Christmas at the Barber's
This year, the major celebration of the birth of Jesus at our home was on 26 December. This was the year for our children to spend Christmas day with their spouse's parents. As we do every other year, we spent the day with our oldest daughter's inlaws, the Lee's, in San Antonio. Everyone but Grand Daughter Jaime was here on the day after Christmas. She had to be with her mother in Houston, but she will be here before she heads back to Baylor in January.
Eighteen stockings, one for each of us, are hung, loaded, and the overflow placed on the hearth and floor, by Mrs. Santa, or Na-na, as she is more commonly known, on Christmas eve. Mine is on the left, and Betty's is at the extreme right.
The morning is spent with the kids watching TV, playing games, reading, and otherwise killing time until all are present and a late lunch is completed.
Fourteen manage to crowd around the two main tables, and with the three older boys at the bar on stools, everyone partakes of the ham, turkey, dressing, three types of casseroles, salads, spiced peaches, and rolls.
The pumpkin, pecan, and apple pies, and the Jesus Birthday Cake, are for later, after presents are opened.
After the late lunch, the presents are finally passed out from under the Christmas tree (and actually from about a fourth of the room), and opened with lots of noise and wonder. After the paper is separated from the presents, and is carted out, the stockings are removed and the hidden wonders are found. Everyone gets candy, and some get nuts in the toe of their stocking. No one is disappointed, but parents often complain of "Too much." Betty always gets chocolate covered cherries, and always complains of getting "Too many." They are never left, though, to see the new year.
We did have 18 present without Jaime since Mollie, the Lee's beagle, was present for it all.
The empty stockings are returned to be used again next year.
We get back to our daily habits of reading, TV, and dozing off, until after the new year starts, and all the Christmas decorations come down, and are stored until after Thanksgiving. I get to play with my new toys, which includes a digital camera so I don't have to wait for roll completion and picture developing when I want a picture, such as the two above, to add to the web site.
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