Saturday, December 29, 2012

More of the story...

When we went to the airport to pick up our visitors from the east, it was a sobering reminder to see the flags flying at half staff for the victims of the horrible shooting at Sandy Hook.  I often thought of those parents through our celebrations.  So quickly the world moves on, and leaves all those grieving families.  Another reason to cherish the special moments we have with family and friends.

I told you we were all about babies this year.  They watched as the silly big people acted like children while playing our "traditional"  Christmas Lottery.  Many years ago, after losing my Mom, I took over her place and had the entire family (Mom's side, about 60 people) over for Christmas Eve every other year.  When my Aunt Lor said that she would not be able to host all of us, we floundered on our own that first Christmas Eve.  Elizabeth and I decided that we had to make a new tradition for our family...
and the Christmas Lottery was born.

That first year, just the kids played, along with all the Moms.  The Brothers and even my hubby were not impressed and stayed in the other room while we played.  But gradually over the years, the guys joined in.  We had more fun, and laughed so hard, it became our favorite part of Christmas Eve.
Now everyone plays, and shops all year for just the right gifts that set the tone of FUN!

First we pile up the gifts...  They are silly gifts mostly...from the dollar store, regifts, we even had a Leg Lamp that went around for a few years, went home with someone for a year and then came back to be picked again by some "lucky" recipient.  We roll some dice and pick two numbers.  If you get one of those numbers, you pick a prize.  We play until all the prizes are gone.  Then comes the fun.  We set a timer and go around again.  This time if you get a number you can steal a prize from anyone.  There are always things that everyone wants (or they think they want, because every gift is wrapped).  One year it was fish flavored cat water.  Another year it was hubcaps from the dollar store.  This year I started a buzz about an obviously hard to disguise record album.  When I got a number I stole the record from someone, and then everyone started to take the album when they got one of the numbers.  (It was an autographed Vic Damone album from the thrift!) We've had grown men steal from children,(everyone said awwwwwwwww!) Husband from Wife, Children from their parents.  We've had so many laughs. Once when son Jon yelled "in your face Trace" to our shyest and quietest family member, I almost died laughing, so did Tracy and everyone else.  It is everything that Christmas isn't about, stealing and accumulating wealth, yet it is the perfect thing that brings us all together. (When we are together it is almost 30 people, this is the one time we are doing something all together, just for fun.) We have so much fun opening our gifts one at a time.  Everyone gets to see what you got...a silver framed photo of the Ikea monkey, surprise packages from Chinatown even the purchasers didn't know what would be inside.  I wrapped a bunch of stuff people left from last year's lottery...(a good way to get rid of it! ;-) a chicken feeder I got at a rummage sale.  My brother Larry is a teacher and has a student that is raising chickens, and he was happy to receive it to pass it on to his student.  The Babe Winkleman seasonings were a big hit, from the summer flea market.  I guess you would have to be with us to appreciate the fun and the thought put into making this the highlight of our gathering. 

Christmas Day was quiet by comparison.  Just Elizabeth's family and our own.  My constant companion, that sweet little Penny.  My arms got a workout, as I couldn't pass this girl by without grabbing her.  She got pretty good at reaching out to me too.  We lit a fire, ate our soup and lasagna, yes a strange combination, but something for everyone.  We enjoyed every moment!

Thanks for stopping by and for all the lovely comments on my last post.  Have a great weekend my friends!

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Debby said...

Love hearing about your Christmas.

Debby said...

Love hearing about your Christmas.

Lynne said...

You gave me my two favorite things.
Family laughing and happy together.
Stories about family traditions,

And then there is that Little P with her adorable eyes, cute little rose bud mouth. Adorable . . . It makes me happy to feel and see the joy on your face!

Happy two zero one three!
Love, Lynne

Lynn said...

Oh, all the beautiful babies. You must be so proud to live in a community honoring timeworn values of decency. The joy of your household simply radiates, Penny.

Linda Primmer said...

Hello Penny, it's a pleasure to meet you. I just found your lovely blog.
The babies are such sweet bundles of joy. Your Christmas looked joyful. I am happily your newest follower. Happy New year, Linda