Friday, December 21, 2012

A Big Blank Canvas & Christmas Photos

Kel & Everest, 1967 - I was mad and refused to smile, probably because I had "suffered" to have my hair done!

Today CPA Boy went out and did errands and had lunch at IHop.

[And I just have to ask, WHY don't MY pancakes ever come out as good as those at IHop? Is it really the buttermilk that makes the difference? I am not fond of pancakes, being more of a waffle-loving girl, because they just seem like lumps of cooked dough. But IHop's? Yummo!]

We were trying to get together some plans for Christmas Eve and we were perplexed by all the possibilities and decisions to make. Normally, our holidays are pretty set in stone. We have it easy because each of our families live nearby so there's never any major travel to work out.
Kel and Ev, 1968 - Showing off my missing front teeth
  • Christmas Eve: spent with my family, where we have a buffet that hasn't changed much over the years. Cold cuts, potato salad, pizza rolls and egg rolls (as we've all aged into the hypertension and cholesterol years the rolls have started to fall out of favor), spinach dip and whatever else I am in the mood to make (crab dip, cheese rounds, onion dip, etc...).
    • If we have presents we open those next. We used to exchange with everybody but then we picked names for a few years. Now we don't exchange gifts at all. Then we used to play board games after present opening. We'd get home about 11:30 or so and need to get stockings ready or arrange things for Santa. We were lucky to get into bed by 1 am. 
After! Christmas 1969
  • Christmas Morning: up no later than 7:30ish (even earlier in The Boy's extreme youth) and spent at home where we empty our bulging stockings (we each have two, one for each foot of course!) and open the family presents. We usually need to rush through this and then get showered and dressed so we can head to CPA Boy's family home.
    • We don't eat anything at home because we will have breakfast at my in-laws' house.
    • We head out around 10:30 am which is a much more reasonable time than the 7 am time of the early years (keeping in mind the 1 am bedtime from the night before, all the cooking I had done the day before for Christmas Eve --- and the fact that I am NOT a morning person --- and I was already dragging with exhaustion).
Kel, Ev and K2 in 1970
  • Christmas Day: pick up Grandma, who makes cinnamon rolls and something called rolypolys (I have no idea how this is supposed to be spelled!) which everyone in the family but me adores. (Like non-IHop pancakes, these are just tasteless blobs of dough to me.) 
    • We have breakfast and then the kids open their stockings and presents. Once they are done we begin opening the gifts for the adults. Then we have lunch later around 2 pm, which features French Dip sandwiches. We stay until about 5 pm and then move on to...
Christmas 1971
  •  Christmas Night: dinner at my parent's house. Dad usually makes a leg of lamb and a crown rib roast (or something similar) and all the side dishes.
    • By the time dinner is done and the dishes are washed, we might play more games and then head home by 9 or 10.
  • Home on Christmas Night: our house is a sty at this point with opened presents everywhere that need to get put away. This all gets saved for December 26 though and we are so tired we go to bed as soon as we get home!
1972: Is my dress groovy or what?! (It's some sort of "pleather" if I recall correctly.)
In the early days our poor son really didn't get to enjoy any of his gifts until December 26th because we were always rushing off to the next location!

But with a combination of things our routine is starting to change. The Boy is 19, has a girlfriend and a job that requires working on Christmas Day (movie theater) so we may very well see little of him. My mom has been gone for 1-1/2 years so this will be the second one without her. That changed the plans of my brothers, Everest and K2. Now they aren't necessarily here at Christmas anymore (Ev is currently visiting but will be heading home on the 23rd). Meanwhile, Pops gets no joy from the season anymore because his wedding anniversary is December 24th.

Still groovy in 1973
So the crux of all this is we seem to have Christmas Eve to ourselves. We think we will move the opening of our stockings and family presents to Christmas Eve. We are still working out what we will eat. Possibly fondue (then we will stick to our usual selection of appetizers on New Year's Eve) or homemade pizza.

We will be having an early Christmas dinner on Saturday night while Ev is visiting so we will spend more time with CPA Boy's family on Christmas Day. And we won't have to get up too early on Christmas Day.

No doubt we will figure everything out before Monday night! Have a very Merry Christmas!

Note: I guess we must have stopped the Christmas card photos after 1973. After that we took family pictures. Those cover our teen years and are not necessarily pretty.

It seems, as of right now, that we have avoided the Mayan apocalypse but we still have a few hours left of December 21st to go here in California. Guh.

1 comment:

  1. Hee! Reading about your "easy" Christmas *wore me out*! When do you get to lounge on the couch and light your candles and drink eggnog and read your new Christmas books??

    I make killer pancakes if you want the recipe...

    Cute pictures!

    I hope your father will find a way to get joy from this wonderful season again - that is my wish for him in the New Year.