Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Their First Christmas

last year's Christmas at D's uncle's house

So, Christmas.

In years past I used to like to host the family Christmas lunch because I'm a bit of a control freak and like things "just so".

Well, the infertility made me very grumpy so last year we totally opted out... but at the last minute joined D's uncle which was great. Lots of people we didn't know so very superficial conversation and NO KIDS! And absolutely delicious food - she is an excellent cook. D's uncle's partner has tragically had all 3 grown-up children die within about a two-year period - I don't know how she does it.

This year, a few months ago, my SIL asked at one such family gathering what we were doing for Christmas.

I very quickly answered, "no idea but we're definitely not having it at our place".

Maybe I answered too quickly because everyone laughed.

She then said that she wants to host and we agreed at that point that we would go. Later in the conversation she said "and I'm going ALL OUT" which started getting me a bit nervous.

I'm not an ALL OUT kind of gal - far too practical.

Well, every time I had a conversation with her the party got bigger and bigger.

First it was 9 people, then she kept adding more and more until actual Christmas day when there were probably about 30 people.


Thank God she's become more sensitive over the years as she let us have the run of the house so we could see to the babies, etc, etc.

That, and these 30 people were spread out over 4 living areas so a lot more manageable.

See, while I'm an ESTJ, I have what they call an "outlier" on the intimate scale of the E (extrovert).

That's fancy speak for... I prefer to talk properly to a small number of people at large social functions rather than superficially to, let's say, 30 :) This is unusual for extroverts which is why they call it an outlier.

We made it there a little late for my liking but packing stuff for babies for nearly a whole day is a MISSION plus waiting for said babies to emerge from naps is another mission.

Lovely lunch - she did, in fact, go ALL OUT with food, decorations, etc. I banned her from buying us presents as she has bought TONS of stuff for the babies (car seats, clothes galore, teddies, etc.) in the last couple of months. She bought them a really cool travel mattress which we unwrapped there and then and put to use (love the practical!).

The babies were a bit wild initially and would NOT sleep there - new surroundings, etc. so eventually we got them up and they were happy again. Of course, Sweet Connor started reaching his limit after 90 mins or so and turned into Crabby Connor. Kendra loves the attention and being up :)

Connor had some ice-cream for the first with all food, he loved it :)

Eventually we left for home sent with TONS of food, all of us tired as anything, and the minute we got home, we put the babies to sleep.

I think they only woke twice each that night - they were POOPED!

Gifts are such an afterthought with us - maybe because we don't go all out? - that I'm thinking of stopping the adult gifts completely.

What do you do about Christmas gifts?

This year we really made that expensive photo shoot work for us. I had family shots printed, bought some beautiful wooden frames and gave those to both mothers and both sisters. That plus my biscuits (cookies) were a huge hit.

Of course my SIL bought their mother a R5000 ($650) TV for Christmas - the disparity didn't even OCCUR to me until the next day (let's call it mommy brain). But as I said to D, we've paid R46 000 on the twins in the last 5 months (over $6000 - I honestly don't know where we got the money aside from my bonus at work) and I feel not a shred of guilt.

Hmmm, so on a scale of 1 - 10, I'd rate this Christmas about a 8, since although I was exhausted from the continual jumping up to feed babies, I now HAVE BABIES and also, I didn't have to cook or clean. There was a stress factor which I'll blog about another day..

What was yours like on a scale of 1 - 10?


  1. Christmas was great as we didn't go anywhere on the day itself. We had DH's family come over the Sunday after for a party and gift exchange at our house. It went great. I'll call it an 8.

    BTW, we don't get gifts for any adults other than parents. We have so many nieces and nephews that are under the age of 18 to make sure we have covered. Plus in general, we're not big on proving we've spent lots of money on gifts. Especially this year with the babies and the economy the way it is.

  2. I'm slow at getting caught up on my blogs and missed this post...caught it on todays linkage.

    Ahhh, Christmas. The bane of my existence for many years! When my kids were very small we always had to figure a way to be at both my parents and his at some point between the 24th and the 25th. It was a total pain in the @$$. Then I got smart. I started staying home with my children and told the grandparents to figure out when they were coming to us! My mother began what she called the Traveling Granny show. She'd get up on Christmas morning and go to my sisters and bring presents to them and have coffee cake/rolls and coffee, visit awhile and head my way. She'd arrive at my home around 11:30ish. By that time we'd already opened what was under our tree and the kids were happily playing with their new toys. I'd make a quick breakfast casserole and my mother'd arrive and we'd have brunch followed by presents. She'd leave early afternoon. My in laws would arrive about 6 p.m. and we'd have dinner at our home. They'd bring dessert. After dinner there'd be another round of presents. They'd leave and we'd relax as a family for the rest of the evening then head off to bed. That set up worked best for us for a good many years. We weren't packing up our children, pulling them away from their new goodies and dragging them about. They were happy. We were happy. All the grandparents were happy.

  3. I'm going back and reading your blogs that I missed out on. I really love the professional pics you had done. This one is amazing as all 4 of you are looking at the camera! With gifts - I used to just buy and give whatever I felt like- I like gifts so I liked to give too - now with being accountable to K on what I spend,(as he brings home the bacon), I am far more thrifty and sometimes I find it challenging sticking to a budget and other times I feel 'mean-spirited' when I am so blessed by others. Swings and round-abouts - so we are quite strict though on how much we spend on Christmas gifts as it can get out of hand and leave one feeling a bit ill in Jan. For friends/family with kids, we usually don't buy adults gifts.


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