We invited a frak-ton of folks for Christmas this year. We volunteered to host the big family Christmas event. We have been having these events for my whole life. My mother’s family side was the reason for the season this time. I invited several aunts and uncles and a bunch of cousins and second cousins and all their respective spouses and offspring and extended relations. Usually, about 50 people show up.
We had 17, total. My family is 5 by itself. Hubby had 3 parents come. I had 2 parents. My one sister, her son and her partner. That is 13, right there. Of all the extended family we invited, one cousin came with her family.
It was a lot of preparation. It was a lot of stress and planning. I decorated a beautiful tree with white lights, gold balls, and a bunch of elaborate expensive ribbon. Okay, I already owned the ribbon. but, we usually do the family style tree. With ornaments from our childhood and stuff the kids have made at school. I bought little santa hats for the dragons that live on the mantle. I let a maid come in and touch everything I own! A frakking stranger was in my house for four hours, rifling my belongings and judging the amount of dirt on the kitchen floor! For no one to bother showing up.
My cousin who came was fantastic. She is 10 years younger than me. We never knew each other well. Her mother came from a well-to-do family and was appalled by the poor-white-trash rednecks she had married into. They usually spent holidays at her folks place instead of my uncle’s. Her father and my mother are siblings. She has a funny and clever husband who is in the military. She is talented and beautiful and sells homemade baby clothes on Etsy. She has a 6 year old boy who played for hours on end with my 8 and 9 year olds and never complained or fought or anything. She has an adorable baby girl who is near two. OMG That baby was the cutest sweetest thing you ever saw! She also never cried or fought or whined all evening.
We exchanged movies the way I planned. It went really well! Our family ended up with 5 movies we didn’t already own and 3 of them we had never even seen before! All the ham was eaten. Almost all the turkey was eaten. The sides that were brought went over really well, too. There was a raw veggie plate with dip, there was a layered salad with homemade dressing, homemade stuffing was brought. Hmm. Homemade cookies, homemade red-velvet cupcakes, homemade pecan pie, homemade chocolate pie. There may have been something else, but I can’t remember right now!
My folks left around 8:30, hubby’s followed very soon after. The rest of us were all of a similar age-bracket and we sat around and talked for EVER! My cousin and her family left about midnight, I think. They had driven about 4 hours to get here and made that whole drive back that night so they could do Santa stuff at their house in the morning. I felt so loved and so privileged that they came so far to visit. I really hope they will come visit again sometime. my sister and her family left about 1am or 1:30. It wasn’t until then that we sent our kids to bed. But they had as much fun as we did.
Christmas morning, we opened gifts with the children. Then hubby’s folks all came back over and we opened gifts with them, too. Had a nice breakfast with biscuits and eggs and bacon. Nana took the kids all to her house for the afternoon. Hubby and I planned to see Sherlock Holmes. We drove to the 3:30 show one exit south of us, but it was sold out! We drove to the 4pm show 3 exits north of us, but it was sold out too! We went home and I took a nap. We went up to Nana’s that evening for a night Christmas dinner with Hubby’s parents. The kids decided to spend the night. Hubby and I went back to the theater 3 exits north of us and the 9pm show was sold out! We bought tickets for the 10pm one and killed some time.
The movie was a lot of fun. We got home after midnight. It was a full and fulfilling Christmas. I hope everyone who reads this had a fantastic holiday themselves.