It’s tradition on my side of the family to get together on Christmas Eve, but it almost didn’t happen this year. My parents tested positive for Covid in the weeks leading up to the holiday, and we thought we would have to postpone getting together with them and my siblings. Thankfully, that was not the case, as they recovered and tested negative.
Now that we live in a house farther away, we have quite a bit more driving to do. The weather was not too accommodating, but we made it.
I am happy to say that we did arrive safely — everyone did. All our schedules vary, especially since both my siblings work in retail. Amidst a crazy year filled with sickness, high stress, and uncertainty, we were thankful to be able to see everyone in person.
My parents, for their part, were certainly not going to waste a good opportunity to spoil their granddaughter. (They never do.) There was a (very nearly) literal mountain of presents waiting for Namine. Considering our long drive home — and the rarity with which we are able to visit my parents — I was glad for the room in our fairly large van.
The next day was very much an example of “man plans, and God laughs.” The plan was for us to drive to Jessica’s sister’s house for Christmas, but we found out at the last minute that someone there tested positive for Covid. In a snap judgement, last minute decision, we said we would host Christmas at our house.
You know, it’s funny — I had said, just a day or two prior, that I thought it would be nice to host Christmas since we now owned a house. But I didn’t mean this year! At any rate, we got to work cleaning up the house and preparing food.
In preparation, I remember being in a near-constant state of — well, not quite panic, but something close to it. They say hindsight is 20/20, and in retrospect we needn’t have felt so stressed. The food we provided was far from the only ones, as our relatives who came also brought plenty of food as well.
Namine was happy that a couple of her cousins were able to come. The girls played in Namine’s room for the majority of the time, but Jessica had also put together a Christmas-themed quiz game for them as well.
It’s tradition for us to play “the cling wrap game,” for lack of a better name. We wrap a bunch of $5 gifts and gift cards inside a giant ball of cling wrap. The goal is to unwrap as much as you can, while wearing oven mitts. The person in front of you rolls a pair of dice; when they get doubles, it’s their turn to wear the mitts and the person ahead of them gets the dice.
Playing the cling wrap game always leads to a frantic, laughter-filled time as we cheer each other on and tease each other, in equal measure. I think Jessica and I managed to win a couple Starbucks gift cards and socks… but as with most family gatherings, the time spent is more important than the gifts.
For as last-minute — almost literally! — as this year’s family Christmas get-together was, we were quite happy with how it turned out. Our family from Indiana didn’t end up eating at a Denny’s, and we managed to put on our first successful holiday party. We look forward to doing this again, hopefully with a little more notice next time. 😉