Monday, January 6, 2014

that christmas review post... part uno

So I know it was already like, two whole weeks ago, but I didn't blog at all during the break, so I need to do a little review.  So, fair warning:  long-winded holiday recap ahead.  Gratuitous family pictures included!

Christmas was really good here this year.  Really good and super hectic.  As I expected, my procrastinating caught up with me and I was wrapping gifts til 1 am on Christmas morning.  Every year I tell myself that I will get it done early, and every year I wait til the last possible minute and am really sorry that I did.  At least I didn't run out of boxes and wrapping paper, like last year!  And at least my kids are bigger now, and I don't have twenty annoying toys with 897 tiny pieces to put together while propping my eyelids open with toothpicks or anything.

Oh, but I so remember those days...

So anyway, we go to a small dinner party at my mom's house on Christmas Eve Eve.  That's pretty much adult only, and that was fun.  I like that get-together, because a few of my cousins on my Dad's side are there, and we always have a good time together.  

Mom with me, Chrissie and Amanda (The Aussies), and Ty.  Ignore my round face.
Mom always makes such a great dinner.  Basically, we sit around eating, drinking and yapping in nice clothes.  The only difference from your average sister-hang day is the nice clothes, and yummier food.  I picked Kara and her two Australian friends from the train that night, and Kara was all cranky, like a cranky traveler.  It was funny.  I didn't engage, so that was good, and we didn't argue.  I waited for her super nice apology for being moody at me before we left the parking lot.  Originally, because of her work schedule, I didn't expect to see her til the next day - I'm so glad they were able to get in earlier than expected though.  Who wants to travel on Christmas Eve?  T-Bone was all tipsy and yelled "Fuck Australia!" at the Australians.  I was thinking that might have not gone over too well, but the girls seemed to roll with it.  I think Kara gave them a heads up on excessive drinking/uncle behavior, so they weren't too offended?  I hope?

One sucky thing happened!  Like, a few days before Christmas, we got this weird heat wave, and all of the awesome snow melted!!  I was like, wtf.  I really was hoping for a snowy Christmas... those are the best kinds of Christmases!  Then I was thinking maybe we'd get a Christmas fucking miracle and a few flakes would fly, but they didn't.  Wah!  Oh well.

So Kara spent the night at Mom's house with her Aussie friends because it was just too hectic at home.  I was stressing because I really did not have enough decent space for three extra people.  Mom did though, so that worked out really well.  The next morning, they all came home to our house to get ready for Christmas Eve at my Dad's.  Though, as usual, we ended up hanging far too long at Ali's fireplace, and had to rush to get to Dad's in a timely fashion.  In my defense, Ali's fireplace is very inviting...  I tend to visit it often in the winter.  My very special chair is right by the fireplace.  It's a rather cozy glider, and they always give it up for me, which is like, the best thing ever.

We went to Dad's in the early afternoon for more eating, drinking and yapping in nice clothes, but this time presents were included!  And kids!  My Dad's wife spends like, a ridiculous amount of time in the kitchen making dinner every year, and as always, it was amazing.  I was so full from appetizers by the time dinner came out I could barely finish my plate.  I hate when that happens when great food is involved!  The kids all had fun and loved their gifts.  They are all so good and nice to be around... there are twelve grandkids, and we included Victoria (our exchange student from Norway), Javi (Ali's exchange student from Spain) and the two Aussies this year, so that really expanded the "kid" pool.  It was kind of like an international party in the living room.

Jen and Abba
Kylie requested a massive bear as a gift...
a casually yummy xmas eve dinner at Dad's house.
Anyway, Christmas Eve at Dad's house was really perfect.  I love that time with everyone.  Supposedly, Tyrone gave Dad the winning gift this year - it was a framed award that he "tracked down from the original bar in Binghampton," that was given to my Dad for being the Champion in a beer pong tournament in the Greater Binghampton area.  My Dad claims to hold that title from back in the day.  I called foul on Ty's winning gift because it didn't have a golden seal on it, even though it was signed by the "Governor" at the time.  It was definitely a fraud.

Ty's excitement over his self proclaimed win.
For the past several years, I have been the winner in gifts to my Dad, starting with the year I gave him a few old swizzle sticks that I had acquired...  It was a shocker, everyone gave me a hard time about it, but it set the stage for unique gifts to give to my Dad.  Ali was mad because I got the swizzle sticks from a house she bought from an old lady that was filled with stuff.  In my defense, she didn't care about the swizzle sticks one bit originally!  She would have just thrown them away!  I can't help it if I have an eye for interesting things to hang onto.  Anyway, my dad collects all things related to the town we live in, and a few of the swizzle sticks were from really old bars and restaurants where we live.  He loved them, what can I say?

It's very hard to maintain the status as the best gift giver of all time!  Every year I have to uphold the tradition.  I'll give it to Ty this year for his effort though, since I wasn't on my game.  I already have an idea for next year's gift though...

OK, I'm going to have to revisit this post and make this a part one of two, because I am tired of writing, which means you are probably tired of reading.  We'll pick up where we left off, but we'll start with Christmas Eve at home.  Also, I'm super hungry and I need to go get myself a sandwich before I eat my own arm.  Alsoalso, I just noticed that I am seriously lacking in the gratuitous pictures that I promised would accompany this post - sorry.  I was having trouble loading so I kind of gave up.  More in the next post, if you were disappointed.

Later bloggers!

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