Charlie the borrowed cat checked in, peeking around the door frame, asking for goodies. She was rewarded. How could you not.
Thinking dinner was at 5:00, (it was set for 5:30), Jill and her tribe arrived about lunch time, without lunch, in a hurry to get the duck cooked. I scrambled and they were provided for.
Tom stuffed the turkey and got it going on the charcoal grill.
Mid afternoon we put out appetizers. Jake had arrived and announced that he was hungry. Jan showed up too. I put Isaac and Irene to work assembling lefsa.
Then things got really busy, preparing the duck for roasting (Isaac had decided he needed to try duck), peeling and dicing and otherwise preparing for cooking the big meal.
It more or less came together about 5:30, with a bit of a delay for the carvers to finish their tasks. Tom advised Isaac on the carving of the duck, which of course Isaac gamely did, but based on no experience.
We all got all of it, and ourselves, to the table, and toasted ourselves for our good work, and "Merry Christmas"!
There were cookies, of course.
Irene and I watched "Christmas on Sesame Street" (we love the music) while the rest put up with us and talked over it. Jill, the kids, and Jake all dispersed into the night. Jan helped Tom load up the mini-van to haul all of our gifts over to Jill's house while the kids pretended to be asleep, thus preserving the belief in Santa. However, before we could leave, we got a text from Jill, something about a discussion in the car involving Big Bird, Santa, and Jesus. The upshot was we didn't have to be made to do all of that work late at night just to preserve something that didn't have to be sustained with such effort when it could all be ascribed to the magic of Christmas. Belief is in the believing, not the seeing. Thank you, Isaac. I think he also realized we are getting old. :-/
Christmas morning we three wise ones followed the star.
Then we hauled the sleigh full of gifts to their destination, where everyone was still sleeping.
We didn't find Jill's text with photo until the morning, but when we did, we were prepared. Jill and the kids had a late night. The kids were in bed and Jill was stuffing gifts under the tree, when the tree must have groaned "No more", snapped off its stand, and came tumbling over. Jill sort of caught it, preventing disaster and resulting in only one headless peacock ornament. Wondering what to do and supporting a heavy tree, she called for back up. She and the kids finally decided to remove a few ornaments, lay the tree on its side, where it already was, put the angel on top, and call it a hedge.
We opened stocking after we got them stuffed and Jake arrived. They were well stuffed.
Brunch was prepared. Irene decorated the cardamom bread while Jill and I fixed the eggs and sausage and fresh fruit.
Then we took our time, one at a time, opening a pile of gifts, enjoying the giving and the receiving.
Jill and kids are heading for a Mexican resort vacation tomorrow. Luggage was needed
The gift givers, that's all of us, were very generous, and the receivers, that's all of us too, were very appreciative. Of course there were stories and explanations along the way. Very entertaining.
Of course there was more food later in the day, a "light" meal of steak, shrimp, and salmon (something for everyone) and salad.
Tom and I came home about 7:00, unloaded all of our new acquisitions, and then settled into our chairs to watch "Call the Midwives", always a happy ending, and unwind, while also checking in on Facebook to see what friends and family had posted about their Christmas day. Keeping up with everyone across the miles is fun too.
And there you have it, the 2018 Reeder Family Christmas.
Today is Boxing Day. Are up boxing up, emptying boxes, or just collecting, storing or recycling boxes?
We have plenty of Amazon boxes to use again next year. :-)