December 25th, 2005


Christmas Day

Jet was amazed at what he found the next morning! Stuffed stockings! And TWO presents!

I was very glad. He'd gotten the fact that in "The Polar Express" all the kids only get one present from Santa. It's a good precident.

We had our stockings while John baked the cinnamon rolls. I got one of the Lego cars and Jet got the other, and we each had gotten the others' matching car for the Big Cars. Oop. So we swapped. That was good. Jet liked the candy and other small goodies he'd gotten. Yay!

He was so excited he could only eat half a cinnamon roll before begging to do presents. John and I took our time and enjoyed the fresh, yeasty rolls and freshly roasted coffee... Yum.

I could, however, feel a cold coming on and I wasn't that happy with that. So I took an Airborne before we hit the presents.

There were drifts of presents under the tree. We got a huge bounty today, and it was really impressive that Jet's pile of presents was decisively bigger than John's and mine combined. :-) That's the way it should be, I think. Hee.

Jet was very workmanlike in unwrapping. He was great, this year, and didn't insist on playing with everything before going onto the next one. Even it wasn't until 10:30 that he was finally finished and we were well and totally late for Christmas service. So we decided not to go. I was sick enough I decided to just go to sleep, and I slept three hours. In the midst of it, Jet hurtled into my room and said, "Mom, mom! Is it okay if I'm loud and the monster yells a lot of stuff?" "Uhm... sure. Go ahead..."

I didn't hear a thing. John had to come in and wake me up and ask if there was something he could help with. I rattled off the first thing off my head, and he went down to start that while I blearily got myself together and got dressed. I decongested myself and Tylenol'ed myself and then went down and hit the menu, hard.

There was a lentil-nut loaf to be made, dressing with meat and veg, the rolls to make and rise and bake, the turkey to reheat, and two kinds of gravy to make, all before 5. So I had a time line all laid out of what could be done when. I prepped both dressings and the loaf, both to bake for the last bit of time. The turkey gravy came next, as it gets silky if I slow simmer it for an hour or more. Then the rolls were quick and easy to roll out since they could sit out to warm up for me. They rose nicely while I took a quick shower.

Then people arrived. 12 adults and 9 kids. It was great. We had a house full of fun people with little kids all occupying each other in the basement by 4:30. Mei made astonishingly good potstickers for everyone for appetizers, and then the food started flowing to the board. We'd set up our granite table to hold all the food, and it did beautifully. All the drinks, hot cider, wine, beer, and water were on the central island. Folks had brought jello fruit salad, some white asparagus, salad, desserts, mashed potatoes (with some on the side with red and green food coloring), and it was wonderful. The rolls were nearly burnt, but not quite, and they were still warm by the time everything else hit the table. Wow.

So everyone sat down at once and ate. The kids were brought up from the basement and they all sat at their table at one time! My gosh! I even got a picture of them! :-)

I got to sit down with everyone, too. That was quite the treat. The kids behaved beautifully, so nearly all the adults got to eat with the adults as well. And those that didn't spelled each other and got some adult time, which was good for all of us. When the kids were done eating, they all ran down to the basement again, and had a great time trying to wreck the train and slide everything but themselves down the tiny wood slide down there.

I ate quite happily, and then started the dessert. Fermented rice with mandarine oranges and mochi rice balls filled with sesame seed paste was the offering besides the more American traditional stuff that two of the other moms had brought. Most of the parents there were either Asian, married to an Asian, or had adopted an Asian child. So even the adults who had never tried this kind of things before were curious enough to at least try it to see if they liked it. Most did! That was cool. Ivy, a little Chinese girl who had come to Bonnie and Fred this last fall, dug into hers like there was no tomorrow, and made coo'ing sounds at the balls. Though, admittedly, she did the same at the Cool Whip blobs she could pick up with her fingers. Hee.

It was a great evening. Everyone had fun. Tonya helped out with some of the cleaning up when most everyone else had left, and we'd done a good enough job of planning that most of it was dishwasher work. John got one load started early, so we could talk a little more, and then we got the second load in soon after everyone had left.

When I asked Jet what he'd liked best about Christmas, at first he said, "The presents." But then he thought a little and said, "But really I liked the whole thing. Every bit of it."