Another holiday (I use that word deliberately - you'll see why later) season has come and gone, seemingly in the blink of an eye. 6 for dinner on Christmas Eve, and another 8 on Christmas Day made for lots of time in the kitchen. Yours truly washed each plate we own at least 4 times in a 48 hour period. Talk about your dish-pan hands... Seems only fair tho. Since The Wife did all the before-we-eat work, it was right that I take care of the aftermath. Who knows when we'll finally get our refrigerator back from all those leftovers.
Christmas Eve was with The Wife's parents and the Kid's Godparents. The second round of gifts were exchanged, and after The Kid retired for the night (after being told to listen for the reindeer on the roof), and the men-folk retired for brandy and cigars. Ha! Just kidding. We spent the evening assembling toys using instructions that were translated from Chinese to English by someone who speaks neither language. It's a dad rite of passage, so I didn't complain.
Christmas Day dawned as early as ever, since The Kid has yet to grasp the concept of "sleeping in". The opening of the presents (round 3) had scarcely begun when my parents arrived, with more gifts and food in hand. Brunch was a Strata that was enjoyed by all, but loved especially by The Kid and The Cat. Both were literally begging for more. By 11:00, The Kid was reaching her MSL (maximum stimulation limit), and needed a nap. Smart one there. The brunch plates were cleared, and room was made for the afternoon snacks for to hold us over until dinner.
As I mentioned, 8 for dinner, including some dear friends who just returned from a little over a year in Australia. When I say "just returned", I mean that one of them landed less than 24 hours before after a non-stop flight from Tokyo. The fact that he was still able to speak in complete sentences was remarkable. As was the fact that they chose to spend the evening with us. Dinner was a prime rib that weighed in at a rather respectable 8 pounds, along with a metric ton of sides and sauces. If The Wife is famous for anything besides her looks, her personality, her style, and her hospitality, it's her sauces. Right Mike?
With the sun a distant memory and the last load of dishes done, I finally got to that a cigar and nightcap.
But it wasn't over yet...
The house was empty again on Saturday, but only briefly. On Sunday morning, we celebrated Hanukkah (or at least one of the days thereof) with another couple and their daughter, who was born about a week after The Kid. It was another Norman Rockwell moment, if only he had painted scenes of tables covered in bagels and Salmon fritatas. The two girls played together, and us grown-ups watched with joy in our hearts.
Back to work today, only to get ready for Wednesday, when a completely different set of people will be staying with us to ring in the New Year. 6 for dinner. I'm thinking take-out on paper plates, but something tells me that I'll be washing all of our dishes at least once more in 2008.
* Pics are coming soon. Technical problems with a Snapfish upgrade...