Sunday, December 14, 2008

Our Family Christmas before Christmas

The table is always adorned with flower arrangements.
Each daughter receives one to take home.
Beautiful, eh?

Each year we celebrate Christmas the Saturday before Christmas. This year, for some reason unknown to me, we celebrated it two Saturdays before Christmas. It was great to wait one less week to have all of the 'girls' together and see all the nieces and nephews!

This tradition started some years ago. As I understand it, there was much friction caused in my parents marriage when deciding which set of parents to visit at Christmas. To be honest, I really only remember Christmas with my mother's parents ... I guess that means she "won" each year. Learning from this, and not wanting their daughters to suffer through the same arguments and pressure, Dad and Beth elected to have Christmas a bit early. After all, it's not about a day on the calendar, it's about spending time with your family, right?

We all lead very busy lives and it is a lovely few hours to catch up, in person, with each other, our husbands all get along well and the kids are a constant wonder to all of us. They are all getting so big and changing so much. Really coming into their own with very distinct personalities.

Years ago when this tradition of Christmas before Christmas started, you could not get the kids off the stage and away from the microphone. We must have heard "Twinkle Twinkle" and "Silent Night" a dozen times each evening. This year it was all we could do to get the kids to sing. Well, all the kids but mine: clearly the Ouellette offspring do not suffer from stage fright!

Lots of conversation, a ton of laughter, a traditional beef dinner, warm plum pudding for dessert, delicious white and red wine was poured steadily, limited entertainment by our kids, even the adults all got up to sing at various times during the evening, the men are now dubbed "Five fathers and Joel" as the ladies are now dubbed "Five mothers and Natalie" - no pressure on Joel and Natalie, eh? Gifts were exchanged, funny how things get smaller and more expensive as the kids grow up, too!

William was a wonderful Master of Ceremonies managing to make it through his duties with very little sign of his lung infection. We had another creative seating arrangement with all of the girl cousins on one end with Claire a the "head" of the table, the adults in the middle, the boys at the other end of the table with William at the other "head" and the stage behind him. The girls were all giggly and chatty. The boys, well, the boys ate. Funny!

The evening ended far too early. I'm already looking forward to next year.


MidniteScrapper said...

What a beautiful table setting! I love the idea of celebrating early. Neat and thoughtful tradition.

Anonymous said...

Love this tradtion. So glad you had a good time.

Anonymous said...

Gee, wasn't expecting to be "Anonymous"!
It's me NurseJudy,
Maybe in the next month that I'm home you can teach me to blog and / or facebook!