This past weekend was the Big Family Christmas Celebration at my house. We typically pick a weekend in January (after everyone has done the traditional Christmas with other family) and gather to carry on the old fashioned Christmas my Grandma P started years ago. My sisters and I started this after my parents and other family members moved back to Iowa and we were left up here in Wisconsin. This gave us a way to still celebrate our Christmas tradition even if we couldn't be with the whole family. We took turns hosting it each year and as our children grew and had families they started travelling back to to share this experience with us. Eventually, our parents started coming up to spend the holiday with us and the past few years our youngest sister decided she wanted to join in on the action, so one year she hosts it and we all travel to Iowa.
It starts about Wednesday when my kids/grandkids hit my house. They stumble in about midnight, half asleep, yet excited to be there. I steer them in the direction of their beds and kiss them good night and they are down for the count. The next day they spend time shopping and playing until I get done with work then we have our own private Christmas gift exchange and dinner. Friday they spend the day with their dad/grandpa having a horse drawn sleigh ride in -5 degree weather! Sounds like fun to me.
Thursday my parents, sister,her husband and their two boys arrive. Time to shuffle the sleeping arrangements around.
Now we begin utter chaos. There are 9 adults, 6 children under the age of 13 and one dog all in my house at the same time!! HELP! Friday night we decide to take this show on the road and go out for a fish fry. Have you lost your freakin mind? First of all half the group isn't even there by the time we need to leave to make our reservation so we go without them.Then our table isn't ready so we're standing in the entrance way taking up the whole space while other people are trying to get in. Finally we get seated, everyone is there and my grandson says, "I'm going be sick!", runs to the bathroom and proceeds to puke all over! Way to make and entrance Noah! So he and his mom head back to our house while the rest of us enjoy our fish- you honestly didn't think we were all going to leave did you? We aren't totally heartless though, we took her home a fish fry to go.
Now for the big day, Saturday. I'm running around like a chicken with it's head cut off while everyone else is relaxing, shopping, playing Wii or just plain oblivious to the fact that "hey there's gonna be a total of 25 people here for a party soon and lots of stuff needs to be done!" Needless to say, everything got done (and what didn't nobody missed anyway) and everyone had a great time.
The Ugly Sweater contest was a big hit! There were truly some butt ugly sweaters too. I have pictures to prove it and will post them at a later date. They are all going to make their way to Good Will where they will make some ones day and will probably not be considered Ugly!
Food, Alcohol and good times were had by all well into the night. Last call was made by the bartender and once again we shuffled sleeping arrangements because we added four more people to the Inn. It was wall to wall air mattresses, sleeping bags and bodies in my family room.
Sunday morning found me cooking breakfast for the hungry masses as they slowly rose from their beds. Then the packing up started en mass and pretty soon Hubbs and I heard the sweetest sound ever- absolute, utter, SILENCE!
We took down the Christmas tree and decorations, cleaned the house and put everything back the way it was. There's only one thing I haven't been able to find but I'm still looking.
IT'S MY SANITY.
If any of you run across it would you let me know and I'll give you my address so you can return it.