Friday, January 01, 2010

Merry Christmas!

When you have eighteen people, five "families" and eight kids under one roof on Christmas Eve, some coordination is definitely necessary. Fortunately, we are all reasonable adults and it was no problem.

Here's our Christmas Eve and morning, in photos:

This is the 12-foot Christmas tree my parents had ready when we arrived. You can't see, but presents cover the floor the width of the room. We do a gift exchange, so each adult gets one present from another adult and each kid gets one present from another cousin. (Technically it could be more than one package because it's based on a money limit.) But then you have to add in the individual families' presents to each other, and it gets a little crazy. . .

Before bed, the kids got all nestled in their pajamas. My (apparently more organized) siblings purchased matching jammies for their kids. Mind are wearing random pajamas they brought. Not sure I could've gotten Marcie into something different anyway-- she's very picky. Anyway, my brother read T'was the Night Before Christmas to the whole gang. And they did a pretty darn good job of listening to the story-- all of them, from age 2 1/2 on up!

I know it took them a little while to settle down, but I snuck back in later on to snap a photo of five them crashed out. We'd explained that they could not wake us up until it was morning, which meant the sun had to show. I told them that if it was dark, they had to stay in their room. As it turned out, they woke us up when they saw the very first ray of orange in the morning light. But it was still dark in the house. This actually played completely to our advantage because the Santa presents, laid so carefully by the fireplace, were visible from the balcony upstairs where we all gathered. But because it was dark, the kids couldn't see anything until we turn on lights once they got downstairs.

Speaking of the balcony, here is the scene from above. what you see is 18 filled stockings (hung with 3M product) by the chimney with care, as well as 8 presents from Santa, each with a label directing the child to his or her gift. (In case you're wondering, here is what each received from left to right: Ethan got a pirate ship; Vince's wrapped present was legos; Calliope got a Cabbage Patch baby doll; Casey got a dinosaur hot wheels track; Sal's wrapped present was a lego set; Joey got a jungle set; Leo got a hot wheels track; and Marcie got a baby crib/pack n play, a baby pillow and blanket, and a baby panda Hello Kitty.)

Casey surrounded by some of the contents of his stockings, which we all emptied before breakfast.

Marcie helping my mom prepare our traditional fried dough Christmas breakfast (though Casey, Jason and I also had some delicious banana bread packed and sent by Jason's dad-- this is what we usually have when we're at home).

After breakfast, the kids opened their gifts. We helped them pull stuff our, prepped the turkey and got it in the oven, and then the adults opened presents. We had snack foods throughout the day and sat down to Christmas dinner around 4pm, after which my sister and I took a nap together. Then we all played Quelf, a new game Jason picked out to play this year. It's a lot of fun.

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