Monday, December 30, 2013

'Twas the Season of Jolliness (Excepting, of course, the gift that went belly-up.)

We enjoyed such a nice Christmas which began with the arrival of Grandma Lulu and 
Titi (auntie) Jessica! 
The fun began on Christmas Eve with a delightful performance (the culmination of a 2-day, intensive drama workshop for the monkeygirls) of, Julius the Baby of the World starring G, as "Lilly" and P, as none other than "Cousin Garland!" (We were all duly impressed.)
The evening continued when we headed over to our neighbors' house where we enjoyed carols, libations, food, and festivities. Not only was it lovely to be so close to home, it was especially nice to toast the holiday season with the friends and families we've come to know and who have been so warm and welcoming since our arrival to Charlotte earlier this year. The live music, visit from Santa, and the pitcher of Manhattans were a few highlights. 
Christmas morning began at 8am (!!! Right? I can't be sure, but I think they stayed away from those Manhattans the night before…) when the monkeygirls came charging into our room to wish us a "Merry Christmas" (and demand that we wake up Lulu and Titi for presents). 
Then the waiting game began while aunt Jessica shook off her cobwebs--I kid… (But seriously, let's work on shaving off a few minutes for next year.)
The wait was worth it! Both scored their #1 and #2 gifts from the lists this year. First choice for both: A Fish. Second choice for this one? Tangerine High Tops.
In addition to her #1 fish, this one was dying for a Walking Stick with a Strap. BINGO!
As always, we made it a point of staying in our jammies until "dinnertime." (Not including each of our individual fashion shows parading around the living room in any and all new articles of clothing we received.) 
Later in the afternoon, we were so happy to welcome this big guy and his family--including his grandma and grandpa for Christmas dinner. 
Before dinner, we sipped wine, St-Germain Cocktails, and Bloody Marys (Thanks, Jessica for the amazing mix!) and attempted to restrain ourselves to a nibble of the delectable appetizers that Erinn made. (You should know, I cannot be trusted anywhere near deviled eggs.)
I could not have pulled off The Meal (presented only 10 minutes after my "planned" time!) without the help of my adorable children--who set the table for 11, my talented husband who took on the Prime Rib beautifully, my sister-in-law--who put the salad together and made the green beans on the fly while I whizzed around the kitchen finishing corn casserole, mashed potatoes, and gravy. My mother-in-law asked in advance if she could prepare what turned out to be a highlight for me: roasted brussels sprouts with mushrooms and cream
(I honestly cannot believe that I failed to take any pictures of the food. It's so UNLIKE me.)
Thanks to our "family-guests," after dinner we were treated to homemade pumpkin (my favorite!) and mince pies (a delightful first for most of us), thumbprint cookies, and spiked coffee. 
Worth mentioning is the fact that I sported my second chalazion during this holiday season. 
Oh joy! {insert HEAVY sarcasm}
The first time "eye" (lol--haven't lost my punny sense of humor) enjoyed a chalazion (no link--I dare you to search it in google images) was in April just after moving here. At the time, I tried blaming it on the pollen. As it turns out, the problem is me and my thick oil glands in and around my eyes. (That, plus the fact that I'm really a pirate on the inside.) My friends and family had to endure my appearance (go ahead, google it--I'll wait…) but since then, I've had the procedure done to remove it (couldn't be more unpleasant) and only got to rock this badass patch for a few hours.
And guess what? That was not even the worst highlight of our holiday. 
Remember those #1 Santa requests? 
Yeah… fish. 
I'm sorry to report that P's fish, Peakok [sic] Jones (may she rest in peace), apparently contracted a fin bacteria on Santa's sleigh. 
 As you can see below from the sweet eulogy that G wrote for her, she only survived 2 days. (I hope Santa could hear P's sobbing all the way up there at the North Pole.) We had a little service for her in the backyard and buried her under the Hope Tree (the name our girls have given to the huge magnolia).
The horrible "Momma! I think there's something the matter with Peacock" episode ended on a happy note when G insisted on using some of her Christmas money to buy P a new fish. :) 
So far, Peaches is doing well.

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