It is no secret that I'm not the biggest fan of Christmas as an economic juggernaut of a holiday. That said, when I'm not dealing with all the advertisements and the "I wants" and the carols playing ad infinitum I do enjoy myself.
The several days before the 25th this year I (with some help from my lovely wife Jill when she wasn't working) cleaned the entire house top to bottom. Even the garage got a ton of junk moved out. The carpets got shampooed, the walls got washed and it looked great. Only the stairs needed to be shampooed but I ran out of time.
Christmas Eve my in-laws moved in for a couple of nights. My wife's mom, dad, grandma, aunt, brother and her brother's wife and 3 year old son all stayed over. Cheese fondue was made for Eve dinner. I had canned spaghetti and hot dogs since the combination of wine and cheese in the fondue makes my stomach very unhappy. After dinner we played Ticket to Ride (which I lost terribly) and Super Munchkin (which I won). We stayed up way too late and drifted off to bed.
At 1 am the cat woke me up scratching at the bedroom door and I remembered that I had stocking stuff left to help Santa put out. After that I slept soundly until morning. Good reminder there kitty. :D
Christmas morning we had the family gift exchange and then I took a nap until about noon. With the morning dishes washed I stared on dinner. I made beef & vegetable soup and vegetarian vegetable soup, a salad, and Cheddar Bay Biscuits. My family showed up about 3 just after the Bagnalls left for a while. We were a large group and it was awesome to see so many of my siblings and their families there. I was quite pleased to see my nephew Jason. I haven't seen him in several years.
After dinner the Dyer gift exchange took off. We have a tradition started by my sister Sue that we have a wrapping paper war every year. I think it is my favorite part of Christmas. :-) Much paper was hurled and much laughter ensued.
I was able to share the idea of artist trading cards with my brother Mark and I'm hoping he will be inspired to create some art again.
After WAY too many cookies, pies and ice cream everyone shuffled off home and the house was quiet. Rick and Heidi and RJ had moved on to Heidi's parents' house and with less people and everyone exhausted we all settled down for a long winter nap.
Then at 4am in my son's room there arose such a clatter I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter. When what to my wondering eyes should appear but most of the desserts he had finished 8 hours earlier. The poor kid was sick all day today. He didn't eat anything and couldn't keep even water down. He went to bed at 6:30 and has been out like a light since. I hope it has passed by morning.
Since Caleb was bed ridden, he and Jill were not able to partake of my Christmas present to go see the Tutankhamun exhibit at the Pacific Science Center. We were able to trade in their tickets for 2 in January so that is good. I went with Pam and Dick (my in laws) and had a fantastic time. I learned a lot and was amazed by some of the artifacts. On the way home we visited Rick and Heidi at her parents' house to drop off some stuff they forgot here. I got to see Heidi's sister Jill who is on break from teaching in China. I always miss her so much when she is away and our time is always too short. We are on for the Polar Bear Plunge on New Years though.
This evening was all about the relaxing. Tomorrow the work to get the house back into some working order begins but for now I'm happy and content. It was a fantastic holiday with lots of family and so much love and sharing it made my heart grow three sizes this year.