Wednesday, December 26, 2012

A house full of relatives

Last Sunday (23rd)  was my family get together.  All the years I was growing up and then many years of my adult life we had a family Christmas get together at my Grandmother's house every year until the time came that my Grandmother wasn't able to live in her home anymore.  My Grandmother has been gone for 11 years now but we still get together every year with the relatives.  Grandma started a couple of traditions many years ago because she felt that we were too wasteful and frivolous and too much money was spent with Christmas gifts.  She had us do a grab bag!  Everybody brought a gift that could be for anyone and they went into a big bag and everyone grabbed one.  Grandma did not allow any trading of gifts!  The other thing was that she gave everyone a brown paper grocery bag and filled it with very practical, useful things such as food items, toothpaste, thread, even toilet paper!!  All were things she had collected over the year when they were on a really good sale or clearance at the store.  We still carry on those traditions, although, we now allow trading of grab bag gifts!  Everyone still gets a brown bag but we all contribute to the brown bags now.  Grandma called it "Crazy Christmas" and that is what we still call our gathering every year!
I haven't hosted Crazy Christmas in a long time so this year I wanted to host.  My sisters and I were talking about it during our sister vacation in August and I committed to hosting it then.  I figured that I'd be graduated and would have all the time in the world to get ready.  I might have had a lot of time but I had 2 years of full time college and no housework to undo!  I threw out old junk mail that I won't admit how old it was!  I also cleaned out my large pantry; again, I won't disclose some of the expiration dates I threw out!  My house is cleaner than it has been in a very long time!    
I wanted to have a really nice meal so I first suggested that I'd like to have prime rib but my sister said that beef tenderloin is better.  I don't cook so I was asking her if it would be hard to cook and my brother in law (who knows that I am not known for my cooking) said he'd help me with it.  I ordered the meat from a nearby meat market, picked it up Saturday and took it to my brother in law; he cooked it at his house and brought it to my house.  It was really good! 
We ate and then proceeded with the grab bag festivities!!  I got a garlic keeper and garlic chopper.  Grab bag gifts can range from some really good things to some really silly things.  Then came the brown bags!  Then we ate desserts! 
2 extra tables set up to accommodate relatives, kitchen island overflowing with food!

relatives everywhere you look! (ignore the awful looking coat closet that has never had the doors put on)

table in the living room
At the end of the day I was exhausted.  It took 3 loads in the dishwasher to do all the dishes.  I started the first right away when dinner was finished, my daughter and sister so nicely unloaded it and started another when it was done and I started the last one right after everyone left. 
After everyone was gone I did what any sane person does - I went shopping!  I had a few things to get and I was not going to go to town on Christmas Eve.  Around here, the last few days before Christmas Eve many stores are open very late and some are even open 24 hrs for a couple of days and then they close early on Christmas Eve. 
It was a great day!  I got to see my relatives and my house is clean!!

Runner Nerd
Christmas party hostess

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