As soon as our guests left from Thanksgiving dinner and everything was cleaned up, I went down into the basement and started gathering up all the Xmas stuff. Mariah Carey's holiday album was on repeat on our ipod docking station for about two weeks (until Victor started going a little crazy and added a few more holiday tunes to the shuffle). We had two trees, a real one outside and the fake one was inside. Last year, they were both inside, but Victor expressed concern about Coco eating the tree fallings, so I agreed to put it outside. The outside was decorated with about 20 strands of lights.
On Christmas Eve, we went up to Glastonbury CT to visit at my aunt Lil's house. My mother's mother's parents emmigrated from Poland, settled in Glastonbury, and had 9 children, most of whom stayed in Glastonbury. I used to joke that I was somehow related to half the town. We always went to my great-grandmother's house on Xmas eve as a kid, as now the family meets at Aunt Lil's, who lives next door. Santa always visited when I was a kid since there were always a large pack of kids that were believers. A couple of years ago, Santa stopped coming, but when Mom confirmed that Coco was coming, she went into the basement of Lil's house and found the Santa outfit. Coco was a little freaked out at first (as you can see from the pic - yes, that is my mother), but she ultimately warmed up. There was a great turnout of about 40 relatives, many of whom I had not seen for 10 years.
Granny Self arrived on 12/20. She was a huge help watching Coco and helping us prepare Christmas Dinner. We had about 16 people over for brunch and about 15 over for dinner. Only about half of our guests were able to stay for both. It was a great format since most of our family was able to stop by at some point during the day. Best of all, we didn't have to travel anywhere with Coco and she could nap whenever she felt like it. She took two very long naps on Xmas day, so she was very well rested and able to be her charming self.
Coco had a blast ripping open the presents! We were overwhelmed by the generosity of our friends and family with all of the gifts that Coco received. It took about two hours to open everything, and about two days to assemble everything (although we are not done yet).
Believe it or not, these matching outfits were Victor's idea! I couldn't believe it when he came home with them. (I thought I was supposed to be the holiday geek??) At first I wasn't really into it, but we ended up having a lot of fun. Granny Self told me I looked like a convict.
The day after Christmas we had a massive blizzard. It gave us a great excuse not to leave the house for three days, which was incredible. It was a hassle getting all the snow cleaned up, but seeing our Xmas tree filled with snow was magical and made it all worthwhile!!