This year we went to my brother’s house for Christmas Eve Eve. This was the day that worked out for everyone’s schedules, since my mom had to work on Christmas Eve and Amanda had to work on Christmas day.
Football was on. The Packers were spanking the Titans, Dallas had an exciting game going as well. My brother and Amanda had a lot of different Christmas beers that we enjoyed drinking – Anchor Christmas Ale, Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale, and Great Lakes Christmas Ale, to name a few. Jess and my mom were looking for a game to play and I just so happened to have their solution with a small gift for Dallas. At Dallas’s grandma’s memorial earlier this year Dallas and his siblings were talking about how she used to teach them to play hanafuda cards and how they used to play all the time. So, for Christmas one of my gifts to Dallas as hanafuda cards. He was really surprised and excited and taught my whole family how to play.
We also played an exciting game of Trouble, which I won.. and dad… did not win… even though he cheated!
For dinner, Amanda tried her hand at beef tenderloin and it turned out great. She also made some green beans. Dallas and I brought a spinach and strawberry salad with homemade dressing and some sweet potatoes. My parents brought a bunch of meat and cheese, some bacon deviled eggs, peanut butter balls, special k bars, dipped pretzels, and a pie. Oh, for dessert, I also brought white-chocolate dipped cranberries, gingerbread cookies and fudge. We had such a great dinner, so much to eat! I was stuffed. My brother also made some homemade eggnog, that was gone in a flash because it was so tasty.
After eating, the guys retired to the living room to watch football, drink beer and wait to open gifts, while all the girls cleaned up in the kitchen. I complained loudly, but no one did anything differently!
After dinner we opened gifts. Stephanie and Jessica opened gifts from me and Dallas and my parents first. We got Steph a few small things and a gift certificates to shop for clothes at H&M. For Jessica we got Just Dance 4 (which we hilariously played later on) and some brightly-colored jeans. Our big gift to both Jess and Steph was a Nintendo 3DS XL, which Jess slyly opened and started playing with before anyone could notice!
Richard, Amanda, Dallas and I got some gifts from Santa. I gave Amanda and my mom some homemade vanilla and a cookie party cookbook with photos and recipes from all of my parties through the years. Jess crafted some special things for my mom too.
Next we did our adult gift exchange. We draw names and have a $40 limit, so it doesn’t get too crazy. This year I had Richard’s name. I made him a Revolution Brewing gift basket with three kinds of canned Revolution Beer, a Revolution tshirt and a Revolution Brewing koozie. Richard got my mom some delicious coffee and some other treats. My mom got Amanda some cold-weather biking gear. Dallas and my dad had each other’s names. My dad got Dallas some of his favorite beef jerky, golf balls and some Dallas Cowboys stuff. Knows him well! Dallas got my dad a nice Under Armor shirt for running. Great gifts, overall!
Oh, and I almost forgot. Buddy is the new addition to the family, my parent’s new cuddle dog. He looks so ferocious in this photograph and we were all laughing because that’s the opposite of his gentile, docile personality. He’s a nice dog.
Last but not least, here are some funny videos we made downstairs while we were playing cards.