youngraven: (mr snowman)
[personal profile] youngraven
This year, we agreed to have the yuletide gathering of clans at Orion Rising. The house was still reasonably tidy after Thanksgiving, and besides [ profile] shaddowshoes's parents were having a bit of work done on their house. We thought it would make a nice change. It did, and everybody remarked that we kept Ex-Moose very well.

Having said that, it'll be a long time before we do it again. We were both completely flat by the end of it all, and frankly, I think we're still recovering. Fortunately, through diligent work by...all of us, really, Orion Rising is mostly as tidy as it was on 24 december - if not a slight bit more. This alone is a treasured gift.

So, who was in attendance?

[ profile] shaddowshoes's parents, grandmother, two sisters, and one brother-in-law (the other unfortunately had to cancel his visit at the last moment); and my parents - which made for a table of ten. Since our table will only seat six, we exercised a bit of creativity. Sure, there's nothing at all wrong with that. Nor is there anything wrong with an ovoid table being matched with rectangular one - not a bit of it sin.

One view

Another view - in the background is the upright bass that we liberated from my dad's shed. Again, the date stamp is mad - ignore it, please.

The two tables played really quite well together; however, it's our aim to replace them both with a large pub table that we saw in a shop in October. I think we'll likely be able to seat eight round it, but no more than that. It will mean a need for new table dressings, but I think we'll survive it.

Since we're used to hosting Thanksgiving, we've come to appreciate menu delegation. Hrm. You know, I wrote that sentence three or four times in my head, and it still seems awkward. Ah well, I suppose it gets its point across. Orgh. So. Menu. We made a list of everything we'd like to have (based, in part, on the list we'd made for Thanksgiving), drew out three columns, and decided who was to be making which dishes. We got the turkey ('cos we're the killerest at turkey), the spinach souffle (a new offering for this year, and I think we'll keep it), and I made an astoundingly luscious carrot soup. It was perfect. Even the brother-in-law cleaned his bowl of it, and his palate isn't always very broad. It was a bit of a risk, as people are accustomed to certain dishes on their holiday tables, but there were clamourings for the recipe heard amidst the sounds of spoons scraping empty bowls, so I'd say it went over very well indeed. I polished off the rest of it yesterday, and I think I'll make more of it soon. I wonder how well it freezes...

So, at any rate, we provided the turkey, souffle, soup, tea that [ profile] shaddowshoes makes, and pumpkin pie ('cos I make the most brilliant pumpkin pie - from an actual pumpkin, and all - no lie). [ profile] shaddowshoes's mother brought lima beans, broccoli dip, stuffing, sweet potatoes, cranberries, and carrots. My mother brought roast beef, garlic potatoes (which the aforementioned brother-in-law raved over), corn pudding, and the ends of various things she'd baked for the neighbours. [ profile] shaddowshoes's sisters also brought baked goods.

It's a wonder we didn't all explode.

Since we knew that Christmas dinner would likely render us all unconscious (don't worry, I'm not subscribing to the tryptophan myth - I do know better, and if you perchance don't, have a look), we decided to raid the tree first.

Our tree is lovely, narrow, and easily overwhelmed by gifts.

[ profile] shaddowshoes got...
A weight bench from my parents; a money clip, tie clasp, tie pin, clothes, and a shot glass case from me; tools from his parents; a copy of POTC 2 from [ profile] barefootmutt and her fellow; a book from my sister; a book from [ profile] serenaneres; another book from his younger sister...I can't recall what his elder sister gave to him; and a multimetre from his gran. I know I've left something out, but that at least is an overview.

I got...

this, and

these from [ profile] shaddowshoes, who also gave me a membership to the Science Place and one to the Kimbell Art Museum; more jewellery from his elder sister, and a book by Terry Pratchett; a lovely shirt and the completion of my Flogging Molly collexion came from his younger sister; and my parents gave me a Bugaboo parka. We've still got hopes for Angelfire sometime early next year. [ profile] barefootmutt gave me a Tossers CD; my sister gave me a Susan McKeown CD - and a tiny replica of Stonehenge (!!); [ profile] serenaneres gave me a non-political book of Irish history (yes, it's possible to have such a book. Grr.); [ profile] shaddowshoes's parents gave me (well, us, really) a cookbook; and my cousin, [ profile] brittlepoetry gave me the last two Harry Potter books - I've begun reading 'Order of the Phoenix'. No, I've not read them yet; yes, I realise it's been at least three years since the first of the two was released; no, I'm not entirely certain who carks it in either book, although I've got my suspicions. Again, I know I'm leaving something out, but it's an overview.

We got...
Kitchen gadgets and a large cookbook from my parents; assorted gift cards from aunts and a cousin; a bar set from [ profile] brittlepoetry's parents; and an amazing and brilliant hammock stand from [ profile] typsygypsy and [ profile] toarthos. We've already begun to search for The Perfect Hammock, 'cos there's nothing stopping spring from arriving (well, unless there's an ice age...), and after spring will be summer.

We gave as well, lest you think that we sat round on the floor and alllowed people to pile offerings at our feet in the hopes that we'd not make with the smitings. We've learnt that it's a bit of a challenge buying gifts for some people, so I've begun Gift Idea lists on for them. I can always think of something brilliant to buy for somebody - till I'm faced with the actual gift-giving event, and then my mind goes blank, and I panic a bit. So, as those ideas occur to me, I'm marking them down (and at a handy site that will allow me to post said gift directly to a person's door).

We gave a CD, jewellery, and wine to my mother; clothing to my father; gift cards to [ profile] shaddowshoes's younger sister and brother-in-law - her gift card came with a candle - she was entranced by it; DVDs to his elder sister and brother-in-law; festive clothing to his mother; a belt to his father; and other things (which haven't quite arrived yet and thus will not be mentioned) to other people.

Quite a lovely day indeed.

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