateful that my sister made it despite serious illness, and she pulled it together to see her grandchildren. My cousin and his wife joined us, for which we were extra grateful since thy had just had a death in the family.
Kate did the lions' share by showing up at 8AM (and feeding her grandparents a Dunkins Croissandwich treat) and plunking in the turkey. She did all the veggies up and any odd jobs. I got there for 1 pm and we made the stuffing and finished all the cooking. The vegetarian cooked the turkey; the celiac made the stuffing. The boys (who had 100 lbs of potatoes as a paternal gift) made the mashed praetes. Kate had made pies and candies; we had other folks bring desserts, and Mom & Kate picked up a gorgeous strawberry shortcake Mom ordered.
Rich and Corey and the kids came: Kay and Jordyn were highly entertained reading the tags on all the gifts now that they can read. The PeeWee Christmas Special was duly played; KD Lang in a dress was the highlight of the evening. Richie grabbed a toy ruler which he mistook for a phone and it was passed thru all the family for a conversation with Santa and handed back to him. Dan advised Santa to skip presents for the children and bring monkeys instead; the monkey theme is now central in their play. The dinner was good: turkey and ham, veggies of all kinds, two kinds of stuffing. The presents were fun; books and dvd's and clothes and gift cards. I must say that I outdid myself with the girls; a dress-up box full of costumes for each child. My personal amazing gift was a Roomba; can't wait to get it going and see the kitties' reaction.
We sent dessert home with the kids since they had to get back to the Cape, but we did have time for crackers. Word to the wise; a pill case is not the same as a yoyo.
We were all pretty exhausted by Christmas: four snowstorms in 7 days in addition to all the holiday work made it hectic. Three of my four stayed over for Christmas. I woke early for Mass and made it in time. We had the usual big breakfast. I burnt the first batch of bacon and was told by #4 that Mommy ruined Christmas. Then he burnt the toast and we were even. We did our presents, and they left at 4 for their paternal side. I headed to my sister's with a Christmas plate for Ted, then down to my parents for a cup of tea.
I had the day after off from work but spent it at the hospital with my sis, who was so ill she was admitted. It made me even more grateful that we had such a good holiday all together. The best part was spending time with the kids and being with my own kids in the morning. The best present is being together!

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