This weekend was Christmas at our house. Well, not really but we had to find some way to break up the endless 95 degree days with pop up thunderstorms every day. Listening to Christmas music helped change the mood for a while.
On Saturday we baked six kinds of our traditional Christmas cookies. We have about fifteen varieties that we make every year in December. This was just a sample. This time we had a special treat. Aaron’s girlfriend brought homemade Italian Cannoli that her father made for us. Delicious!
On Sunday, after church, we watched Charlie Brown’s Christmas and also the old Mr. Magoo Christmas Carol. We cooked up a small sampling of the foods we enjoy at our family Christmas Eve celebration. It’s a spread of dishes made with recipes that have been with our family for at least three decades. Everybody helps cook. And of course everybody helps eat!
After our meal was enjoyed and cleaned up the real fun began. This year we had 16 people packed into the living room. In the middle of the room was a pile of plainly wrapped white elephant gifts. 32 of them. We had a great time opening and then stealing from each other. Lots of laughter, lots of bargaining and mostly happy people. We had one little one who melted down for a moment when his gift was stolen but quickly recovered when he realized he could steal from someone else!
One of the things I love about our current living arrangement is that when we have these kinds of celebrations nobody has to go home! Of course there is a certain amount of chaos but by now we are used to it for the most part. What I love is that we are making memories that come as a surprise. I never imagined we’d have this opportunity. On the days when the challenges seem almost insurmountable I remind myself what we are building. I think about the memories we’ve made. Some of them have come from not such great circumstances, like the backed up plumbing