What a day! Woke up early as usual. For breakfast we had rolls from Underbrink's Bakery--a Quincy tradition. They open around six and are sold out by 10 AM. And that's normally; at Christmastime it's even worse. But my b-i-l, Pete, drove there and got a dozen rolls--that's all they'll sell anyone, because they say it's not fair to let someone buy several dozen and then other families don't get any. A cool philosophy. And delicious food.
Then we worked around the house. Jordan and I decorated the tree while Jane and Kristen finished cleaning and preparing food. Sarah sang in a choir at the mall to raise money for the Salvation Army so Jane and I went there for a while to listen and also to give Sarah a ride home. We also stopped and bought a few more items because a few friends were going to join us for Christmas Eve and we wanted to make sure everyone had something to open.
My sister, Jan, stopped by and picked me up. She and I went to 4:00 PM Mass this afternoon. Several others of the clan were there--Matt and Beth and their two little ones, and Joe and Cindy with their three big guys. Jane and the rest of her family will go to Mass tomorrow, and I'll be able to relax while they're gone. Jan and I had an interesting experience. It was standing room only, but Jan and I found some room to sit on some stairs. Very comfy and a good view. A young family came in and they had a little boy and twin five-week-old girls (we found out the ages later). We ended up holding the twin girls throughout the Mass, and it was such a fun treat. Matt and Beth were across the church and couldn't figure out who we were holding.
There are 47 members in our immediate family. Karen and Jim, Suzie, and Craig and Megan couldn't make it and neither could my kids and their families--Jill, Todd, Kayla and Hunter and also Rob and Beata. That left 36 immediate family. We also invited Matt, Deb, Olivia and Kara--and niece Jenna brought her boyfriend Josh, so we had a total of 41 people here tonight.
And it was a riot! The good kind. I love our Christmas Eves. Craig and Megan got engaged tonight and called us from Columbus OH to tell us about it. He gave her a pretty ornament and as she was going to hang it on the tree, he suggested she open it up to see if there was anything inside it. Indeed there was--her engagement ring. Nifty.
We talked to Jill and the kids via Yahoo Messenger. Then Rob and Beata called from Okinawa. It was great!
After we opened the hundreds of presents, some of us played team Trivial Pursuit. One by one people had to leave and soon it was me (alone) playing against Kristen and Matt (friend Matt, not relative Matt). I only needed one more pie piece and they needed two. By this time we were tired and the game kind of dragged on, so we called it a draw. We'll play more games at Jan and Tim's tomorrow. They're having us over for a late lunch/early dinner. I'm anticipating another fun day with family.
Here's hoping all your best dreams come true for the holidays and beyond.