It’s 5am. I can’t sleep. My belly is so full of casserole favorites. It may not help that both Hubby and I got into the leftovers at 8pm last night and gorged ourselves on ham, three bean casserole, carrots and cranberries. Not the smartest move, but it was a delicious move. No my mouth is dry from the salt and I crave juice or water. Thankfully we have left over fruit that will make me feel a bit better. No wonder we gain so much weight over the holidays. It’s not my fault… the food contributions are so wonderfully decadent.
Christmas #1 was great, my dad brought some peameal bacon, a great Canadian favorite to go along with Hubby’s scrambled eggs and my dad seemed quite pleased with his hall mirror (I added in some pictures of the family to get him started as well). Junior received an amazing wagon/sled from my dad, step mom and step sister. This thing is huge, and has wheels that can be exchanged for skis to make a great sled. We had that thing pulled out of the box and they worked hard to tighten bolts and secure skis. Junior fell asleep half way through creation, but I can’t wait for today where we can suit him up in his snowsuit and drag him down the street (also that might help work off a few calories for us).
By noon, family started to trickle in and the house got warmer and warmer with each body that arrived and with each hour the turkey roasted in the oven and soon windows were being opened and fans emerged. (Note to self, next time, no wood stove needed). Soon casseroles were being paraded in along with bottles of wine and three bean casseroles bubbled in slow cookers, the turkey roasted to a beautiful shade of gold and cheese plates, pickles and cranberries filled bowls that seemed to teeter on every bit of my expansive counter. Everyone seemed happy, jolly, and merry, and indeed I think everyone WAS all that. No drama, only happy grateful people. THAT is what Christmas is all about. A house full of family, love and merriment.
Hubby and I busied ourselves in the kitchen and everyone at one time or another helped out to heap food to platters, or run drinks to waiting hands. We moved our kitchen island into another room which left more space for two giant tables end to end plus a card table in order to fit in the 23 people who arrived. Although I could have been 22, I lost count and couldn’t seem to get a head count as people were everywhere. Soon we all gathered around the table, joined hands and my aunt led us in prayer and we gave thanks before grabbing plates and filing around buffet style to that aforementioned kitchen island that held so many goodies. Dinner was followed by a chaotic gift exchange where ornaments emerged and guessing games started as to their creator. Some were very creative, a few hand-made and some very obscure, but it was all in good fun and merriment and didn’t cost us much. Hubby and I chose gifts that contained a hand made plastic canvas mini basket with little sticks representing logs, which I guessed correctly as my aunt’s, who also burns wood day and night to heat her country home, and a golden music note which I had no clue as to the owner, but soon found it’s origin who sat, squished between several people on my couch.
Junior took the activity in great stride. Being passed to one family member or another, and goobering on a little cousin (second cousin? I have no clue what to call my cousin’s kids) who was the same size as Junior. He crawled from legs to legs, asking to get up. I caught him once nestled into the neck of a cousin who’s bushy beard and plaid shirt were not unlike Hubby’s usual attire. Poor kid had no clue who these folks were but knew that someone wearing plaid with a beard meant safety and comfort. Not a cry or a fuss, till dinner, and even then, a spoonful of my aunt’s carrot casserole, and he was a happy baby again. Unfortunately he fell asleep before the big family picture, but emerged again to say goodbye to a few guests at the end.
Dishes were cleared, spoons were kept and we soon joined together to sing Happy Birthday to a little lady who was celebrating her birthday. Of course her cake was Frozen themed. Desserts of all kinds replaced the dinner on the island and soon we dug into cranberry squares, fudge, cake and my step sisters decadent carrot cake which had a generous amount of awesome cream cheese dressing. It wasn’t long after that dark began to creep into the day and people started to trickle out, giving hugs and expressing their gratitude. I couldn’t keep hands out of my kitchen sink and soon great piles of dirty dishes emerged clean and shiny. Left overs were divied up (a great amount made it into our fridge) and the last people headed out the door around 7pm. The second that door closed, Hubby’s pants came off, the dogs were released and we plunked our exhausted bodies on a couch, both remarking as to the wonderful but crazy day.
That chaos, that merriment, that pure joy and lovely times, that’s what Christmas is. Now… too bad I can’t sleep!