Saturday, December 24, 2011

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories - Christmas Eve

It's Christmas Eve and tonight we'll be spending Christmas together with all of my in-laws.  On Christmas Day everyone stays at their own houses (or their respective in-law's) to open presents and relax.  This night is for all of my Green Bay family to be together.  My brother-in-law, Mike, will be in charge of making the tenderloin, perhaps with some assistance from my brother-in-law, Joe, who will be bringing his delicious Stromboli to the feast.  My mother-in-law, Dolores, will be bringing her carrots with dill, and my sister-in-law, Lori Ann, will most likely bring her beer dip.  Everyone else will bring drinks or dishes that are needed to make the meal a success.  My sister-in-law, Cindy, will be working tirelessly all day to make ready for everyone's arrival tonight, since she is hosting the event this year.  I'll be bringing my camera in hopes that I can get all of the kids (18 months to adult in age) to sit still for a group photo (better charge my batteries)!

The kids will get to open the presents that their aunts and uncles got them (everyone pays an agreed upon amount into the "pot" a certain amount for each nephew/niece and the presents are bought as a group.  It makes it easier than having to worry about buying a present for each niece/nephew...and more cost effective!).  Then the presents are exchanged from Secret Santas (the kids and adults drew names on Thanksgiving and had to shop for one person).  Finally, the White Elephant pass around will occur.  A $10 present is passed around as a story is read.  Every time you hear the word "left" or "right" in the story that's the direction the present goes until the story is over.  The guys have their own pass around.  The girls have theirs, and the kids have a candy pass around.

There will be some drinking of soda, coffee, and beer (this IS Wisconsin) .  When dinner is served we'll remember those who are no longer with us to celebrate, but who are no doubt watching over us, especially my father-in-law, Patrick, who was the original maker of the beef tenderloin (recipe posted here).

Eventually, we'll all head back to our respective homes and my husband will read "Twas the Night Before Christmas" to our boys before they set out Santa's cookies and milk, and put the stockings by the fireplace.  Then it's off to bed and time for mommy and daddy to get to work doing what we do.  Early mass on Christmas morning and then it's time to open the presents and stockings.  My trusty camera will be at my side throughout...maybe there'll even be a picture or two of me taken this year.  After all, it is the season of miracles!

So from the entire Cayemberg family, may you have a Merry Christmas!