Families & Christmas

Today, Sunday the 23rd, began our Christmas Rush. For the wife, son and myself, this Christmas Rush is what I call the juggling act of balancing time with all our families on the holiday. I discovered quickly when I got married that the biggest pull comes during the holidays when you now have 2 or MORE! different groups requiring your attention – and that’s if you don’t throw in any plans your friends may have. This year we’ve added a new addition to our rounds, which came today. The Spangler’s, Aunt Carol, Uncle Ronnie, Mike, Pattie and their huge family wanted to include my wife and her family in their celebration with friends and family. My wife has just recently reconnected with this side of her family and I’m happy to have met them. These are some fun, fantastic folks to be around.

The folks in the Spangler family focus on the kids, watching them open gifts and have fun. The adults chat, joke and enjoy the great food – including Elk meatballs in some kind of fruity-tasting gravy simmered on a stove top. I had a blast, ate some delicious spaghetti and played my first time ever in a game of Dirty Santa. Oh, I also tried the elk meatballs … they were awesome!

The rest of our holiday includes:

Stones River _20121209_000333_PTomorrow morning, Christmas Eve, breakfast with my mom and her boyfriend and then Christmas events at their home. Tomorrow evening, dinner and Christmas celebration at my wife’s grandparents house, which will include gift exchange with all the aunts, uncles and cousins. This one is different this year. Everyone on this side decided they wanted to — trim down? — alter their gift giving. Instead of buying for everyone, we drew names. Men drew men, women drew women and put a price limit on the gifts. As for the children, things are a bit different their as well. There are three younger children – of which, our son is the youngest of the three – and it was decided that there would be a small price limit and a single gift per child. After the grandparents, we will reconvene at the mother and father-in-law’s house for our smaller, more personal gift exchange. This one will be between my wife, son, me and her brother and sister-in-law and her parents.

And then finally! The big event! Christmas morning! A crazy, wrapping paper-slinging event of just the three of us in our living room with sleep still drying in our eyes. Everyone will meet up to discuss their phat lootz at the grandparents house again in the afternoon, probably over a nice meal. I’ll visit my mom and then we will all settle in for the evening to relax and enjoy the peace and quiet of the day.

Everyone has their traditions – ours just includes house hopping to 4 different locations. Compared to some, I guess we’re actually lucky that it isn’t more. Whatever your family visiting traditions are, I hope you have a blast over the next couple of days.

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