Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas 2008: the good, the bad and the ugly.

"So, are you having a good Christmas?"

I was asked this over and over by well-meaning relatives at our annual Christmas eve feast. They couldn't see that my smile was plastic and my eyes looked more manic than merry. They were just making conversation.

As they would ask that simple, innocent question, my mind would flash back through the last few days:

The stress, the huge projects dumped in my lap, the kids cooped up inside going mad with boredom, the mess, the roads too icy to drive on and too much shopping left to be done. I thought about the hour before the party when I'd had enough and cast my oldest out of the house into the snow and told him not to come back inside. I was nice and threw his coat out after him- that's a mother's love for ya!

"No, this is more like Christmas hell than anything." I wanted to say. I might have actually said it too, I don't remember.

All I know is, Christmas day made it all worthwhile.
We all slept in until 9.
The boys drew names for each other and some had saved for months to be able to give something really special.
I had all my sibs in town, so there was a lot of goofing off, singing while my brother played the guitar, Rock band, and karaoke.
I'd put in the time and slaved the day before on the mother of all feasts, so all the work I had to do was enjoy it.
I live for putting on feasts. I'm not fancy, I never have table decorations or anything like that.
I just love making lots of good food, for lots of wonderful people. When I've brined a turkey, mashed the potatoes, whisked the gravy, raised the rolls, baked the pies, and I lay all that in front of a crowd, it's nirvana, man. I'm in the happy zone. I can live on it for days.
Here are some pictures of the more memorable moments:

Playing a game at my Christmas day feast.

We've had crazy weather here. Usually we have snow for a day, then a warm wind will come the next day and melt it all. It was so cold for so long, the snow was too dry for building anything. Our beloved wind came yesterday, making the snow just right for making these babies.

Speaking of babies, this is my brother's first child. He's been frantic for the chance to show her off to all of us far away siblings. We got to just slurp her up for days, it was lovely.

Speaking of lovely, is there a more beautiful sight than a man in a frilly apron.

There's nothing frilly about the presents my sister's boys made for mine. Nothing says love between boys than hand-hewn weaponry. It seriously made me want to cry.

And how sweet is this? My bro doing the chords while my little guy strums.

I have to set the stage for this one. Ammon saved up and spent over $50 on this present for his brother. Can you tell how excited he is to see him open it? When I asked him what his favorite part of Christmas was, he told me it was the look on his brother's face as he opened the gift he'd sacrificed so much for.

There was a lot more that I didn't have my camera for: me freaking out and shoving my kid outside, me at 2 in the afternoonon Christmas eve in my pajamas with mascara under my eyes, frantically chopping veggies and trying not to cry, sledding, the family talent show, swimming, the video my sister took of me dancing through the house and singing "I will Survive" as my bro rocked out on the guitar, but you get the general idea. Christmas 2008- there was the good, the bad, the ugly, and the amazingly sweet.


Anonymous said...

I love it-your new niece is truly adorable. What fun it looks like you guys had. Can't wait to see you guys New year's. Love ya-N

Home of the Muddy Kids said...

And yet, you survived it all. Now, you only have to survive the next week of boys destroying your house while school is out! (o: My two big kids have spent hours shut up in my room today. I rearranged the house Saturday night, and moved the small couch into my room. They jump back and forth between my bed and the couch with the door shut so I won't find out. I'm out here, enjoying my clean house and the peace and quiet, completely ignoring my poor brutalized couch and bed, letting my kiddos enjoy themselves.

Kimberly said...

Wish we could have been there. I am a pro at veggie chopping. ;-)

lovecat said...

That stuffing was seriously the best stuff I have ever had! It was ambrosia! Please Please PLEASE send me the recipe!

I am so glad we got to come up and spend so much time with you guys! It was a total blast to play games at your house and I has so much fun watching your youngest "worm" his way into the living room after his bedtime. They are all so sweet and you are doing such an amazing job with every one of them!

Michelle said...

I was scrolling through your old posts looking for the one where you showed all the hats you knitted, and somehow I totally missed the picture of Lewis back when you posted this the first time. So, tell him he looks great in that apron. I'm so glad you're using it!!!