The weekend was filled with family traditions. My family has a rather lengthy Christmas tradition. It's hard to try to fit everything in, and still have time to sleep. We went to the Dayton's (yes, it will forever be Dayton's in my mind) display on Friday. We didn't get into our ritual dining place, The Oak Grill, because there was a 85-95 minute wait. Since we were all ready to gnaw our arms off, we moved on. We ended up at Snuffy's in Saint Paul. I thought it was pretty bad, but everyone else seemed neutral. On the upside, it was really cheap. (end family bonding day 1)
Then on Saturday we had a family portrait done. We haven't done one in years. My baby niece Keona was photogenic as usual, but it's hard to get 7 adults all looking in the same direction, with relatively normal expressions. We got one decent shot out of our 30 minute session. The girls-only shot turned out really good, not to say anything against the photo-worthy gents, it just happened to look half way decent. It's so hard to tell the quality in the little 1x1" displays that they show you. Hopefully we won't scream when we see the enormous 8x10's. Yikes, one can only imagine.
After the picture, we went out to eat, and them home to bake cookies. It was fun, and my mom and grandma had their usual fudge making trauma. The pot full of boiling sugar, butter, and marshmallows boiled all over the stove and counter. Good thing they have a flat top. It was a mess.
After that, Brian and I exchanged gifts that were over the top, and very thoughtful. Then it was time to head back over to the house for Christmas Eve dinner (another family tradition). We had a meal entirely of hors'dourves. It was fantastic. After eating far more than we should've, it was off to church. (Talk about a filled day!) (end too much family bonding day 2)
Bright and early Christmas morning we head over to the fam's house once more for stockings, breakfast, and gifts. (My favorite part.) Then we head over to Brian's fam's house for more gifts, dinner, and festivities. We're pooped, so we head home. (end surprisingly happy family bonding day 3)
Monday was our day of saying goodbyes to parting friends, returning those unwanted Christmas gifts for something truly spectacular and taking time to see a fabulous movie. Memoirs of a Geisha was excellent. Go see it! That's all I'll say. That, and it's the largest gathering of Asians I've ever seen since the Hmong party! (end lost time day 4)
I took a PTO day for Tuesday hoping it would give me time to recuperate. No such luck, another relative passed through town, so our little family head over to the depths of Minnetonka for the evening. A short trip turned into a 5 hour trip plus 1.5 hours of driving time. Although these were relatives we seldom see... wait... that would be all our relatives... (end gruelling weekend day 5)
My sympathy goes out to all those who did the 'holiday hustle' this weekend. The remedy to fix copious amounts of family time? Coffee, sugar, comfort food, and other self-therapeutic activities.