My Monkeys, my sweet husband and I all had a very nice Christmas. The Monkeys opened their presents (after dawn, which is always nice,) we went to Mass (we avoid the Christmas Eve overflowing crowds when we can -- crowds can be tricky with lots of little ones in tow) and then drove to my sister-in-law's house for fajitas. A long day, but I appreciate, again and again, how fortunate we all are, and how many blessings we truly have.
Rudolph is her brooch! Her vest also reads, "So Bright!" Ugh.
And a few days ago. . . .
Last year, we hosted a No Gifts/No Stress Christmas Party. That's right -- no gifts were allowed to be exchanged. The focus was on family and fun. We had such a good time, we decided to host another this year! We have it on the 23rd, as we know a lot of people have other family obligations and traditions on Christmas Eve and on Christmas Day. Plus, most people don't have to work the next day, so we can have a late night if we want (we did.)
This year, we added an Ugly Sweater Contest. My siblings loved the idea -- asking if embellishments were allowed. Of course! (I'll have to tell you about our Big Bux Bingo party some time. . . . it started with a simple t-shirt, and exploded. Somehow, twirling peppers, caulk, cotton balls, cat food, pigs' ears, adult diapers, a mask, and dried grass got involved.) My husband's family really doesn't know what to think about that sort of thing, so only three of us ended up participating in this contest. My sweater was pretty lame.
I later added a few battery-operated lights to it, and they didn't even show up in the pictures. I had big plans, involving lots of ornaments and beads, but time just ran out on me. Boooo. But WOW my sister-in-law (with the help of my brother) and sister went all out! (Please excuse the dreadful photo, but it's the best I could find.)My sister's horrid vest is the winner, as determined by secret ballot:
The kids were all excited to participate -- perhaps motivated by a Starbucks gift card as a prize? They all did a fantastic job with theirs. I can't wait for next year's contest! I'm already scheming.