We've been enjoying Candace and Michael here for the last couple of weeks. Ford's business was so swamped (which is a huge and unusual blessing this time of year) he needed help and since Michael's work was slow, they came down to stay with us for a while. Now Priscilla is home from college too. All of the adults in the house have been going to work at 8am, leaving the four younger kids and I home during the day. Then at night, everyone is home together. It has been the perfect balance between peace & quiet and fun.
This morning we had our own immediate family's Christmas with gifts from Ford and I and the much anticipated stockings. The rest of today will be spent loading up the presents, packing overnight clothes and cooking food to take to Grandma & Grandpa's, which is just next door. My sister, Lori, and her family will meet us over there for a grand total of twenty people!
Our tradition is that each family basically prepares a whole meal for Christmas Eve and we add it all together buffet style. Mom and Lori usually make more traditional Christmas dinner type foods, while I choose the ethnic variety. This year my contribution is shredded pork tacos, chiles rellanos eggrolls, mexican rice and black bean & corn salsa. Yum! We dress up and have a nice dinner together with loads of desserts that Grandma makes. We have a dirty santa present exchange and a sort-of-talent show. Then we ALL spend the night. We wake up, open presents from the person who drew our name and spend the rest of the day lounging in our pajamas, playing games and eating leftovers. We usually stay until the next evening.
Needless to say, it's most everyone's favorite twenty-four hours of the year!