We skipped the work party - we were just to tired. I thought we would get out and do some last minute shopping but that fell through also.
December 22 we celebrated Cmas with Rich's mom and brother's family. We really had a great time and the food was awesome. Everyone loved their gifts and enjoyed their moment in the spotlight. We started something a few years back. We starte with the youngest kid and move up. One at a time, each person opens a gift. This way we all get to see their face, see what they got and if there is a funny story about the present we share. Then it's off to the next person. While you are waiting for your turn to come around again you can either watch the person opening or take a closer look at your already opened presents. It's easier than you think to get the kids to do this and Cmas opening seems to stretch that much further :) And that's always a good thing.
That night we finished up our shopping. Rich loves picking out things for his kids. This year he was in charge mostly of the stocking stuffers. My kids aren't particularly fond of cmas candy and I find the foil wrappers everywhere. So, instead, we get them things like corn nuts, beef jerky, sunflower seeds, etc. they love it.
I had to work over the weekend and had great hopes of wrapping, working and resting. I only got the working and resting part done. Darn.
Monday was work too. blah! Oh well, such is the life. We headed out to hubby's grandparent's house for the annual eggnog making. Yup, eggnog from scratch. MMMM and it's soo good. That tradition has been going on for as long as grandpaw can remember. It was HIS grandfather who started it with them... so.. (rough estimate) we have been making eggnog in the family for... ohoo.. about almost 200 years! That's a lot of nog!!
Everyone gets a plate with an egg white on it and starts beating until it forms stiff peaks. If you can flip the plate upside down over the head of the person hear you (heheehe) it's ready. Hubby's mom has 5 siblings.. and they have kids and some of those have kids.. so the family is quite large. We sounded like chickens pecking in troughs. They make some with and some without alcohol. Yummy! Nothing like what you get in the stores. Everyone had frothy mustashes.
We left the eggnog around 9 because I still have a few gifts to wrap. Except, when I got home that "few" turned into more than I thought. It didn't take me long, but by 11 p.m. I was fast asleep.
The kids woke up around 7 and after divying up the gifts in piles they woke me up. Rich had long been up making our traditional Christmas Morning Breakfast - hominy, bacon and lil smokies all cooked together. His grandfather started that tradition, except they also had cinn. rolls and tomatoe juice. We just do the hominy. Maybe when we need to stretch it in a few years as our family grows we'll add to it. I sipped coffee and ate hominy while the kids giggled and guessed at their gifts.
Once again we went from youngest to oldest, each taking a turn, and opened our gifts. I think we opened for over an hour. They loved everything they received and immediately Daniel and Jessica hopped online to get some songs via iTunes. That should be a great gift in the future - itunes gift cards. Jessica got the ipod nano and a transmitter for her car and said it worked great. Daniel had the ipod already, so he got the docking station for it with nature sounds and the clock/radio/alarm. Sarah was snapping pictures left and right.
Rich was happy to put together his tool box. It's nice! Hydraulic lid, foam padding in all the drawers and the drawers are tightly shut and you have to tug on them to open them. That way they don't always pop open anytime the tool box is moved.
They fooled me this year. They really got one over on me. Normally they are not good at being secretive and don't clean up their tracks very well. This year I had no clue. They knew what I wanted, but I hadn't seen Rich leave to go get it. Usually he announces he is going out to get my gift. No word his year. I figured since it was jewelry he would wrap me a note saying I could go pick out whatever it was I wanted. Blah! I wanted HIM to pick it out. He and Jessica got together and picked it out and she had been hiding it in her car. They brought it in cmas Eve and wrapped it in a bigger box so I wouldn't see the store name on it. Smart! And they made me open it last! buggers!
Needless to say, I cried.. and cried.. and it's beautiful! It's a Pandora bracelet with the frog, snowflake, and glass bead with flowers painted in to charms and the heart spacers. Jessica picked the frog cause I like frogs and the snowflake for my grandmother who has passed. Rich picked the glass bead with flowers cause I love flowers and the heart spacers cause they love me. AWwww.. see, it really does mean more when someone picks it out! I cannot wait to add to it :) Oo, just remembered I have $ from the grandparents.. I think I'll head that way soon and get me some new beads!
And no.. we didn't forget the reason for the season.. but that kinda stuff is very personal and I tend to leave it off the blog. Remember, when you read a blog you are only getting a glimpse of a person's life.. the part they want to share with you. It's not their entire life :)
Now I"m working on planning the New Year's Eve Bash! :)