To start off, here’s a link to a Flickr album of our Christmas Eve and Christmas Day festivities (since the embedded slideshow feature seems to be broken). For more details of the festivities, read on…
For Christmas Eve, we hosted Aaron’s brother, his cousin Nate and Nate’s two kids, and my Mom and her new husband. That’s seven adults and two kids total, including us. That meant bringing the card table up from the basement, as our dining room table only seats six comfortably.
(Note that only the Post-Millennial/Gen Z noticed that I was taking an overhead photo at the dining room table with my iPhone; everyone else was too engrossed in Christmas dinner.)
Appetizers included Christmas cookies (it’s a family tradition on my husband’s side to have cookies out before dinner), Mom’s fudge, my brother-in-law’s shrimp, and Nate’s spinach dip. Dinner was the traditional spiral-sliced ham (stored in the deep freeze since the Easter ham sale last April), homemade cranberry sauce, and sides.
Of course, to ensure my Mom had a white Christmas as her final Christmas up north for a while, the snow started coming down in earnest around the time the guests arrived. I got the impression that the guests who had to travel an hour or more to join us (so, everyone except my brother-in-law) were slightly preoccupied by the idea of their drive home.
Aaron and I spent a little while after Christmas dinner cleaning up and packing up leftovers for everyone, after which we opened presents. Connor got to play Santa (since, well, he’s the shortest and can reach beneath the tree the easiest), and we all opened the presents we had for one another — including the ones Connor bought at the Holiday Shop at school, like the bright yellow watch he got me, the pen he got Aaron, and the Pikachu keychain he got Grandpa Jim. Connor’s favorite present was probably a tie between the Voltron from Grandpa Jim and the Snap Circuits set from his uncle.
Literally as soon as the last present was opened, Jim and Grammy started packing up to head home, and Nate and crew were close behind. Not that I blame them — it was looking pretty sloppy out there. We were glad we’d already cleaned up and packed up the leftovers for our guests! We were also glad we didn’t have anywhere to go ourselves, and that my brother-in-law only lives about a half hour away. He hung out a while longer before heading out and leaving us to a quiet Christmas Eve at home.
That night, of course, Santa arrived.
On Christmas morning, Connor and I went downstairs to see what presents Santa had in store for us. Connor got over 100 Pokemon cards, plus a beanbag chair and a bunch of other awesome stuff. Santa left me a bunch of awesome stuff, too, but the big one was a 23andMe DNA analysis kit.
Since we had all morning to play with Santa’s bounty, Connor didn’t mind waiting to open the rest of the presents until after Dad got up and showered and we went out for our traditional Chinese dim sum Christmas Day lunch.
Well, he didn’t mind too much, anyway.
Amongst the presents we got one another, Dad’s big present was a new Kindle Paperwhite, my big present was a new vacuum sealer for use with my sous vide appliance (which was last year’s big surprise present), and Connor got a bunch of awesome stuff, including a Transformer and stackable Kirby figurines and lots of books.
It’s been a fun holiday, but I must admit that I’ll be glad to get back to a normal routine after this week.