Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Merry Christmas... Oh and Merry Ukranian Christmas

We survived entirely too much good food, and each other!!!

Dan and his "man-steak"
 Five days, five family members and a two bedroom apartment, and this morning when I saw them all off... we still liked each other! Nobody went home in a body bag, we didn't get any blood on the carpet (one of the cardinal rules growing up) and we didn't make my little brother cry ;)

But for real, I would like to thank each and every single one of my family members for coming and celebrating Christmas at my house this year.  It was a little weird doing Christmas twice, my best friend's family graciously invited me to share it with them. I was so comfortable and well loved that I didn't feel sad that I wasn't with my family, which I kinda thought that I would... I mean, here I am 29 years old and this is the first Christmas *ever* that I haven't gone home.

My second Charlie Brown Christmas tree

The first year I didn't wrestle the rats for the various cardboard boxes and rubbermaids helpfully labeled 1/4 on the lid and 2/4 on the bottom down the steep pirate hold stairs from the loft... The first year I didn't dig through the spaghetti snarl of chipped paint and broken glass, only to risk brave burning the house down by swapping out the burnt bulbs and stuffing tinfoil in the ones that aren't... quite... working.

*blink* See I told you this strand was fine! ;)

The first year I didn't help put the decorations on the tree at home, or arrange the house as close to the same way we always do... or at least as far as anyone can remember...


And yet with the breaking of tradition, comes a reinforcement of strength and new meaning. There was still a tree set up at home, with decorations from each of our awkward phases of childhood lovingly hung in places of honor. Decorations that alone, are obviously juvenile in their uncoordinated craftsmanship, but together make our Christmas tree glow beautifully... with all the love in which they were created.

The Whole Famn Damily
A much more realistic family portrait... Is it blinking yet?!?!

We were able to have the entire family in one place at the same time, even if it was a very small space for five people considering we grew up on five acres... We had our traditional Christmas Eve dinner of turkey, orange glazed yams, and scalloped and mashed potatoes... although they were fresh out of cabbage boogers.

The fireplace project, and yes that's 'The Kemper' snowboard as the mantle

The stockings were still hung by the fire with care, and we had hot tea and pancakes 'Christmas morning' complete with bacon, peaches *and* whip cream... Dad handed out the presents, and we didn't spoil each other too much. I like that, there aren't any crazy expectations in our family... Cookies are not only a perfectly acceptable gift, they are also highly anticipated. 

We completed a 1000 piece puzzle, with the traditional single piece missing... Although I think this is the first year, that someone didn't actually have it stashed somewhere so they could claim the dubious title of having placed the last piece... it actually fell under the stove. Mom thinks it fell off one of the tea-towels we used as a placemat to eat over it... I think, well nevermind what I think. I still blame Mom.

We even had a half day *and* a full day of skiing, in which our mutual pig-headed-stubborness found us on the last chair lift, just ahead of ski patrol despite burning thighs and better judgment. I'd like to point out that not only did nobody go home in a body bag, nobody had to take an ambulance down the mountain either. ;)

Oooh and we squeezed in the HAM club Christmas dinner party, *whispers* where we talked about nerdy radio stuff... and stuff...

So there you have it. Yes, I am thoroughly exhausted... but I'm also particularly pleased with myself for hosting the entire event. All of that aside, I am very much looking forward to sleeping in my own bed tonight.
Work is going to suck tomorrow, I know this as I have to present something that isn't nearly as finished as I would like... and get up much earlier than I have been... but that's what coffee is for. *winks*