This morning I am caffeinating myself as I come down from the three day high of blue cheese, turkey, shrimp and way too many little sugary treats. Luckily we brought enough leftovers home to last the next two weeks. All our partying happened over this past weekend so that Christmas day could be about doing things we wanted to do instead of trudging all over to see everyone in one day. It worked out really well; we got to see all our various family in a couple of convenient locations and even had one night away from home.
Saturday night at Dad’s & my “Evil Step Mom’s” (as she refers to herself, in jest I hope) was a blast. We met fantastic friends of theirs who were such a riot it amazed us when all of a sudden we were leaving at 11:30 PM to make the hour drive back home. Conversation just flowed all night and I even met an Interior Designer who said she would love to see my portfolio after the New Year. Turns out I probably grew up with her kids and didn’t even realize it as they summered just two houses away from where I lived until I was six and the street I also summered on every year of my life. The world is truly getting smaller by the day! My Dad blew me away when out of the blue, from across the living room, he asked “why didn’t you ever become a model?”. Thankfully he is biased since he is my Dad but my cheeks blazed with hot pink anyway as I said thanks but stop looking at me. That is pretty much the reason it did not ever happen, I prefer to remain behind the scenes, not in a public eye thanks.
Sunday was off to see the younger crowd and as usual the entire day was just not enough time to spend with them. Our five year old nephews are amazingly brilliant it blew me away just to watch them talk about space and science then to navigate the internet like pros. Sentences are slowly forming from our sixteen month old nephew as well and he is just Mister Independent running around, doing his own thing but yelling “cheese” as soon as he sees the camera. This is the spot where way too many little buttery cookies were consumed. Oh how I love those Russian Tea cakes. Thank goodness the recipe came home with me because I will certainly be making them this week. We built forts and train sets and danced around as usual. Not that I am biased or anything but those kids get smarter & cuter by the second. The timer dinged & it was off to my Mom’s where for one second I thought maybe my wish for an eighty five degree Christmas would come true since the temperature spiked almost twenty degrees in those fifteen short miles.
That night we ate pizza and drank wine while watching Christmas movies. It is always nice to just chill with my Mom; we were all snuggled up under flannel pj’s and us old folks went to bed long before she did. Waking up at my Mom’s house on Christmas Eve morning was great, we celebrated with the standard tradition of drinking coffee filled with M&M’s and eating way too much sugary food before everyone arrived for dinner. Once everyone showed up it was a flurry of hot cheese dip, pomegranate martinis, blue cheese and laughter. We yakked so long that getting to the next shindig seemed impossible but off we went to Auntie’s and Uncle’s house.
By this point Matt had decided to stop eating but when I saw clam chowder and shrimp cocktail I knew it was pointless to try to stop so down the gullet it all went. Yum. I had to pull my Auntie aside to give her the CD I made as a tribute to my Grampa who passed away earlier this year and we both almost cried but she hugged me so tight and just said she couldn’t wait to listen to it on Christmas. Crying in one form or another is never outlawed in their house but there is no way to avoid crying with laughter, the spirit here is just so fun and anything goes; really nothing is off color or off topic. All of the usual suspects were there and a few people that I had never met but had a blast getting to know all night as I planted myself at the kitchen island that I didn’t move from until we were once again leaving a party after midnight.
On the way home last night, since it was so late, I noticed how quiet all the stores were and wondered just how many people had filled them earlier that day doing their last minute dash for the register. The glowing lights coming from the inside burned bright as if to say “don’t forget us tomorrow”. This year I am proud to say that I never stepped foot inside any shop. Sorry to the economy but all gifts this year were in the form of handmade or charitable donations as it really seemed to be more in the true spirit of the season. We went to bed full of everything from food to laughter to great times spent with family and friends and look forward to another terrific year of the same in 2008.