Our T3 this week is the Tale of Two Christmases...
Like most families, we get to split up the holidays. Thanksgiving is always in St. Louis and most recently Helen & Len have been hosting the clan. For Christmas, our Pack of Three spend it with Suzi's family. The Czechs do all their Kris Kringle stuff on the Eve, replete with fish soup and potato salad. That leaves Christmas Day for my side. The St. Louis clan all bundle up and roll north into the country for a late lunch, some gift hurling 'round the tree and then pack up in the early evening to head home.
This year was much of the same. Last year we were in Jordan, hosting Christmas at the Fellowship House for a myriad of nationalities. It was Christmassy and stuff. And there was some craziness that comes with a church full of personalities. So, it was nice this year to just be able to hang out with very little over our heads. Christmas Eve was fun with Cooper going nutso on the presents. He likes nothing more than ripping up stuff, so opening gifts came second-nature to him. We usually take a Christmas shot together as a family. Jan was always the trigger-man and, while not much was said, he's a big presence to be missed.
One of the big successes for Christmas Day had to be dinner prep for me. Normally, we're racing around like nuts trying to get everything in play before the Clan arrives. Anyone who's tried to get a turkey, pork loin, several casseroles and the rolls(!) all done at once knows the craziness I'm talkin' about. It can get ugly. Ted, the Parents and us kids sat down to strategize the day, complete with time-lines. We got a late start but made up for it and were in pretty good shape by the time the doorbell rang. Happiness prevailed!