Saturday, December 27, 2008


The holiday of Christmas actually last from the time I either accompany my son (Corey) or my granddaughter (Kaitlyn) on their separate shopping adventures. Both experiences are always unique, as you saw from the earlier post on this year’s trip with Corey or from my last adventure with Katie Bug!

The Christmas holiday plays out after New Year’s Eve for me, but between now and then I have a couple of more opportunities to enjoy family, starting with tomorrow’s trip to Knoxville with four of my brother-in-laws and Steve’s son Matt.

The actual celebration begins with our traditional Christmas Eve breakfast with our daughter Tracy’s family. That order of business is always negotiated with a decision between pancakes, breakfast pizza, or something new everyone wants to try. This year it was pancakes again. Eddie had to work that morning, so it was just Tracy and Katie, and Judy and me. Everyone looked very sleepy that morning, so I’ll spare them the usual embarrassment by not posting any shots!

Then there’s the annual Christmas Eve party at Neena and Ron’s. There is between 15 and 20 people, including kids (this year it was Jason (Neena’s son (holding brew) from Michigan), Joey (Terri’s son) and Krissy from Minnesota, Tracy (Judy’s daughter) and Katie, and Denise (Linda’s daughter) and Mark from Maryville, TN) and sometimes friends! Everyone brings their favorite finger food, dessert, and libation! Of course, over the years everyone been has tagged with a group favorite that they are obligated to bring. For me, it’s fried pork tenderloin with rolls, Charlotte must bring the “bacon wrapped Smokies”, and someone has to bring “Cherry Yum Yum”, another coconut cake dripping in Eagle Brand Milk (actually I didn’t get any of that this year and I feel cheated), and so on, and so on!

After working your way through all the hot cheesy dips and chips, besides all the regular things, you must try some “apple juice and cinnamon” infused moonshine! It doesn’t matter that you’ve already had 3 to 5 beers; you must try it and still have clear enough vision and concentration to answer the “Dragon Call” to get your camera ready to take the obligatory “sister” photos by the tree or fireplace. Without these photos, there has been no Christmas, there’s no peace for the Knights!

We have matured over the years - sort of. There was a time when we almost watched the sun come up on Christmas, and then paid the price by having to kneel before the “porcelain god” the next day! These days, the crowd begins thinning out by 8, and usually are all gone by 9:30 or 10. Yes, the core of the family unit is getting older, but the younger generation will never out do the things we have done in the past! We are ‘60s kind of people after all!

Gone are the days where someone different was obliged to throw up each year! Gone are the stories of vehicles ruined by the party food coming back up! Gone are the stories of partiers who ate one of end of the tequila worm! Gone are the days of skinny dipping in my pool! Today, we toast a few good memories, burn a couple of cigars, fight a nap while others reminisce, rub out stomachs a time or two, and then start gathering up leftovers to leave.

Maybe for me and Judy it’s because we know we want to be up early on Christmas Day and visit with the grandkids. Of course, we have to split up. Judy goes to watch Katie open gifts, while I’m off to enjoy Lily’s morning.

Judy actually had to wake Tracy, Katie, and Eddie up Thursday morning, while I found Corey in the backyard roasting two turkeys on his charcoal grill. Corey, like me, has to do some cooking on Christmas Day.

Corey cooks the turkey and makes wonderful dumplings, and I either grill steaks or hamburgers! That’s another negotiated meal, but it always involves me cooking something that’s non-traditional! Lucky for Corey and me both, Christmas mornings have been quite warm the last few years.

Lily was already up and running through the house, playing with her Granny and Papaw just in from Africa, where they serve as missionaries! She had opened all the “Santa” presents, leaving the grandparent gifts under the tree to be opened as each one arrived. My turn had arrived and she tore into the packages I brought and immediately began flicking the flashlight around; first into her Papaw Dwight’s mouth, then straight into mine, and up my nose! She loved it!

Unfortunately, the “Bounce Back Racer” I bought back in November didn’t work! We did find the sales receipt, so it’s to Walley World on Monday! There was also a little money for her college fund, which I slipped to Tia before Corey could spend it!

Christmas afternoon came and my mom arrived just before Tracy, Eddie, Katie, and her boyfriend Zach. The traditional Christmas day dinner was underway!

Judy baked both sweet and “Irish” potatoes, made a great salad, and Tracy brought Vanilla Pudding! We again stuffed ourselves and moved from the dinning room to the living room to relax. It wasn’t long before Katie broke out the game she brought, and before I knew it my team was losing at Taboo!

We had such a great time playing this game with the family. Although mom didn’t play, she seemed to have a ball laughing at us!

Makes you feel good when you granddaughter and her boyfriend would rather spend time with the “old folks” rather than be out running the roads.

So, it’s not over yet, tomorrow (Saturday) morning the Knights hit the Knoxville road to another post-Christmas adventure, and I can’t wait!

Oh...the photo at the top...that's what I have to contend with...a happy family who isn't afraid to be themselves! I lov'em!


Les Becker said...

Merry Christmas, Mushy! Looks like you had a great one this year!

Jeni said...

EGADS, man! You've got to stop posting about all these different foods! I feel like I've gained about 10 pounds just reading about them. But boy, that Cherry Yum-yum really sounds good -can you send the recipe for that one? (Like I need another high caloric recipe in my folder ya know!)
Have a Happy New Year and it's more than obvious you and Judy had a very Merry Christmas!

BRUNO said...

Filled a crock-pot with a roast floatin' in beer, let it cook overnight as a Christmas dinner for us both.

And, I didn't even have to threaten any in-laws this year! How unusual is that?

(Of course, NONE of 'em being around helped a LOT, too...!)

Scott from Oregon said...

That flashlight up the nose picture is priceless!

I hope she wasn't frightened by what was up there...

Buck said...

I had to smile at this: We are ‘60s kind of people after all!

And we're lucky to have survived it all, eh? While growing older doesn't necessarily mean growing UP, I have to admit I'm just not the party-animal I used to be. T'is the way of the world, methinks.

Great pics and narrative, Mushy.

Grandpa-Old Soldier said...

Good lookin bunch you got there young fella. What more can a man ask. Another Christmas under the belt, and looking forward to the next one.

Pat Houseworth said...

Put of 5 pounds since December 1st....hate shopping, but have to go with the wife today, for some post XMas stuff...that's my story and I'm sticking to it!

Olga, the Traveling Bra said...

Looks like a WONDERFUL time was had by all! Altho' that bottle of Sierra Nevada does make me feel a bit homesick.....

Hoping to SEE YOU SOON Mushy!!!

FHB said...

Sounds like you must have been exhausted by the time that was all over and done.

Wonderful post!

Suldog said...

GREAT photo of you and the little one.

(My word verification is - I kid you not - rabbi. It must be a message of some sort, but I don't know what...)

Catmoves said...

Happy belated, Mushy. Sounds like you've got a fun family and really enjoy gettin' into Christmas. And aging the meat in good healthy booze. Congratulations, you're one of the few of us left.

Mushy said...

Thanks to everyone for enjoying my family...they are very likable folks!