Next weekend, my 4 brothers (all younger), their significant others and my dad will all descend upon my house for holiday festivities and merriment. My step-mother isn't well and can't travel this year so dad will come without her and fly back down to FL soon after. We'll miss her this year. This is our fifth year hosting what my children have fondly dubbed "Uncle Christmas." It actually stems from another old family tradition. See, when we were younger, my mother decided after a few years that she wasn't dragging her small children off to relatives and away from their new toys. We hosted Christmas dinner at our house until the year my parents decided to divorce. On Christmas Eve, we would go to church, and then come home for Chinese food and open our gifts. (this was once we were much older.. think I was out of HS by then).
It was a nice tradition. My mom was the one who left home, and 3 of my brothers were still at home with dad. So we would go over on Christmas Eve, after we left the inlaws, and still celebrate, even if mom was missing. FFWD a bunch of years, and dad has since remarried and moved to the land of warm and sun. Now the festivities are held at my house. Not on Christmas Eve, but on a Saturday during December. This year due to my dad's schedule we are celebrating next weekend.
I spent the day today baking with my daughter. We discussed how we had too many cookies last year and decided that everyone would get their favorite cookie made. The list ended up being; Fudge, 7-Layer Bars, Snicker-doodles, Chocolate Chip Cookies and Peanut Butter Blossoms. It was nice to share the duties with someone else, and she was so proud of herself. She practically made the 7-layer bars all by herself. I shared with her how we used to have these same cookies at our Christmas gathering every year, and it was a lovely way to spend the day. Upon later reflection I think this is the same list of cookies we had last year when I thought we had too many. Except I remember some type of gingersnaps or something else too. But all in all, I don't mind the baking. We usually save the leftovers for Mr. Man's birthday party later in the month.
Today we made Fudge, 7-layer bars and Peanut Butter Blossoms. On top of that, and doing laundry and making dinner etc. etc.. I wasn't up for more baking. I think I might be getting sick but I'm not willing to admit that yet. I am finished shopping for gifts and wrapping and all I have left is the big clean of the kitchen (done over this week) and regular weekly cleaning and the bi-yearly mopping of the wood floors. I don't quite feel ready, but almost.
We all have a bit of an awkward relationship with my dad, and this gathering always seems to me to be a bit strange. Add to that one of my brothers has a new girlfriend and it should make for an interesting afternoon. I'm hoping for just a little snow before then, to add to the holiday feel.
On a side note, I saw a postcard at Post Secret today that really hit home. It read: being able to survive it, doesn't mean it was ever OK....