Ah! Christmas, the joyful chaotic festival of merriment! This was the first Christmas My Suitor and I joined each other’s families for the holiday. On the eve of Christmas, I made the journey to his town. My Suitor’s family indulges in Hispanic and their own family traditions. The atmosphere was casual and the feast laid out on enormous table to seat twelve. There was tamales and menudo, potato salad and an array of finger foods. At the conclusion of the meal, the company was lead outside to a bonfire on the premises as we awaited the arrival of our last guest. It was beautiful, albeit very nippy despite the roaring flames. Once the last guest came in, the company returned to the drawing-room to stage a Christmas play.
This is typical for the family of performers and the pageant included everyone as well as a quartet of singers. I was cast as the Virgin Mary, My Suitor, as Joseph and the Christ Child played by a bundled of blankets of which I pantomime the motions of a doting mother. The history behind the play stems from the time of My Suitor’s eldest sister at four years of age insisted on having a show about the birth of Christ. The family has preformed many renditions since. Then on to exchanging of gifts! The family partakes in the Secret Santa program, with the drawing of the names on Thanksgiving. There is a budget and other stipulations for the purchase of the gifts. I am wholly unaccustomed to a gift budget and found the rules of game limiting and frustrating, but I most certainly did my best! My own Secret Santa happened to be My Suitor’s mother, who did not disappoint in her choices! (See gift list below).
The gift exchange was followed by a gag gift circle of which My Suitor forgot to mention prior to the event. This tradition evolved from his niece’s penchent of giving others silly presents. His mother, ever the helpmate, pulled me aside and assisted me with some of the items found in her home. A story was told with words “left” and “right” repeated often, the object was to pass the gifts accordingly in a big circle. It was ridiculously silly and rather amusing to delight of the entire assembly. For the curious, I ended up with a hand-made gag gift titled Nag-B-Gone: Because sometimes they just don’t shut up. Inside was the regular dosage, which turned out to be ear-plugs and extra strength which was duct tape! Teehee!
While the family geared up for more fun and games I had to depart, to be sure I was at my parents’ estate by midnight, should I arrive late and turn into a pumpkin!
The next evening was my parents turn to host at their abode. My family is not nearly as active in their entertainment, but we do enjoy dress clothes and a sumptuous meal. We are always formally attired at holiday meals, I made a mention to My Suitor to prepare for the finery. He did not disappoint and looked very handsome. As for me, being a rabid planner, had mentally picked out my attire months before. I wore my emerald-green (2013 color of the year!) cocktail dress, ruby pumps, my enormous ruby necklace, the gold bracelet my mother gifted me, and a sprig of holly in my hair.
Dinner was prepared by brother who happens to be a gourmet chef and his two sons. He opted for 22 lbs of roast and a hock of ham, with two types of home-made potatoes; one traditional garlic mashed potatoes and the other, pumpkin mashed potatoes. Otherwise our fare was rather traditional. Prior to delving into the spread, even before the blessing, My Suitor presented my family with his version of the hostess gift; the gift of song. My father joked, My Suitor was just singing for his meal. He sang a moving a capella version of Mary, Did you know? Then the feast and conversation flowed until the crowds dispersed.
Christmas morning, and still in night-clothes, my family opened gifts. Some of them were perplexing, but appreciated:
- Clothes: Sweater, cardigan, vest, and stockings
- Jewelry:(First three items are from My Suitor) Lady’s watch, blue diamond necklace, diamond bracelet, gold bracelet, blue earrings, red earrings, and cameo earrings
- Victorian (from My Suitor’s family): Tea cup and saucer, perfume vial, and amazing hat!
- Evening purse, purse caddy, satchel
- Nail polish and fingerless gloves
- Decorative box, decorative candle and vase
- Two scarves
- Spending money and gift cards
- Rubber floor mats for my carriage, a carriage necessities organizer, and electric toothbrush . . . oh, . . . um . . . why thank you Santa.
I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas!