When the family got home, we started getting the room ready---we move all of the furniture against the wall so we have the room wide open. We "held" Christmas Eve until Jordan got here---7 p.m.---we usually start around 5 p.m.---we did go ahead and start eating at 6:30 because everyone was starving. I make the some things every year with a few new things: beef tenderloin on Sister Shubert rolls with home-made horseradish cream, boiled shrimp with cocktail sauce, spinach balls, crab spread, chicken almond cheese ball, beef/cream cheese roll-ups, clam dip, party mix, Christmas cookies and petit fours. We like doing pick up foods so we can graze all night while opening gifts---we do them one-by-one, so it takes awhile.
Butch is all ready with the trash bag. He takes all the wrappings and checks to make sure nothing important is thrown away---directions, gift cards, etc. He's fanatical about this. I requested a trash bag on our side of the room and right away, he told me I was "doing it wrong." I was just cramming the wrappings in the bag without twisting it into the tiniest of wads---to conserve space---plus, I wasn't checking it properly. We went back to throwing it across the room to him. He was happier that way.
Everyone had a few surprises and thought this was the best Christmas ever---of course, we say that every year. I got a really good surprise---a Kindle. I didn't ask for it, but Butch knew I'd been "on the fence" about it for over a year now. Everyone I know that has one just loves it. I didn't know if I'd like it as I love books and the tactile experience of books. I'm excited to try it out and have already downloaded 2 free books and 5---99 cent ones. I'm thinking it could save me money in the long run as I would only purchase the "real" books that I want for my collection. This Kindle holds 1400 books and is so cute. On the other hand, it could be just one more thing I obsess about---purchasing more books than I could ever read.
I think we finished unwrapping gifts about 10 p.m. and put the room back together. Then the poker games began. We move back in to the dining room for that.
I lost the first 3 games in a row. There are different levels of "shock" you can do. We had it on the lowest setting. It felt like that shock you get when touching something electrical while barefooted on a concrete floor. Elizabeth was the only smart one and never tried it! Mindy thought Mitchell and his friends would get a kick out of it. I'm sure they will as these are the same boys who play "sting pong." If you lose at ping pong, you have to take off your shirt and let the other boys "zap" you with the ping pong balls---it hurts and leaves welts---something boys would think of.
And now for the damage report:
spills in the family room---too many to count---caused me to institute a new rule---no drinks unless you keep it in your hand at all times.
spills in the rec room---I have no idea as I didn't even go up there and the kids would not be mentioning that.
broken dishes---3---I dropped 2 of them filled with party mix---they shattered like a windshield and shot all over the kitchen---that brought the games to a halt while we got out the vacuum. The usual yelling ensued---"don't come in here, you're barefooted." "Stop, you have socks on." etc.
BIGGEST DISASTER OF ALL:
It all started innocently enough. We were watching a Muppet's Christmas Carol on Christmas Eve afternoon as the Lapps family had never seen it. Elizabeth was sitting in the recliner with Morgan when they suddenly jumped up and said that Jeannette had "gotten away." Jeannette is Victoria's hamster that they have to travel with. We didn't even realize that Elizabeth had gotten her out. We knew Jeannette had to be in the chair, so we carefully started to hunt and feel for her. Having no success, Sandy and I raised the chair to see if she would "shake" out. That's when we discovered that Jeannette didn't make it. Apparently, when Morgan and Elizabeth got out of the chair, Jeannette somehow got underneath it and didn't survive the chair "rebound." Butch came to the rescue while Elizabeth kept saying, "Victoria is going to kill me, Victoria is going to kill me." Victoria was napping. When she woke up, she was pretty upset. I guess it was good that it was Christmas Eve since there's nothing like a bunch of presents to distract you.
Yesterday, Greg took the girls to PetSmart. Butch totally "called it." He said they would come home with TWO new hamsters and they did. It was pretty close as the girls were now "vie-ing" for a dog. We just hope these two little hamsters are as gentle as Jeannette was. They held Jeannette's funeral later in the day.
Other than that, it was another great Christmas. The Lapps family leaves today and the "take-down" begins. Morgan is going to help me. I dread it.