Sunday, December 25, 2011

Fourteen for Christmas

I come from a large family.  No, not Duggar sized, but I'm the third of six children.  So we started with Christmas for eight.  Dad died in 2007, but by then, we'd added two spouses, making it Christmas for nine... and my paternal grandmother couldn't be left out, so that's Christmas for ten.  By 2009, Ricky and Gracie joined the family, making it Christmas for twelve.  2010 came, with Lizzy, making it Christmas for thirteen, and Nikki came this year, making it Christmas for fourteen.  While Jared and Joanna and Sarah and Shane have their own family celebrations with the kids, everybody turns up here for dinner and presents.  This year was no exception.  Well, except for Shane and my grandmother... their loot will be delivered.  (Grandma hasn't wanted to come for the past couple years, and Shane was apparently needed to assist with a tree removal at his parents' house.... on both Sunday and Christmas.)

I should have taken pictures of the tree and the fourteen stockings hanging from the mantle, but I was too enamored of helping Bit and Boo open their presents and stockings.  :) See, since Christmas fell on Sunday this year, we got up for Church and didn't open presents until afterwards when Jared and Joanna and the girls showed up.  I swear, looking at what was stacked under and around the tree, you'd think really greedy people lived here, but it's more a case of a fourteen-way present exchange!  Once everybody gets two or three gifts (and the kids more than that!) it looks like a wrapping paper bomb exploded!

I got the best gift ever--a very versatile piece of furniture.  It's really a padded storage bench, but I'll be using it to elevate my swollen legs, store sewing supplies in, let Bit sit on it, change Boo.  Yep, yep, yep!  Awesome gift!  And the second best gift ever--a thread rack!  Just what I needed!  I swear I'm organizing my sewing collection this year!

The funniest reaction was Bit to the panties we gave her--after what she told her Elf on the Shelf, Jingle Bells, (Jingle, my panties are too tight, tell Santa) we laughed ourselves sick and bought her more--she squealed and exclaimed over her new Care Bears and My Little Pony panties.  (To make it more ironic, she'd just gotten new ones a couple weeks back from her Mommy because she'd grown out of the old ones.)  And here I thought that underwear was a kiss of death gift! ;) At least, I remember it that way when I was little!  After we ploughed through the presents, leaving out Sarah's, Shane's, Ricky's and Lizzy's because they weren't coming until around 6, and Grandma's which won't be delivered until tomorrow, Jared and Joanna took the girls home for a nap and I started dinner.

We had roast beef, fried mushrooms, mashed potatoes, gravy, peas, broccoli with cheese sauce (on the side so I can use the leftovers for mac and cheese tomorrow), rolls, various appetizers, three kinds of pie, and spice cake.  We let the kids play for a bit, and then they went home with their parents while we tackled a mountain of dishes.  And it only took three hours to clean up afterwards!

Am I weird to be grateful that Christmas is over?

New Year's Eve is next.  I'm thankful that it's just a ham!

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