Don't get me wrong. I love love love where I live. I have a great immediate family, a beautiful home and lots of wonderful friends.
But it makes me very sad that most of the people who we love best...our parents, siblings, in-laws and 18 nieces & nephews... all live scattered across five states (none within close driving distance) and can't just come over for some holiday cheer.
I can't afford airfare for all of you...and Oprah is not interested in helping this year.
So, I am inviting all of you to a special Gabblog Christmas Party. It's right now. On your computer. Come as you are...
Come on in! Take off your coats. Emmie is offering your choice of hot cider or cocoa to warm you after such a long, cold trip!
Come sit down in the living room. Jake is playing the piano. "Up on the Housetop" Usually, he sounds much better than this. I think he's just nervous that you're here.
The ladies are in the kitchen, dishin' up the latest gossip and all their favorite holiday recipes. You all have food assignments, of course: Ryan is deep-frying a turkey, Nana is making her fabulous stuffing and tea ring, Cami's got the homemade salsa, Pete & Anna are bringing something without hydrogenated oil and Heidi is baking everyone little miniature gingerbread houses. Everyone else, please bring your latest and greatest goodies. Don't hold back!
And, for Christie, who has a great amount of self-contol, there is fruit for dessert!
The kids will take 10 minutes each to fill their plates and 3 minutes to eat. Then we'll send 'em in to watch "The Grinch" while the grown-ups dig in. There will be a lot of teasing (Josh & Micah), a bit of philosophizing (Oma), plenty of sound effects (Brad & Scott L.), some kid-chasin' (Alicia & Jac) and, if we're lucky...a little Neil Diamond by Uncle Dan.
Candice & Jean will probably offer to clean up..so they can discuss running and avoid the family sing-along. Amy & Scott R. will play Christmas carols on the piano while all of the "singers" in the family try to harmonize.
Then, we'll gather all the kidlets together...They won't want to come in, but we'll promise them a present if they're good.
(Yes... if you're wondering...that is Mom's hand-carved European heirlooom set. And, yes, it is mine now. Yes...she does love me best. We always discuss it when we're alone. But it doesn't matter now, because it's Christmas...)
Then Papa will read Luke 2 and we'll all sing "Silent Night" and for a few magic moments the children will be still and we'll all soak in the true spirit of the season.
Then...let the freaking begin!
Marta is in charge of the gift-exchange. (She has also made everyone hand-made journals for a little Christmas favor.) The kids will probably start whining and fighting for each other's presents and inevitably one child will toss up his Christmas cookies. And everyone will be ready to go. (Except for Opa...who left an hour ago.)
Don't worry about the clean-up...just gather up all your goodies. Be sure not to leave anything (especially your children)! Get your coats and your dishes.
Watch your step. Thanks for coming! Drive safe! Love you.
Come again, soon!