Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas Day!

Christmas is truly one of my favorite days of the year.  It's a day of joy, family, celebration, giving, and love.  Some years, it's the only day I get to see my mom's side of the family.  As I mentioned a few posts ago, we have traveled to my Aunt Carol's in MD every year since I was a kid.  She's my mom's only sister, and has 2 children - Kristin and Jason, who are at least 11 years older than I am.  Since I'm so much younger, I've always had to do the family thing while my cousins went out with friends/on dates/brought dates to dinner/got married/had children/got divorced/got married/etc.  Over the years we've met more of Kristin's boyfriends and then never seen them again that it's become a running joke to this day.  Several years ago, we added Mom and Aunt Carol's second cousin, Dolores, and husband Joe, son Dean and later wife Kathy.  Dolores passed away a few years ago, but the others still join us, and now with addition of Anne-Marie.  It's a big deal - a sit down, formal full dinner, china, silver, candles - the works.  When full attendance is there, we can have 14 adults and 6 kids.  

Christmas 2009
This year, when Aunt Carol said she would not be hosting Christmas due to her recent surgery, I took a deep breath, and offered to host.  I knew I would never be able to have all 20 in our townhouse...but wouldn't have to.  Kristin and new husband Steve + his kids would be on a cruise for Christmas, and we were going to take a year off from the extended cousins.  We just couldn't hold all of them in our house, and I needed the first year to be a bit of a warm-up.  It was a bit of a surprise when both Mom and Aunt Carol agreed, and agreed with great enthusiasm.  Again, since I'm so much younger, I've always been a bit in my cousins' shadows.  But now it was my turn!
Dozens of phone calls with mom later, Christmas week had arrived.  The party on Friday was nice practice...and now it's go time.  The menu was large - lots of appetizers, full Thanksgiving dinner and several deserts.  We would be mixing the families for the first time at Christmas, inviting my mother in law.  Expecting 9 adults and 3 kids, I set our large dining table for 12.  Crystal, china, silver, beautiful serving trays, and 3 plastic Santa place mats.

  It was such a great success.  Mom and Dad came to DC on Thursday, Carolyn (mother in law) on Friday, and the rest of the family Saturday.  We put a mattress on the floor in the office for us so everyone could stay here.  We opened presents Saturday morning just the 5 of us with a yummy egg and sausage frittata before beginning the meal.  Turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn pudding, pretzel salad, and green beans were all delicious.  It was really special for me to follow in Aunt Carol's footsteps.  It still wasn't the same as being at her house, but it was the next best thing.

And....there are some quiet murmurs of "next year" already starting... 

And I also have to report that my new fridge, albeit tiny, was perfect :)

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