Monday, December 26, 2005

A Merrie Olde Tyme





Our Christmas Eve was as good as it gets. We drove to another part of the state (with our younger daughter) to have our family celebration with my son and his family at their home, joined by middle daughter and her family. There were 7 adults and 9 children, ranging in ages from 6 to 16.

A pretty tree, silhouetted against a newly-painted terra cotta wall, and mounds of presents under and all around it, greeted us as we entered their living room, along with the raucous noises from Sammy, the sun conure, above. I can put Sammy's photo here, but I am forbidden to post photos of my kids or grandkids, so this will have to do! Sammy is pretty much a one-person bird. He loves my daughter-in-law, tolerates my son and their children - and deplores the intrusions of others (especially me and DIL's mother). He bit me on the cheek once, so I try to give him a wide berth, but he will take every opportunity to show me that I had better not come any closer! I was fully prepared to love him and scratch under his wings (which he loves) but he does not know that or care.

Dinner was set buffet style; we had ham, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, broccoli casserole, green beans, jello salad and rolls. Desserts were fudge, chocolate cake, pumpkin pie, apple pie, a gingerbread house.....I think that is all.

After dinner, the children got to open the presents from their cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents. In order to avoid total chaos, we had them do it in turn, from the youngest to the oldest, which proved to be a good solution. That way, discarded wrapping papers and ribbons could be corralled quickly, in-between each child. I tried to take a lot of photos, but the camera batteries which I had just re-charged last week decided they didn't want to work much more - so I only got about 8-10 pics before they crapped out. I think it might be better to use regular AA batteries and always carry extras with me.

The children were very excited, of course, and each one got 6-7 presents, so it took a while for that part to be over. Luckily we had great weather on Saturday, so the children could go outside and run off some of their bounteous energy and let the adults have a rest from the noise and hullabaloo. About 5pm, middle daughter and her family had to leave; on their way to spend time with her husband's family. The exodus of their seven kids left us with virtually no noise except Sammy, who was still voicing his displeasure at the numbers of people around. He was put into his cage and urged to bed down for the night, but he had other ideas, unfortunately.

The rest of the evening was spent rather stuporously (is that a word?) on their Lazy Boy couches; reclined, covered in throws and blankets, dozing and periodically waking up to watch a few minutes of TV. The children went to bed after being warned not to rise until the number six appeared on the clock, and the adults soon followed them upstairs, hoping to get at least six hours of sleep before Santa's loot was found. At 6:45 am, the clarion call was heard loudly and clearly. We all descended to find that Santa had been very nice to my two grandaughters, bring them shiny, new bikes, along with other stuff. Coffee arrived soon after, and before long a steaming egg and bacon casserole with fresh, hot biscuits and jam. A wonderful start to the day! A short while later, the other grandparents arrived bearing gifts as well, and we enjoyed our visit with them. We got to see the photos from their recent trip to Japan, Cambodia and Thailand, which were fabulous. Now I want to go there too!

This Christmas, in our son's home, was one of the best our family has ever had. It is the first time that the whole family has gone somewhere other than my home (except at Thanksgiving), and I think I like it! Having done it for years, I know just how much time and preparation it takes to mount this celebration, and I am very grateful to my DIL for hosting the whole family this year. Better still, it is the very first time that no major disagreements occurred (between any adults or the children) and that is truly a miracle! I hope that your Christmas or Hanukkah celebration was the best you've ever had!











20 comments:

Tan Lucy Pez said...

Sounds like an absolutely brilliant holiday!

margalit said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful holiday. That bird is scary though. I'm not a huge fan of birds. I find them intimidating.

Michele sent me.

Superhero Bob said...

I'll have to come back later, Sorry to hit and run from Michele's! Boss is kicking me out of the library!

Seamus said...

I say! That sounds like a wonderful holiday Judy! Here's wishing for many good things to come in the next year! Peace & love! :)

Duke_of_Earle said...

Yep. Sounds like a great day! Thanks for sharing it.

John

Minerva said...

Sounds wonderful Kenju and I am so glad..
Like you, this Christmas was a wonderful one for me too...

Happy Christmas and thank you so much for all the support you have shown me this year..What a great friend you are!

Minerva

Sonia said...

Judy, you really had a real great Christmas! So happy and joyful to celebrate with the family!

Sammy is so colorful and looks lovely!

Last Girl On earth said...

It sounded wonderful. I'll bet it was a relief to have someone else deal with the details and let you sit back and enjoy! I wish you tons of happiness and success in 2006. Michele sent me this time, but you know I'd come here on my own anyway!

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

I don't have a clue as to how I got to that post except it was clicking on your name in your Michele "comment" just before me....I didn't even look at the date..I was so caught up in this White Cat..(My Sweetie is white...)
Snowball..and then..I just thought that was your new post! NOW, I see your new post..and I got to this by clicking on your name in MY comment section where you told me about the strange link to the OLD post....
Go figure...And when you do, I'd love to know the answer!

Wonderful Christmas post...It sounds like EVERYONE had a great time...I can't get over the amount of children...Lots Of Fun, huh?

Ivy said...

Sounds like lots of fun! We always let the kids open theirs first and we hand them out one at a time. Each kid gets to open one present before we start the second round.. Adults open last..

Glad you had a good christmas! Here via Michele..

colleen said...

Sounds great. I enjoyed seeing both my sons too! And the brightly colored bird photos are very cheery!

Crazy MomCat said...

A wonderful description of your Christmas with family. Actually, it gave me hope. I hope one day to convince my Mom and sister and her family to let me take over the Christmas reigns and give it a whirl in my own home. They are big traditionists though, and so far they don't seem interested. Maybe one day though, I'll be able to and have as good of a time as you did! Here via Michelle tonight...

srp said...

The bird is beautiful if ornery. It sounds like excitement was abundant in your neck of the woods.

Ours was busier than usual with Church in the morning and then breakfast, gift exchange and later on the dinner. We had to sneak a bit of football in there too. It rained most of the day so poor Max, the dog, stayed in his doghouse and had to wait to get his squeaky basketball toy until today. He did get a sumptuous dinner of ground lamb with his regular kibble.

All in all it was a good Christmas. We were all together this year for the first time since 2002. Two years ago Nyssa and I were by ourselves in Mississippi on Christmas, I had just had surgery and my job was ending so in preparation to sell a home and move. Mom had had surgery the same day I did.
Last year we were here but my brother did not get to come from Vienna. He is such a comedian at times, we really missed that aspect last year. So it was good.

So glad you enjoyed yourself. Perhaps you have now started a new tradition.

Peter said...

Hi Judy, sounds like a cool Christmas.

craziequeen said...

Sounds fabulous - well done DiL! :-)

Michele sent me - good morning, Judy :-)

cq

vicki said...

Good Morning from not really balmy Florida. Nevertheless, a big improvement over Michigan- it's sunny "sweatshirt" weather and that's just fine with me. Your Christmas sounds delightful- I'm SO glad everyone was happy and content under one roof- reminds of some wacky character on SNL of Mad TV who yells, "just settle down!" Christmas can be like that at most homes I think so it's an extra gift when all is calm and all is bright.

I had a half-moon conure named Happy once. I was a college student and thought I could sneak him under the not pets clause with my landlord living next door. That lasted for about 5 minutes- the noisiest creature I ever knew. The worst was the landlord would come over to scold me 2-3 times a week about the "racket" and Happy would hop on him and croon and rub and smarm away. She loved him. Then one day, after she had turned the bathroom curtains into snowflake cutouts and he was standing there shaking his head, she laid an egg on him. I was sad to see her go and remember her with a smile- she found a good home for the low, low price of "free."

Enjoy the rest of your holiday! I have to telepathically nudge Sophie to finish her response to Rhett but she's ticked because she got left back in Michigan with housesitters...

Shelli said...

Great post. It sounds like it was wonderful!

Carolyn said...

Hi Judy! Sounds like a marvelous time indeed :) Ours was pretty cool too. Now on to a happy New Year! I hope 2006 brings you all good things :)

Plumkrazzee said...

Glad to hear it went so well, it IS nice to go somewhere other than your home, isn't it? I kind of like that =) Michele sent me this a.m.

Tara said...

Awww. That sounds like a fun and relaxing holiday. Glad you could spend it with so much family.

Michele sent me!