Christmas Wrapping (Up)

Okay, so here we are, January 1st, 2007, and it’s time to do the holiday wrap up.  It’s been a busy and eventful holiday, so I’ll try and not bore you to tears with everything that happened in all of it’s glorified detail.

Christmas eve, with everything done and wrapped and ready to go, we headed over to my mom’s.  My sister Megan is up from Virginia, and there is a chance that her husband Brett, who has been in Iraq since January, will be in Ft. Dix and allowed to be picked up for the holiday.  We arrive at my mom’s to find Megan waiting for Brett to call her back to let her know he is coming home, and the kids find their presents.  They immediately set out to open gifts, and they get way too much, as always!

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After we are there a little while, Brett finally calls, and Megan runs out to pick him up.  Jim and I realize we have forgotten to buy batteries for the toys, so we run to WalMart to pick those up.  While we are there, we pick up a couple of last minute Christmas gifts, and some gift bags to avoid having to wrap anything.

Megan and Brett come in shortly after Jim and I got back, and it’s a little tense for a little while.  We are trying to make sure he feels welcomed and that he knows we are glad he is here and safe, but at the same time, we have to be aware of Megan’s feelings and the tentative status of their relationship.  He warms up after a few minutes, and hugs everyone, and Meg drinks a couple of glasses of wine, so she feels better too.  Brett is probably seriously jet lagged as well – he’s been on a plane for the better part of the past week, trying to get out of Iraq.  Grace takes to him right away, though – faster than she takes to Megan!!

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We spend a few hours at my   mom’s, then head out just as Megan and Brett are getting ready to head out for the evening as well.  We head home to find that Mrs. Claus has left us all a special package!   We open them up and find that we all have matching Christmas pajamas!

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The girls are all in bed very early, but at about 9, Eilis comes down stairs to me with excitement in her voice.

“Mom!   I heard a clatter!!”

“You heard a clatter?”

“Yeah, you know, a clatter!   It’s one of those words they used to use in the olden days, like 1995!”

Yep, I am officially a dinosaur.

We can start bringing gifts down at about 10 o’clock.  There are presents piles everywhere!   You literally can not walk in my dining room.  I sit and admire everything for a few minutes, because I am certain tomorrow will bring unending chaos.

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As usual, I am the first one up on Christmas morning.  I lay quietly in bed, watching a little news, and wait for someone else to stir.  Finally, about 8 o’clock, Eilis wakes up.  She is astounded at the presents, and can’t wait to get started, so I tell her to quietly tell Brighid it’s Christmas, and we leave Granuaile sleeping for a little while longer so the older girls can get started opening gifts.  Jim and I start opening our things too, and I have to say, I was WAY too spoiled this Christmas!   I got beautiful 3 stone diamond earrings, and a theatre subscription for me and 2 other people.  I was so excited, I cried!!   This was on top of already getting my computer replaced and a new TV for the bedroom. 

Granuaile wakes up about 8:30 or so, and it is so cute to see her little face when she recognizes the transition of the dining room from a room where we eat to a miniature replica of Santa’s workshop!   Toys and packages are everywhere!

Gracie settles on a Dora the Explorer doll and an umbrella stroller, and she contentedly walks back and forth from the kitchen to the dining room with the doll.  She eventually begins opening her gifts, but once she gets to TMX Elmo, her present opening comes to an abrupt halt.  She is scared to death of him and wants nothing to do with him.  Poor Elmo!   It will take Grace until the day before New Year’s Eve to finish opening her gifts – and that’s with help from Eilis.

Christmas day breakfast was chosen by Brighid, who wanted a traditional Irish flavor.  We bought Irish bacon and sausages, and we have those with eggs.  The Irish food is met with mixed reviews.

We have decided (meaning me, my mom, and Megan) not to make a big meal on Christmas, but instead to do a variety of appetizers.  As everyone is coming in, I am rotating out some of the trays, and we soon have a table full of chips, hot hors d’oeuvres, cheeses, etc.  It’s a nice variety of food, and everyone starts picking.  The Eagles are on at 5, so we decide to play Pokeno now instead of later so we don’t conflict with the game.  It’s always fun to play, and I love watching Eilis – she knows all of her numbers and the suits now, so she can play by herself.

Here are a few Christmas afternoon pics.

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The gang leaves after the Eagles victory at about 8:30, and we set out to straighten up the best we can.  We have a couple of days to get the house in order before the house keeper comes to do the heavy cleaning, and then the next day, Aunt Joan, Ann, Uncle Bud and Aunt Lee are coming for a visit.

The rest of the week goes smoothly, with the kids enjoying time off and using their new Christmas presents.  By Friday, we are all set for the company, and we have a really nice night with everyone.  We have kind of a casual dinner and some snacks, and then we play Redneck Life for a couple of hours.  When the evening is done, so is our holiday entertaining.  It’s sad to see it all end, but it will be nice to have the house back to it’s everyday appearance.