Well, today was definitely less stressful than yesterday, thank goodness. We had a family gathering at my brother's house. Today was the Vikings vs. Packers game, a pretty big game that we really wanted to see. The get together started at 1:00pm. The game started at noon. We were like 'Uh, we really want to watch this game. We'll be over later.' They were like 'Just come early and watch it here. We'll have it on anyway.' Alrighty!
We left here about 10:0am and stopped at hubby's parents' first to drop off their Christmas gifts and chitchat for a bit. Then we had to go pick up my mom because she was riding with us to my brother's. (It was not the same brother who hosted for Thanksgiving.) First we had to stop and pick up Mom's mail. I grumbled a bit that "SHE got three cards." Then we stopped to put gas in my car, before finally getting to Mom's place. Hubby was amazed to find her walking without her walker or cane around her little kitchen area. That was kind of funny. She decided to use her cane today to go to my brother's.
We got stuff loaded into the car and headed over to his house. When we got there, only my brother Tom was home. SIL Yvonne was finishing up something at her own parents' place and would be back soon. Ty showed up shortly after we got there, but Casey decided not to attend. My brother Paul and SIL Peg were not there because she was having her own kids and grandkids over. They were going to try and stop by a little later if her kids left early enough. My other brother Gary, nephew Dan, and niece Amanda were not going to be attending because they were actually at the very football game we were so anxious to watch. Dan had won tickets from work! SIL Vickie was going to attend but then called and said her truck had died in the grocery store parking lot and she wouldn't be making it. So it was just a very humble gathering.
SIL Yvonne got home after a bit and was busy getting lunch ready while we watched the game and munched cheese and crackers, cookies and candy. At one point we FaceTimed my sister Sheri, who lives out of state. We passed Tom's iPad around and each got to talk to her and Julius. That was all pretty funny. I just kept thinking of Christmases many years ago when Gary was living in California and would call on Christmas day, and we'd all pass the phone around and say a few quick words before the phone bill got too high. Anyone old enough to remember those days?! LOL
We watched the game, at homemade lasagna for lunch, and exchanged gifts. Then we sat around and chatted for a while longer before deciding to head home. We ended up packing up all the gifts that would be going to Gary and his family since we could go by their house on our way home. We'd just gotten all that stuff plus all the stuff my mom was going to be taking home into the car when my brother Paul showed up. He said he couldn't stay too long because he had to get back so he and Peg can usher at church tonight, but he wanted to pop in and represent his little part of the family. We stayed a couple more minutes to chat with him, then Mom decided she'd stay a little longer and just ride home with him instead. So we had to go dig her things out of our car and move them into Paul's car. lol Ty left while we were still doing that, and then we headed out once everything was organized.
We swung by Gary's place on the way, gave them their gifts from everyone, chatted a few minutes there, then headed home. We ended up detouring to look at Christmas lights since it was getting dark now and everything was lit up. We finally got home about 5:30pm.
Tom and Yvonne's tall, skinny tree
Mom video-chatting with Sheri and Julius
Tom and Ty
Yvonne, Tom, and Cosmo (one of their three cats)
Willie, the scruffy old dog who snores when he sleeps and kept growling at Kurth
So this evening Casey wanted to just bring the gifts he'd bought down and put them under the tree. My first reaction was 'Nooooo!' because that kills the mystery and Christmas morning surprise. But then I was like 'Whatever.' He brought his down, and then I was kinda thinking I'd just go ahead and bring all the ones I'd bought down too. For whatever reason, I seem to be totally at ease with it all this year. As I've mentioned, I don't really have what I used to know as Christmas spirit, but I think this is my new form of Christmas spirit, letting go of what used to be and embracing what it is now. So yes, I hauled the gifts down and put them ALL under the tree already this evening, and filled the stockings. I think I kinda like it this way now! There is a new kind of mystery to it all, seeing it but not being able to have it yet. Hubby hasn't added his to the mix yet but I know they're all small things because I know he ordered from Lawn Fawn. *wink wink*
Yes, I think this Christmas will turn out wonderful after all.
I leave you now on this merry Christmas Eve and hope you all have an awesome holiday tomorrow!