Because we'd chosen to only purchase gifts for the children, this year's Christmas celebration ended up being all about food.
I arrived at my sister's house a little after 9 a.m. and had the turkey stuffed and in the oven by 10. We spent the morning watching my niece open gifts...and it took all morning, too. Her grandparents alone had seemingly bought out a toy store.
My 10-month-old nephew got a lot of fun stuff as well, but he enjoyed the box lids as much or more than he enjoyed the toys.
While dinner cooked and we waited for the rest of the guests, we snacked all day on fondue, phyllo cups filled with cheese and artichoke, shrimp, cheese and crackers, cookies and candy. Any restraint I would ordinarily exercise was gone.
My sister and I served dinner around 1:30 p.m. For the fourteen of us (counting the baby), we had an 8-pound honey ham, an 11-pound turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, corn casserole, steamed broccoli and dinner rolls.
I don't know if it was the L-tryptophan in the turkey or just the staggering quantity of food, but the dinner put me out as though it contained tranquilizers. I curled up on the couch under a fleece throw and slept for probably an hour. My husband slept on the couch almost all afternoon. Different groups of people would gather around him in the living room to chat, and he'd sleep on, oblivious to their presence.
All in all, we had a lovely time, but we all agreed that it just didn't seem very Christmas-y without gifts for everyone. It was a relief not to have to spend the money, but I know we're all hoping our financial situations improve so we can go back to a "regular" Christmas celebration next year.