This year we began reinventing how Christmas will look for us. It was shopping for gifts with my sister after the Thanksgiving weekend. There were Duck Dynasty items for the Dirty Santa exchange at the Rogers' family Christmas. A My Pony in a purse for Great Niece and a Dark Knight play set for Great Nephew. A bowl for Mom to have filled with candy for her visitors. A scarf to Oldest Sister from my Mom who can no longer shop for her daughters was purchased from a home based crafter. I cannot tell the gifts purchased for the Grandsons as that exchange will not take place until January 4th. Shoes for Husband were found, purchased and hidden in a corner of our closet. Wusthof knife online sale at William Sonoma was used to purchase Son's gift.
Cards were sent before the middle of the month. We are still receiving cards from our Wesley friends as well as others after they received our new address. The cards received were placed in a basket. One card at a time will be drawn each day and prayed for during the coming year. A dear friend and her husband did that. I adopted the practice.
A second shopping trip yielded more Grandson gifts. My Mom received a Guideposts yearly devotional book, another online find. Sisters' exchange gift was a "SLUTS" (Southern Ladies Under Terrific Stress) cup for each of us. Those were picked up back in March. Husband had an early gift of a slide for the coffeepot to sit on. My early gift was a dual shower head with a hand held sprayer that he placed at my 5'3" height instead of the 7+ feet of the one installed in the apartment.
Our last shopping trip was just before the Rogers' Christmas on Dec. 21. Purchases included youngest sister a Longhorn Tervis cup and her husband 2 hot plum jellies in high ball glasses. You remember jelly glasses with the pop top instead of the screw top jars? Or maybe you are too young for that. At World Market we picked up a yard of cookies for my Aunt Opal and reusable maple grilling planks for an additional gift for son. The last stop was at Kohl's for the "girlie gift" of hand sanitizer, sparkly emery boards, a bracelet and travel makeup kit for the Rogers' dirty Santa.
I cooked a pork shoulder per Youngest Sister's recipe. That meat along with fudge and cranberry cake were taken to the Rogers gathering on Dec. 21. The hot and spicy pork sandwiches were served with potato salad, chips, dips, Cole slaw, veggie trays and sliced smoked sausages. The main course was followed by generous stories about our parents. Antics we sisters and brothers in law had pulled as well as tell alls from the grown nieces and nephews were shared. Laughter filled the house along with the noise of children at play. Dessert plates were filled and more stories followed.
Santa payed a visit to the younger ones. That event was followed by the Dirty Santa swap and steal game. The rules were set that the third owner keeps the gift. And the first person has the opportunity to steal a gift at the end of the game. I drew # 8 and did not want a big package as I live in a limited space. I had my first 3 picks which were iTune cards stolen by the teens that followed. I ended up with a navy colored scarf.
Gene whose number was in the high teens managed to steal as the final owner a box of hot sauces. He gave them to our god daughter's husband. I am donating the scarf to the Salvation army just cause. The Duck Dynasty bag was the last to be opened. #1 stole it so #26 had to pick something else, so she stole from someone else. The game lasted another 10 minutes with Duck Dynasty changing hands several time.
Christmas morning was spent at our son's home. He had mimosa's, bloody marys and breakfast casserole that he made. It was delicious! I contributed a poppy seed dressed fruit salad and home made yeast sweet breads. After the brunch we opened the gifts from and to our son. Sister and Her Husband had sent speciality beer for Son and Husband to enjoy. We received a wine class gift certificate and a Jack Allen gift card from Son. In addition Son gave me a beautiful scarf and his dad a new coffee press. I opened the gift from Husband to find the sweater I requested and a bottle of perfume. We then played a rousing game of chicken foot.
Today we started a new tradition, eating our Christmas tree. Do not freak out, please. We had bought a rosemary tree and I snipped part of it for cooking dinner tonight. In a year of transitions the tradition of gift exchanges with family continued. This year we were present and not on Skype. It will be interesting to see how the remainder of the Holiday season will unfold. I do know we will be attending the Alamo Bowl to watch Youngest Nephew march with the Longhorn Band. That is on the 30th. As senior citizens New Year's Eve evening will be spent resting, most likely. That will not be much different than years past.
The recap was longer than anticipated. That is what I gave and received, prepared, partied and ate. If you are curious about how others spent their holiday time join Gretchen or Ginny Marie. And may ya'll have a Happy New Year!