Christmas is now in the rearview mirror, and we can look forward to what 2023 might bring.
As usual, Christmas was a big deal at the Given household. On Thursday morning, son Jamie called and ask if we wanted to have our family event at his house… you probably remember that I have complained in this space previously about our family outgrowing the home we have occupied since 1974.
I admit that I like Christmas eve at our house regardless of the crowd. It’s part of the tradition… I’m old enough to have earned my stubbornness and I’m entitled to use it. Actually, I could see some advantages in relocating to Jamie’s, but Jeanine shut the idea down. She said… too much stuff and food to move. I agreed and everyone piled in Saturday mid-afternoon.
Due to the icy conditions, I had to run a shuttle from the office as we needed the parking room. As the size of the family has grown, so has the need for additional parking on special events.
We had socialized for about an hour and meandered through the large array of food that Jeanine and the girls had fixed. I was just eating my last meatball when little Kathryn came up to my chair and whispered in my ear… “when can we open presents?” Of course, you already know what happened next.
I would like to describe the next hour or so as “controlled chaos” but there wasn’t any control involved. We did get to watch the little ones open their box of goodies and that was the ultimate goal. This year instead of bigger items we opted to just do an elaborate stocking which wasn’t really a stocking at all. It was a container full of what Jeanine and I thought each of the family members, adults, and children, would like. We had to explain a few of them. The book I got Sam, titled “Useless Facts” was a big hit. The “poop timer” for Little Jamie didn’t need an explanation since we can never get him out of the bathroom. The “Drain Wizard” we got the adult girls took a little explaining but all in all, everyone seemed pleased with what they received. We borrowed the idea of the modified Yankee Swap from Deena. Again, it turned out to be a lot of fun… not to mention that it saved us all a ton of money. Now that’s not to say that Christmas is inexpensive at our house, its anything but. However, we did a little better this year and still managed to enjoy the occasion. The bigger kids were very appreciative of their gifts. The little ones too. Well, as appreciative as they can be for their age. I’m sure by the time you read this column they won’t even remember what we got them. But that’s OK. Just seeing the smile on their face was gratification enough for Jeanine and I. I hope your Christmas was as filled with joy as that at the Given household!