Juggling the Christmas holidays have been a constant guilt inducing week for me since I was 14. I always felt I should be here or there, but never where I was on that given day. My parents divorced that year and I then became the all too familiar child shuttling back and forth. I lived with my Dad but would spend some nights at my Mom's. She only moved about a mile away and when I was almost 18 I moved in with her. The only thing that saved all of our sanity is that when my parents were married, we had Christmas Eve with my Mom's parents and my siblings and Christmas Day we went to my Dad's parents. This was continued after the divorce. After I was older and out of school, I would sometimes spend Christmas Day with my boyfriend's family (they were a bit more normal than mine), sometimes with my Mom and my one sister and others with my Dad and step mom. Then I met my husband. Throw another family into the mix. But we were able to work this out too. Two of my siblings were married with kids, my other sister had stepchildren and I was going to be married soon. We decided to move our family gathering out towards New Years so they could be with their kids and there wouldn't be so much traveling in bad weather that we always seem to get at Christmas here in MN. Dude and I now spent Christmas Eve with my Dad and Sue, Christmas Day with his family and right around New Years with my Mom and siblings. Our Christmas Eve tradition became pizza. We would go out for dinner early in the day and go to my childhood home and open gifts. It was nice and quiet. The next day at Dude's house? Freaking crazy! They would all talk at once and would rip open presents and you didn't know who gave what to who. It took several years for me to not have a panic attack at the madness.
Now that Dad and Sue have retired to Florida, we can't have a tradition. We did it on our own for a couple years, but the places in our town are family owned (many by the same family, different members) and we couldn't find places open when we were done with work, so we started eating at home. The last two years we did fondue and the kids kind of complained. This year I made lasagne. And you know what? Both of them asked where the fondue was! What?? I can't win for losing! I told them we would fondue for New Years!
Hermit Crab took some photos of the tree and decorations.
It was a good day capped off with 10:00 service at church singing most of my favorite songs and good will spread to everyone. After church we stopped at the neighbor's house for a nightcap and spent 2 hours. Came home and played domino's until 3:30 and turned in at 4:00. Youngest went to bed when we got home, so she was raring to go at 8:30. At least it was daylight-not so long ago they were out at the tree at 5:00, so I should be thankful. Good thing for naps!