**be prepared. this is a WORDY post...**
So - Christmas. It was lovely. Really, lovely (not withstanding the crappy cold I was perking...).
We had a quiet Christmas Eve - just the three of us to start, then some friends dropped by, and it was great. Nice and relaxing. Christmas morning, we were up at a civilized hour (nice having a teenager in the house! There is no 6am in our life!), and we started at the tree. The husband and I don't really go for much for ourselves - really, if we need things, we go and get things. He had mentioned a few things here and there, so the boy and I picked things up as we saw them. The husband was pleasantly surprised with the bits and pieces - some great books he's putting aside for summer hammock reading, and some other stuff that really relates to his interests.
The Boy had a pretty great Christmas, if I do say so myself. I found a great website for t-shirts - Thinkgeek.com - We got him 4 - all of which touch on a facet of his life:
Winter is Coming (He's on the third book of the Game of Thrones series)
Rock-Paper-Scissors-Lizard-Spock - Big Bang Fans will get this...
Walking Dead Survivor - one of his favourite shows
And my favourite - ENGINEERING, it's like Math, But LOUDER.
Those, along with a bunch of other stuff, and he was pretty happy. Then we brought out another gift for him - a new laptop! He had been using my old one, and it was just not cutting it. So we did the research and got him a great one that should get him through most of high school. It's got Windows 8 on it, which is a learning curve for all of us!
I got lots of little things that really meant a lot to me, then my husband surprised me with this:
A new zoom lens for my new camera! We had been discussing it, but thought we would wait until closer to the summer. He decided he didn't want to wait and got it for me early.
Then we had a bit of downtime to sit back and just enjoy the day a bit. Not too long, I had a 16 kilo turkey to get in the oven! (That's a bit over 34 pounds for those that use Imperial measurements...) I sent my husband out for a 10-12 kilo bird, and this is what he comes home with... Between that and the ham we smoked on the BBQ, we had enough for the 14 family members that descended upon us. Everyone was there by 4pm, we did gifts and such before hand, and then sat down to a great dinner (if I do say so myself). I'm still kind of shocked that there was no major drama! I mean, I know this family, there are some that thrive on the drama, and it was curiously absent. I think maturity is finally setting in... There were a couple of incidents - my SIL that spent the week before asking "what can I bring?" over and over, even though my answer was always, "nothing - we got it covered". (I know tons of people that pot luck Christmas - I am not one of them. Call me a control freak, but I like knowing what is happening in my kitchen. I do bring stuff to others when we go there, when asked.) She showed up with a giant dish of "guacamole". Now, I love guacamole, but I"m not sure what it was that she called guacamole. Whatever. And a bottle of her neighbour's homemade wine. Ohhh-kayyy. I tend not to drink homemade wine, especially when I don't know the person who made it. Plus, the bubbles forming in the red wine kind of turned me of...
My Mom gave us my favourite gift - a promise of 6 pans of her fantastic lasagne and 6 of her to-die-for cabbage rolls. Stuff we love having in our freezer for those crazy "gotta-get-dinner-on-the-table-fast!" nights. My other SIL chirped up with "Can I be your daughter next year?" It was funny. My MIL gave me another piece of her treasured collection of ceramics. She knows I collect Doultons, and every year gives me one of her own. SO special.
By doing everything before dinner, we could really sit back and relax over dessert and coffee. It also gave everyone a chance to actually talk to people that had given them gifts, and thank them properly. (14 people exchanging gifts is a bit of a free-for-all...) The knits were pretty well received. FIL adored his alpaca socks, and my MIL LOVED the Red Green sweater. I know it knit it over a year ago, but it finally occurred to me that it was so much better suited to her, and since I had never worn it - voila! It's the prefect blue tones red that suits her so well. Mom loved her wingspan and socks, and the hats were well received (well, two of the three). I been checking my niece's Twitter and Facebook, and I'm not sure she has ever taken it off - every picture of her has the hat! SHe's getting another one SOON! The Fanshawe college one was lukewarm, but that's only because he doesn't wear hats. No problem. He did ask if I could possibly make him some jammie pants - I will and will mail them to him. The Mayfield hat was also a huge hit! The three SILs that were there adored their scarves (1 knit scarf, I knit beaded cowl and a woven scarf), and the one that didn't come got nada. (Her son did get socks - they came into town to see her parents the following day, but didn't bother to get together with any siblings - but I have heard nothing from him about them - he has until the end of January to get a text, email or phone call to me - otherwise he's off the list. And a thank you from his grandmother doesn't count - the boy is 32 years old - he can do it himself.
All in all - a great day. Once everyone left, we had the place cleaned up and dishes done i about an hour. I have to say I spent the next couple of days doing NOTHING. It was a needed recovery time, as we headed up to the cottage on the 28th to spend New Years.
My son had a great time there - He and SEVEN GIRLS rang in the new year. Even he understood how the odds were in his favour...