After spending much of Christmas day rushing around to get things ready for my grandma's party in the evening, my family and I arrived at her house a few minutes early so I could put the finishing touches on my cheesy potato soup*. It was good to see my cousin DPC, recently returning from skydiving in Atlanta (he actually showed us a video of his jump--very cool). Shortly thereafter, my cousin DRC and her husband, CRC showed up. DRC complimented me on my outfit (this was the first year I'd ever really dressed up for Christmas--guess I was feeling festive).
Later, my cousin, DAC and her fiance, JSW arrived. They came from McAllen, Texas for the holidays. This was the first time I'd met JSW. I'm sure he was in shock after meeting DAC's family on her mom's side (the family is huge--her mother has several sisters, who in turn have children and grandchildren), and then being thrust into celebrations with our side of the family. Somehow he seemed a little intimidated by meeting all the new people. I can't say that I blame him. It was very nice to meet my future cousin-in-law--I just hope the family didn't make him nervous with our little tics and eccentricities that make us all so lovable.
After supper, we did our gift exchange. Typically, the grandkids (the three DC's and I) play elves and hand out the gifts. This year, DPC held off, and CRC decided to take his place. This always makes for a confusing mess of people stumbling over each other in my grandma's cramped garage, but this year, I contributed to the madness by worrying that my precious shawl might fall off and get trampled in the process. We also had some confusion about the gifts. JSW has the same first name as my dad, so no one was ever totally sure that both men were receiving the correct gifts. On a stage, this evening would probably have been best classified as a farce. Unfortunately, this was real life, not theatre.
There were 13 in attendance at this year's Christmas party. For several years, we have prolonged the unwrapping ceremony by taking turns opening one gift at a time. To make matters worse, DPC, my dad, and I all tend to "pass" occasionally, if we see that others have more gifts than we do. This way, we won't be sitting in boredom, round after round, waiting for the thing to end. Instead, we will be sitting in boredom for one round at a time, and anticipating what our next gift will be. It's actually pretty fun.
We didn't do the all-out wrapping paper fight this year, but my uncle, LEC did make several "baskets" with his wadded up paper in the trash can. JSW apparently received the correct gifts, and everyone seemed holly-jolly. So much so that I didn't even realize that the festivities lasted an entire FOUR HOURS!
All in all, it was an enjoyable Christmas. I didn't really get the post-Christmas letdown that I've had in years gone by. Instead, I've been enjoying my gifts (and leftovers) and trying to make the best of winter.
*Cheesy Potato Soup Recipe (sorta)
I generally start boiling an unmeasured amount of water while peeling and cubing and unmeasured number of potatoes (Basically, just however many I need to make a good-looking amount). For a large batch, I add 2-3 vegetable bouillon cubes; for a small batch I just add one. Then I boil the potatoes in the broth until tender. At this point, I turn the heat down and add condensed cream of celery soup (2 cans for a large batch; 1 for the small), and Velveeta cheese (entire loaf for large batch; half loaf for small). I melt these together and voila! Soup's on!
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