Many years ago, I began taking each child on a shopping trip for presents for the siblings. They had a budget and had to figure out how to buy 6 appropriate presents for a given amount. Then they exchanged presents with each other on Christmas Eve, after our special dinner.
So, Christmas Eve dinner remains Shrimp Scampi with angel hair pasta and a spinach salad.
And then everyone hauls their presents down from their rooms and sets them up in the family room. Jeff was last to arrive, and wanted to know why we had a brown paper wrapped body near the tree. 2 sisters and 2 brothers had teamed up to buy this for Jeff, and don't you think Dan did a brilliant wrapping job?
But, the present looked short next to Jeff, so Shannon came to demonstrate how life sized he is!
After a couple of hours of opening presents, talking and laughing, everyone went to bed. Everyone, that is, except my elves. (I'm pretty sure I have the biggest elves around).
Santa filled the stockings; some wouldn't balance on the hangers properly (we can't drive nails into a marble mantle, of course).
And then I set out the Christmas morning feast: 2 pans of brownies, 2 loaves each cranberry, banana and lemon poppyseed bread, a 2-color cake and a chocolate cake. Not on display: peanut butter pie and the Christmas punch. Everyone loves Christmas morning breakfast!
Next up: Christmas. It has been a happy week.