Christmas Eve - a whirlwind of a day. I wish I could have fully engaged in it and totally enjoyed it. Perhaps that just
comes with the territory of being the one who coordinates and cooks it all. We had fourteen people total, including two 2-year olds, two 4-year olds, a 7 year old, and a 9 year old. That probably explains much of it :) Lots of squealing, screaming, laughing...and
Our family has been on a roller coaster that won't end since the end of October when we found out that our 4-year old granddaughter had a malignant brain tumor. She had surgery and within no time
was having radiation and oral chemo Monday through Friday at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. I've done whatever was needed, mostly helping take care of baby brother.
Christmas shopping just didn't happen this year. My daughter bought gifts for her four children for me, and at the last minute, I bought gifts for my son's two children. The adult kids got money,
which is always great for them, but I hate it. I just really prefer tangible presents. But it is what it is...my new motto as of late. I'm trying not to stress over things that aren't important. And believe me, I'm learning what is and isn't important.
Our family celebration this year was on Christmas Eve. While we waited for one side of the family to get back from the radiation treatment, we munched on Holiday
Sausage Balls, oyster crackers, Easy Cheese Ball II shaped like a snowman,
assorted home-made cookies, and Apple Orchard Punch. I had made most of the cookies in advance and had frozen them. And frankly, this year, I just didn't take the time to make the traditional
family butterscotch pie. My daughter, quite the traditionalist, complained about it. So she, with her grandmother's tutoring, made it! It turned into a wonderful time together and one which she later told me will always be a memory she cherishes.
Once the entire family was gathered we opened presents. Our tradition is to open them one at a time, making the occasion last as long as possible and enjoying watching every single person respond
to the gift. The youngest loved his airplanes and the oldest his Wii game.
I realized this year that I don't want to be in the kitchen so much in the future. I had too many things that needed putting together and cooking. My future menus will consist of foods I can make
in advance and cook at the last minute...or better yet, just take out of the refrigerator. Live and learn, I guess! We had ham and biscuits, green bean bundles, mac
and cheese, a fruit tray with fruit dip, a salsa dip with chips, deviled eggs, brown
sugar smokies, and cinnamon roll-ups. So much was going on that I didn't get photos of my beautiful and delicious food.
Every year, I try to do some kind of "craft" with the grandkids. This year we made a gingerbread house. It
was quite a challenge letting 6 pairs of hands all help at the same time! The funny thing is that the two youngest boy cousins seemed to enjoy it the most.
While not everything went the way I would have preferred, I am going to choose to be grateful for the blessings I have:
1) My daughter made a wonderful memory with her grandmother and learned to make a pie that's been in the family for generations.
2) Both my mother and my husband's mother (both 85 years old) are still living and were able to be with us.
3) Both children and their families were able to celebrate with us (since my son and his family moved back to this area
4) We have jobs that provide money to buy food, clothing, a roof over our heads, and Christmas presents.
5) Our granddaughter may have lost half her hair, but she hasn't lost her life. I am grateful for her precious little life
and the joy she brings us.
6) And finally, I am grateful for the baby in the manger who grew up to pay the penalty for my sins and is interceding for
me even now.
MERRY CHRISTMAS, ALLRECIPES FRIENDS!