Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Eve Family Fun

Every year, when I was a kid, Christmas morning lasted a split second before we had to leave to go to Dad's parents house. We got to open gifts, eat a little candy from our stockings, and a bit of breakfast, but then we had to change into our clothes, get in the car, and travel 2 hours to a Detroit suburb where we would spend the rest of the day. In a house full of Polish siblings and no other children (up until I was about 10 or so), I would sit in the corner and eat whatever happened to be in the bowl Grandma would place in front of me...usually potato chips or M&M's. I have never wondered why I was such a fat child!!
Anyway, when I moved out, and was living on my own I swore I would NEVER travel on Christmas Day. It's the day when you are EXPECTED to stay in your PJ's all day...and that was my plan as an adult. Even when my parents eventually followed me out here, I told them, 'do not expect me on Christmas is the day I get to spend with Jason and that's it.' So, Christmas Eve, it was...
Through the years, it has evolved into many types of party. I think we've settled on rotating host house, and we tend to have a theme (last year I did the Japanese themed Christmas).

This year sister Steph hosted and her theme was Christmas Morning. We all (except my crabby 'Jewish' husband) wore our jammies. There were 3 kinds of quiche, bacon, sausage and fake sausage for the vegetarians in the crowd, roasted potatoes, and a baked french toast. I brought my homemade eggnog, there were mimosas, and a delicious non-alcoholic punch for the non-drinkers. I actually ended up have only a couple cocktails and then switching to punch...I still woke up sick this morning...I think staying up late plays havoc on my insides! :(

But now all of that is over and I can reveal what I found for gifts. Usually we do a swap, but this year Steph wanted to do Secret Santa instead. It was fun, because you knew who was getting the gifts, so you could put a little love into it. I, of course, pulled Steph's fiance's name...I know little about him and what I do know is all foreign to, video games, Japanese culture...stuff I just don't know about. But I took what I knew about him and found some great stuff. I bought a little wind up toy in Vegas, but each day, I thought it might not be interesting to him...but I ended up giving it with the gift b/c it was there and I couldn't think of anything else. He ended up liking it after all.

I wanted to find some cute robot thing and found a robot pocket watch on etsy, but it was in China, so I didn't get it. Today, of course, I found about a million more, right here in the States (this isn't the one I found originally, but it was kind of like this).Oh, well.

Then I found this funny salt shaker at Prince and Pauper. It looks Asian, but it also looks like a robot!

After buying it, I went back into the shop (on etsy) and found another cool gift for him! An illustration (by Ben Wu) on a card. There were prints, but we had a budget, I liked this picture, and cards are great when they're framed anyway!
Jason found the cutest little paper animals on etsy, too.
When he showed them to me and said, 'I need to make these to go with Renee's gift.' I said, 'oh! I want to make some too!!' So, I convinced him that the owls would be better with my gift, and that he should do the chickens for my sister, because they reminded me of her bumper sticker that says, 'I am not a nugget' (she's one of the vegetarians). It was kind of funny, actually, last Sunday, Jason and I watching football, drinking beer, and making little paper birdies!!
I saw some embroidered 'geekery' on line, and said to myself, 'I could do that!' I figured a homemade gift is a good way to add fun, without spending any more, since I had all the supplies already. My gift recipient plays video games, which I have no knowledge of or about...I'm completely clueless there! But when we played Rock Band, there was a funny song I liked my sister to sing, and they all told me it was from a video game (I couldn't figure out what the lyrics meant). So all I know is this: there's a video game and in the end you find out 'the cake is a lie'...whatever that I made this:
I wasn't sure about it. I thought it was funny, and I thought he MIGHT like it, but I almost left it out of the gift (yes, I doubted most of my choices!). He ended up really liking it and it was a hit. phew, dodged that embarrassment bullet! :)
Normally, wrapping gifts is one of my fav parts of Christmas. This year, as with most things, I had no creativity to think of a fun way to wrap my gifts. Then, it hit the recyclables piling up. The taco shells box was the embroidery, the ice cream sandwiches held the wind up toy, soup box=salt shaker, the giant minute rice box was perfect for the two boxes I had the owls was sturdy enough to keep stuff from crushing, and the framed card was tricky. I found one box that would work. Unfortunately it was from a frozen pepperoni gifts were for the OTHER vegetarian! At that point, though, he knew it wasn't really going to be a pizza!
All in all, it was a fun night! We played with their xBox 360 Kinect...bowling, dancing, volleyball, was odd,but fun.
We also played 'pin the star on the tree'. Games are tricky business with this family...too much silliness leads to a lot of confusion and bent over laughing.
The weirdest part was when Steph went to get one more gift. Wrapped up in a blanket that she was carrying like a puppy or a baby. Coming over to me, everyone was joking that she got me a puppy. And I was so confused by what was happening, when she took out the gift, I almost expected a puppy!! But it was this: Barbie's horse 'Black Beauty'! I had one when I was younger, and I thought it was my old one. But then she reminded me that she had broken one of the legs off of mine. This was one she actually found at a thrift store and got for me. As I said, there is a lot of silliness in this family!
So last night was fun. I went to work this morning around 6, to feed the cats and dogs that are boarding for Christmas (it made me happy that we are able to find people to come to our house...I would hate for my be locked up for the holidays), and now I'm watching A Christmas Story while blogging about last night's fun. The super awesome thing is that I can watch in the basement. Upstairs, I keep the sound low so Jason can sleep, but then I can't really hear. Before last year, we didn't have heat in the basement. This year, I'm cozy and warm in the basement: comfy chair, wrapped in a light blanket in my jammies, cup of coffee, and the tv...ahhh...
Merry Christmas to ME!!


  1. Your gifts were really impressive! The embroidery was very clever; I can't believe you almost didn't use it! Glad you had a happy Christmas day. *^_^* I wonder what Auntie, Uncle and I will decide for next year's theme?

  2. ALL of your gifts were so good and Woki said, "This will always be dear to my heart" about the embroidery, you know he is going to hang that up by his computer for all to see!
    I was so impressed with your recycle idea for wrapping as it was fun to guess what was inside and such a cute, 'here is a grocery bag of gifts' idea.
    I did not get to watch a christmas story this year. N and R do not really like it and all day yesterday was fun opening gifts, lounging in pajamas and then fun times at Mum's for dinner, so no time for Christmas Story. You have just inspired me to go light the fire and watch it in the living room now, here on Dec 26 to get that last bit of Holiday fun out of this good Christmas. Happy Christmas you old Movie House!!!!