03 January, 2007

Putting Christmas To Bed

Okay, Okay. I know I’m a little late with the Christmas wrap up. So sue me. As I briefly mentioned earlier this morning, we decided to partake in a little impromptu fun at the local Family Bowl. What an experience, let me tell you. And there is nothing whatsoever preppy about bowling, yes I know this, so please don’t email me with that newsflash. But despite a few balls getting stuck halfway down the lane due to lack of force from the mini’s and friends pushing, rolling, or kicking (yes that’s right, KICKING) the balls down the lane, everyone had a really great time. Somehow we also managed for only one child’s hands to be smooshed by the ball return to, so I can only consider our first trip a success. So all in all, we emerged unscathed and having had a great time (although I must say, I could do without that *special* ambiance that can only be found at the bowling alley, if you know what I mean). Family Bowl, watch out because we’ll be back! And no, monogram momma will not walk down the lane anymore to go retrieve the stagnant yellow balls, trying ever so hard not to break her neck while providing a good laugh and entertainment to the rest of the bowlers as she slips and slides like she’s on a pair of ice skates. I (sorta) promise.

Now, about Christmas… It was a great time, and having small children during the holidays really makes you feel like a kid again yourself. Not to sound like a Folgers commercial or anything. It is so much fun to share all the moments I had as a child, with my own kids, and to see their excitement and expressions. Mr. Monogram and I always said, even before we had children, that if we ever lived away from home that our children would always wake up in their own beds on Christmas morning. So we hold true and fast to that, and Santa always comes to our house here, and then later in the morning we drive to my parent’s house in Atlanta to be with my family for Christmas day dinner.

But on Friday before Christmas, Mr. Monogram’s dad and step-mom came up from Florida to share in the Christmas festivities with us and put out a big Christmas Eve spread. You see, Italian heritage has us celebrating the Feast of the Seven Fishes on Christmas Eve. My grandmother does lots of yucky slimy fishes such as smelt, but I prefer non slimy and non yucky seafood myself. In fact, for Italians, Christmas Eve is always the biggest meal of the holiday, and requires a tremendous amount of preparation and planning, accompanied of course by a very long, drawn out meal and lots of drinking too. The meal is lengthy and goes on for a long time, followed by a Panetone, Italian Cream Cake, fruit and nuts, and lots of freshly brewed cappuccino. After all, all that preparation and cooking does yield lots of dirty dishes!

Lucky for the mini monograms, Santa did not change his route and decide to skip over our house after all. Believe me when I tell you, there was lots of talk about that possibility. And like my parents, I admit to going a *tad* overboard for my children. Santa had some trouble locating a blue bike with blue helmet that mini #1 had specifically asked for, so after a special order at the local mountain bike shop, thankfully he was able to come through for mini #1. Whew! But don’t worry I won’t bore you with all the details of what we all got because lord knows we’ll be here ‘til Easter morning and I just have better things to do than that. So let’s move on.

After the mini’s did a fair job of destroying the family room opening gifts, they had a great time playing with their toys as monogram momma frantically raced around the house in her Superwoman cape (and now you all know I really get it all done) trying to pack everyone up for our trip home. And what a lovely trip home it was in the pouring down rain, too. THAT, I could have done without, thank you very much.

But by the time we arrived at my parents (Mr. Monogram’s parents following behind, as they always spend part of Christmas Day with my family as well), the mini’s were ready to get out of the car, stretch their legs, and catch up with all their cousins. My sisters and I each have 2 children a piece, so with a total of 6 grandchildren and 2 large Labrador retrievers in the midst of all the grown-ups, it makes for a pretty hectic scene.

I will interject here though, and tell you that I was a little ambivalent about this Christmas at home. You see, my parents moved from the home I was born and raised in, into a new home, so this was the first Christmas of my life, not in the house I grew up in. Okay, so their still in the same neighborhood, but that’s not the point. That was a little difficult for me. Add to the fact that my best friend from prep school’s parents also just sold their home and moved after Thanksgiving (and this was the first Christmas in 20 years I didn’t get to see her or her parents), this was just a lot of change for monogram momma. But it all turned out great and as BIL #2 said it seemed like we’d had 10 Christmases in that house already. I guess home really is where the heart is?! Kleenex anyone?

So the rest of the week was spent with my sisters, BIL’s, parents, and nieces & nephew. We rode the Pink Pig (although it's not the same Pink Pig I rode as a child on the roof of the Rich's Department Store downtown), ate at a favorite restaurant. It was good to catch up with some friends and old neighbors as well, and on the 27th, my 93 year old grandmother arrived in town with my dad’s Sister, My Aunt Liz, and his cousin (Carolanne). It was great to see them and catch up and the mini’s really enjoyed seeing my Aunt especially I think. In fact, they were having such a great time with their cousins and visiting family that I decided to stay another day and we didn’t leave to come back home until Friday.

It was a whirlwind but fun. It will definitely be the holiday remembered for not knowing where the light switches are or even where the silver salt and pepper shakers could be found. 30 years of living in the same house pretty much guarantees that my parents always knew where everything was, and this year, in a new house, had all of us running around in a scavenger hunt it seemed. But anyway, that’s it in a nutshell, but I know it’s really the pictures your after and not my *eloquent* written word you came here looking for so here you go!

Christmas would not be complete without a visit to Santa. This was our 4th visit and each time, the mini's kept modifying their list. But really, who cares when they look so cute all prepped out in black watch plaid dress pants, white turtleneck (monogrammed at the neck), navy blue v-neck sweater and Classic Stride Ride Saddle's (mini #1) and a navy blue fine, pin-wale corduroy longall with antique brass buttons (hand made by yours truly), white turtleneck (monogrammed at the neck), and Stride Rite Classic Saddle's (mini #2)?

One day we had our friends come over to make Gingerbread houses and trains too. I know it's not a masterpiece but the boys really did do all the decorating other than the icing. I will take full credit for that mess!

Close-up of our train, the mini's favorite. Notice our caboose is even monogrammed. We leave no details untouched here at the Monogram household!

The octopus (yes octopus, not squid. Although we did have fresh squid as well). This is one delicasy I hapilly pass on at Christmastime.

The table was all set with holiday linens and my formal china. I think this was mid-way through the set-up though because the iced-tea glasses are not shown in this picture. See the little nutcracker there? Yeah, you won't believe this but he was a DOLLAR STORE FIND and I bought one for each place setting, then printed up our names on the computer and hot glued them to each nutcracker as placecards. They were so cute and festive. Talk about a great find

Hurricane Mini Monogram after a brief but deadly visit Christmas morning. After tearing through all the Christmas wrapping, this Category 2 hurricane left no present un-turned and destroyed everything in it's way. A week later, it's effects and after-shocks are still being felt.

The mayham we walked into at my parent's house on Christmas Day. These are just the gifts for the kids from my parents. Insane.

One of the few efficient bakers we keep on staff here at the Monogram household. He showed such fine tecnique and grace in rolling out the cookie dough before throwing a handfull of flour at disgust at the other sous-baker.

I told you it was a pink pig.


Kimberly said...

Those are the preppiest little Gingerbread houses i have ever seen, love it!

the preppy princess said...

That Santa is really good...like realistic. Nice!

Gingerbread...yum and pretty too.

No slimey creatures for us either on Christmas Eve. I don't care if I'm Italian or not...I'm not even going near it.

OMG - I LOVE the Pink Pig.

Hello...how funny is Walter the Farting Dog? Do you know there is a stuffed animal too? Priceless.

lisagh said...

Yep... it's a pink pig alright! (a little creepy if I do say so myself.)

Anonymous said...

I always tell everyone that Christmas Eve is my favorite meal of the year; I've had several friends invite themselves over to enjoy the feast.
Do you make strueffeli too?

Monogram Momma said...

I promise if you saw the Pink Pig in person, Lisagh, you would love her! She takes you on a little ride and she is the TRUE symbol of Christmas Shopping in Atlanta each year! Oh, her name is also, Priscilla. I'm not kidding, she is great!!!

PP, I did NOT know there was an actual stuffed animal Walter?! I'm going to have to find him for my Nephew for his b'day! LOL!

Melissa said...

The minis' Santa picture and your gingerbread creations are both totally adorable!

ElleBee said...

Love the "Christmas With the Monograms" summary! Had to jump on, though, and put my two cents in about Priscilla the Pink Pig, Rich's and the big, bad Grinch, Macy's. I've never been to Atlanta for Christmas, and was previously unaware of the existence of the Pink Pig, but your comment about it not being the same as when you were a child really struck home. As you may know, Macy's has also overtaken our beloved Marshall Field's. While I am not opposed to business and progress, some things are sacred. It was just not the same going to see the Christmas windows at Macy's. Somehow, The Walnut Room at Macy's isn't the same as The Walnut Room at Field's. Sad...

marta said...

i didn't know about the " pigglet" either ,but i sure enjoyed reading about it!! there's only a problem...now i must see it live!!!