A Christmas to remember
Over the last few years we have molded our own Christmas tradition, friends over the night before Christmas, Church on Christmas Eve, a light dinner, the kids open presents from each other and from their grandparents, sleep in until 9 or 10 ( yep, it’s true our kids are NOT early risers) have some cinnamon rolls or dad makes eggs, read the Bible, take turns opening presents, and then play with any electronics as dad mumbles in frustration to himself trying to open plastic wrapped toys and wire ties. The afternoon is spent cooking a Prime Rib dinner while dad attempts to program, set up and debug all electronics while mom collects the leftovers of her endless hours wrapping perfection. I know it doesn’t seem like much, but it is ours. It is comforting, relaxing, stress free and fits us like a brand new Snuggie, with feet.
This year Mom invited us back to Anchorage to celebrate Christmas at her house. Considering that this may be our last Christmas in AK for a while, we accepted. This changes things a little. You see my mom does not do small and relaxing. My mom does big and grand. So I knew there would be excessive food and excessive people. Further, we had to load up the van with all the gifts and all the gear required for a Christmas weekend.
Upon arrival I quickly learned that I was not wrong, nor was I disappointed, there were about a dozen pies, several turkeys, lots of sides, home-made egg nog ( another of my favorite cholesterol fat inducing traditions) french onion soup and yes my french dip. Christmas eve included a candle light service ( and no Shine Jesus Shine) with an exchanging of a few gifts. The house was full of food, fun and folks. It went very well with a relatively early bed time. Christmas Day was another story.
It started well, we slept in until we could her our little nephews and nieces pitter pattering around the house. Tracy and I eventually made our way downstairs clothed in our traditional Christmas Jammies. I should haveknown it was going to be a little off day when I went to make a cup of coffee and the Kuerig was stingy with the water. Something was amiss. Desperate, I ran a solution of vinegar and water through the system, to no avail. Glenn without his traditional cup of Christmas morning sludge is unacceptable to most and unbearable to all. So after cleansing the system I tried again. It dribbled out about 8 ounces of joe, at least it was something. However one sip let me know that the system was still full of vinegar as I puckered in disgust looking for a place to spit my sip, the definition of a sourpuss. It never did give up any acceptable joe.
So we decided to start the gift opening, with no coffee. Unfortunately we did not calculate the time it would take with the extra four openers in the flock. You see we open one present at a time, but we had 11 kids in the mix. About 4 presents in we decided that everyone should open one present at a time, but in unison, adapt and survive. Perhaps I was impatient due to the lack O joe, but it seemed to be an effective and efficient method and by my calculations we would have been un-wrapping until New Year’s Eve.
Once the presents were opened, Uncle Brad and I were off in search of coffee, of which we found a couple of smart stands open for business. Needless to say a big tip was in order. The afternoon did not fair any better as minutes into the frying of the turkey and prior to the cooking of the sides, the power went out. The same power that we lost on Thanksgiving ( and we later learned was lost on New Year’s Day). Do you think somebody may be bucking for some Holiday OT over at the Chugach Electric Company? Once again we improvised and brought the remainder of the food over to Val’s to cook, and made do with what was already done. The power stayed off until 3 am the next morning, so in the interim we slept ( okay I may have dozed off on the couch) ate, played charades, played cards, talked and sat by the fire in an attempt to stay warm. The poor kids had to wait forever to play their new electronic games, including the new Kinect which eventually dad and uncle Brad broke in for them. However, all in all it certainly was a Christmas to remember.