The wrapping and unwrapping of gifts is all done but the story of Hamlet’s and my Christmas isn’t so without further ado (I’m already eleven days late!), I give you the great Christmas wrap-up of 2009. And if you’re completely out of holiday spirit and resent the “wrap” pun, then just consider it a summary of what Ham and I did over Christmas.
We’re Christmas Eve people in my family. What does this mean, you ask? It means that all the action takes place on Christmas Eve: we have our big dinner on Christmas Eve, we open ALL of our gifts (except stockings from Santa) on Christmas Eve, and my brothers and their significant others and the boy and I spend the night at my mom and stepdad’s house. The sleepover allows us to maximize playing Wii and drinking Maker’s and Coke family time together. The great bonus for me this year was that Hamlet also got to spend the night. He loves my family and my family loves him so there was lots of canine Christmas merriment.
A group photo by the tree is a must every year. Thank goodness for auto timers on cameras.
We ate our traditional Christmas dinner of lasagna (my parents started this tradition a million years ago so there was little time spent on cooking and cleanup and lots of emphasis on playing with new toys and celebrating). No, we’re not Italian, we just happen to like easy-to-make dishes of baked pasta, delicious sauce, and warm, gooey cheese.
Hamlet wore his red t-shirt for the occasion so he was sure to look festive. I tried finding him some Christmasy pajamas for the sleepover. I envisioned bright red long johns with a trap door but could only find this weird tank top, elastic anklet onesie thing at PetsMart that the boy deemed “grandma’s nightgown” so no pajamas were had. Sorry, no pictures of “Grandma’s nightgown” because my camera battery died in PetsMart right as I whipped it out to capture Ham’s humiliation.
Hamlet getting in the Christmas spirit. Don't ask why the stuffed animals are wrapped in plastic; it's a long story.
After Christmas dinner we always celebrate with a chocolate shot. A chocolate shot (or a “chocolate cordial glass” if you’re fancy) is just that – a shot glass made of chocolate. We fill ours with our liquor of choice (this year it was Kahlua) and down them after dinner (drink the liquor, eat the shot glass). No, we’re not boozehounds. No, we’re still not Italian. My mom found the chocolate shots a few years ago and purchased them as a joke and they’ve been a tradition ever since. There was a close call this year where we could find no chocolate shots and us boozehounds were in a total depression we thought we might have to go without but thankfully my stepdad came to the rescue and found some last minute. Thanks Steve! It wouldn’t have been Christmas without chocolate-Kahlua-y goodness.
My brother and his fiance enjoying their shots.
The boy in the chewing phase of his chocolate shot.
Gift opening was next – it’s the best part because it’s when we make the most jokes. My niece was just shy of one year old this year but she got in on some unwrapping with help from her dad (my brother). Of course the tissue paper was much more interesting to her than any of her presents.
My brother, my niece, and her beloved tissue paper.
My mom hugging her present. I think she reeeally liked it.
My stepdad in his brand new Broncos hoodie.
My brother acting fancy in his new cardigan.
My soon to be sister-in-law showing off her new tortillera (tortilla holder).
My boy testing out his new golf shoes.
My sister-in-law, mom, and niece checking out my niece's gifts.
One of my favorite parts of gift opening was when I realized I hadn’t seen The Ham in a while and said to everyone, “where’s Hamlet?” Everyone looked around for a second and then my stepdad said, “he’s under the tree.” As soon as we had moved some gifts out of the way he had snuggled under the tree. We guessed that he liked the heat from the Christmas lights. Since I know my Ham, I also know that any blanket (read: tree skirt) on the floor is fair game for him to burrow into and make a Ham-nest.
No Snuggie necessary.
The boy then said, “can you imagine if you had found Ham under the tree last year as one of your gifts?” Yes, it would have been great to see little Hamlet last year as a gift under the tree (he would have been about 4 months old in Christmas of 2008 and I’m sure the cutest Boston Terrier puppy you’d ever seen). I’m just glad we have him period and seeing him under the tree just made my heart melt. I’m sure the laughter of my niece playing with tissue paper, being surrounded by family, and drinking and eating for eight hours straight helped with the heart melting too.
What is your favorite Christmas memory of 2009?