Tuesday, December 25, 2007

christmas eve with the family (holiday party #22)

My brother and his family graciously opened their home for the family celebration. Everyone gathered after the children's Mass. The table was set beautifully with place cards made by June Bug. Lesson's have been learned over the years and we open presents before we eat.

Let me set the scene - a five-year old boy and a seven-year old girl at the center. Surrounded by by grandparents and aunts and uncles. Did I mention that the children are the only grandchildren/niece and nephews of the group gathered? Paper was flying and we were all jockeying for good camera position.

I decided when the children were born that I was only going to give them savings bonds, music, art or books as gifts. I held to that notion for a few years, but handing a three-year old a painting does not have the satisfaction that giving a Barbie does. I've managed to strike a happy medium and hold myself to giving just one toy - which still makes me feel a little Scrooge-like. Since June Bug is my godchild I've also given her a peice of Spode Christmas Tree china every Christmas to get her started with a tradition that I love.

This year I gave June Bug a pink Disney digital camera that holds 40 pictures and downloads right to the computer. Little Brother got one of the recordable talking gnomes. It is really cute and makes your voice higher to sound more gnome-like, 'cause as we know gnomes have high-pitched voices.

The kids giving their mom 'elf shelf gifts' they purchased at school.

My siblings draw names for a $5 gift. I gave Dad a bunch of kitchen stuff that can be used for his annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day fish fry (I can't believe that I didn't blog about this party, I'll remedy that this year). Dad gave us money, as he likes to say - it's your color and it fits.
After dinner and the kids were tucked in to their beds, I got to help with my favorite part of the evening - assembling gifts. JR put together the train track around the tree and I got to set up these cool computers purchased through the One Laptop for Every Child program. They really are amazing. They have microphones, cameras, painting capabilities and can access the Internet.


Kim said...

Oh honey. I send you a giant "my mom can be such a giant pain too" hug.

One of my mom's favorite phrases is "do you REALLY like that?" referencing my new top/pants/dress/haircut etc. She has torpedoed many a nice day, I must tell you.

Just know she loves you, even if she doesn't get it.

bad influence girl said...

One of the pictures for this month on my Mik-Wright calendar is a snow-covered farm scene, with the caption, "I'll be home for Christmas. (And in therapy by New Year's.)" Truer words were never spoken.

Ramblings of a Villas Girl said...

Oh Nora, I have tears in my eyes. How heartbreaking. You did the right thing by ignoring the comments and enjoying the children. I'm sure deep down your mom really loves you, but has a hard time expressing it.
I'll speak for all your blogger buddies, me included, we love Nora. Sending you a big hug from Jersey. Lisa

Ramblings of a Villas Girl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jamie Dawn said...

I'm so saddened by what your mom said and did.
I guess being critical is just her way, but she is sure missing out on YOU, Nora. I'm so sorry she hurt your feelings and pretty much ruined your evening.
I hope the joy in the faces of your niece and nephew managed to brightened up your spirit.
I wish for you to have a very healthy 2008 filled with lots of laughter and continued interesting life events.
Happy New Year!!

Rachel said...

You did good with your Mom Nora, and other than that it sounds like you had a lovely Christmas. That Spode Christmas Tree china is so pretty! Wish someone had bought me that over the years!

Cliff said...

Well Nora. I wish I had some good advice but I do know that what you did to retaliate (nothing) was the right thing to do. But I hate to see someone as special as you treated like that.
I enjoyed everything else in your last three blogs as I read along. I wish now I had started at the bottom and worked my way up. Sorry you didn't leave something out of the date.

Jerry said...

I know that deep down your Mom doesn't mean to be rude. Hey you had 21 fun parties (so far) and this one wasn't a total loss.

Remember: You can pick your nose, but you can't pick your family.

On to party #23!!!!