Lets start at the beginning ...
Billy got all 6 Star Wars movies for his birthday 2 weeks ago and decided that we needed to watch all of them before heading to the theater for the newest. This was our task for the holiday break and its much harder than you'd think. They are each over 2 hours and who has 12+ hours of free time to watch Star Wars? We have made it through (in order of watching) 4,5,6,1 2 and 3. Its been a journey into the mind of a 11 yr old boy. He seems to know every character, every droid, every planet and I have no idea how as we've never watched these movies before. I think its somehow hard wired into the brains of 5th grade boys. He also cant sit still and talks through the whole movie. Asking questions, describing the next scene, theorizing on how this movie relates to the others. I think we are going to need a private viewing when we get to the theater. The anticipation is killing us!!
On to Christmas Eve and Christmas morning. We had a lovely relaxing night of pies and appetisers with Wendy and AnneMiek. Salmon pie, Quebec mince meat pie, sourcream mushroom pie, asparagus rolled in proscuitto and puff pastry, shrimp, muscles, salad, Korean chicken wings, cookies, peppermint bark. It was so fun and relaxing.
After getting the kids in bed, Tom and I settled into the last 30 min of A Christmas Story and got ready (mentally) for the next morning. But, not before Nikki got into some of Santas treats and ate a bunch of grapes which then led to hydrogen peroxide induced vomiting in our front yard. Nice.
We promised the kids we wouldnt wake them before 9am (go figure, now we have to wake THEM up on Christmas morning!) We had coffee, grapes and cinnamon buns ready. Mayhem ensued. We had a couple fun moments. Jimmy wanted a Shep Shirt from Vineyard Vines but instead, we got him a Shep Harris for Mayor tshirt. He acutally thought it was really funny and then SURPRISE, Santa got him a real Shep shirt. Billy got everything he wanted (which actually wasnt much). I actually had a few surprises under the tree (like a digital picture frame for work from Kay!). Tom got a new wardrobe (seriously some nice new sweaters and jeans) and Kay got most of what was on her list. We had a bit of a breakdown when she realized that .. despite all the anticipation, the reality didnt quite live up to her expectations. Jimmy had the same breakdown 2 years ago and I think that is a right of passage. The one Christmas where you realize some of the magic of being a kid wore off a bit. I'm actually glad for it. Maybe we can get past the presents part of Christmas and help the kids start realizing its about being together. But, after claiming it was the worst Christmas ever, she wants to skip Christmas next year and will I return all of her presents .... she is now in her room quietly putting together the 3D pen we gave. I think all will be well.
We then headed up to St Cloud in a bit for Christmas lunch with the Murphys. (Brigid and Dennis's house where Grandma and Grandpa live in a mother in laws apartment and watch over Anastasia and Charlotte the only 2 natural red heads in the family - shocking for how Irish we are all:)) Super fun, Tom made hearts of palm salad at Grandma Kay's request and we rode up with Uncle Kevin. We played Zingo (like Bingo but for 7 yr olds) and Headbans (actually really fun but a few children would peak at their cards before each round, they shall not be named but as a hint ....they were the oldest boy from one family and the oldest girl from the other) Dennis's brothers and sisters were there as well and it was fun to meet them.
Happy Holidays and all the love, health, peace and happiness that a year can hold.