I started Christmas shopping around the first week of November. I took advantage of ordering some things on-line, but ended up going to stores for about 1/2 of what I bought. I thought I started early enough to be done a week or so before Christmas, but there I was out there two days before for a last few items.
The cookies were baked, the tree decorated, the outside 50% done and gifts wrapped by the 22nd. Then came the two days of cooking and preparing for Christmas Eve and Day. All went well.
The family Christmas Eve was hosted by Ben & Gambino this year. My compliments for a very fun & enjoyable family gathering. The kids (and my 40 year old sister) were occupied with crafts in the upper level of the home. A great idea as it kept them from sitting on the couch staring at the gifts under the tree. The food was yummy, especially the home made mac & cheese. The gift opening went great. Didn't get to see to much of what people as it did get a little hectic for a few minutes there.
My husband managed to make it through the night although fighting a horrible cold. I wasn't sure he'd made the event as he sounded terrible and being a stubborn man opted out of taking anything for his illness.
After not to late of a night we headed home to get some rest before round two of Christmas started. It's always a hassle getting my kids and grand kids and mother-in-law over at the same time, but it worked out great. I filled their stomachs with lots of food and off we went to the chaos of opening gifts. From the mound of gifts I thought it would take at least a few minutes. I thought of making them open one gift at a time, but as a kid, what fun would that be? I sat and watched the utter chaos and smiles and kidding and couldn't think of anywhere else I wanted to be at the moment.