Okay, not really. But my mom really loves fruitcake. Personally, I'd rather be run over by a reindeer than eat one, but to each her own.
Did you all have a nice holiday? I did. I really really did. From Xmas eve at our house with Rex's family to dinner at my moms the next day, it was awesome. A lot of work, but awesome. Rex and I discovered that we really like cooking together. Translation: I buy the stuff and he hovers over the stove like a chicken over her eggs while I crack jokes and follow directions, but it works.
A quick nod to my mom. What I love about her place on the holidays is how comfortable it is. It doesn't matter if you're wearing your pajamas (Stink), a pink heart tee shirt with faded pants (outfit a la Papa - he tried), or Jesus shoes paired with jeans and a beer sweat shirt (that would be my fashion nightmare hubster again.)
Everyone brings food, everyone cleans up, and everyone eats too much, tells too many dumb jokes, drinks too much and makes a lot of noise. There's the inevitable talk of religion, politics and who died that year. There's the inevitable talk of movies, family drama and who was born that year. Old friends are staples, new friends are welcomed, and the family dog is always ready for a hand out. (Though not so much this year, for in addition to new friends came a new dog, courtesy of my cousin. This black purse-sized lap puppy runs a close race with my kids for being my mother's favorite, so I'm keeping a watchful eye.)
One of the highlites of the evening was clearing off the kids' table, only to have it replaced with a Dora the Explorer themed Candy Land. It was like watching old gangsters bet for dough - the competition was thick. There were tears of loss, shouts of joy, attempts at cheating and toddler cursing. "Oh, maaaaaan!" (Moms of Swiper the Fox fans will get that quote. People who don't, count your blessings.)
My family is far from perfect, but I always feel love when I'm there. I'll miss the house when it sells, but the memories and traditions for my own home will always remain. It's there, in that rambling ranch, that I learned about the importance of community, being together, being myself, story telling and food. Above all, the food.
What are some of the things or places you enjoyed this year?
* Photo of Pip, Stink and their two cousins who live a mile from us. They range in age from 3, 4, 5 and 6. Let's just say that it gets a bit wild when the sugar sets in, but it's worth it. I hope they have great memories of Christmas Day gaming, hiding under the adult table, and the time the toilet overflowed in the back hallway bathroom. (If you didn't know about that, Mom, you do now. Wooops.)