Dec 22, 2013

The Christmas Spirit

We had been prepping for the Annual Family Christmas Party all week.

This is the one chance for my side of the extended family to get together during the Holidays because Thanksgiving and Christmas are tied up with immediate family and attempting to juggle more than two sides of a family at one time can get stressful.
I don't know how people with "more sides" handle it. 
There just isn't enough time.

So, like I said, we have had a bit of a rough patch with our family. 
Bayou and I stayed strong, without any tiffs, through the whole thing, but we are far past due for some fun.

Enter the Crazy Poklen Christmas.

All of my dad's sisters and their families and their kids come out from neighboring towns (and states!) to celebrate.

This year there were 15 adults and two kids.
We hope to up the kid ratio in the near future.

Friday night we prepped by grocery shopping.
Dinner was to be lasagna, caesar salad, and garlic rolls.
Appetizers were simple on our end as guests brought both apps and desserts.

I slung two cocktails, a "Santa's Little Helper" and a Tom Collins and supplied a plethora of standard beer/wine.

We decided this year to include Dirty Christmas, or White Elephant....whatever you want to call it.

Saturday morning started with house cleaning. Bayou and I are really good at "knowing" what needs to be cleaned.  We work really well because he is the "bigger picture" guy and I am the "details" lady.

He took care of the bathrooms.
I deep cleaned the carpets.
He prepped the meat and sauce for the lasagna.
I made the cheese mixture and baked some cupcakes.
He plowed the driveway and shoveled the sidewalks.
I dusted and organized all the rooms and wrapped the presents.

Our family tends to show up early to any event.
We said 5pm and expected people to show up an hour early.
I managed to get blindsided by this last year and had literally walked out of the shower when family started showing up.  Bayou never did get a shower. He was lucky to change out of pj's.

This year we were ready.
An hour before the party, hair in curlers, I painted my nails and finished the Christmas playlist.
We assembled the THREE lasagnas and lit all the candles.

Both dogs were taken to the basement to chill out away from guests for the party.
Didn't need any extra drama on that end.

Family arrived early, just as expected.
We were ready....cocktail in hand, to accept presents and lay out more food.

I love seeing everyone.
I feel like we now have a great home to host gatherings all year round.
I can't wait for the opportunity to see everyone outside of Christmas, pasty skin, and Christmas lights.

And now for a photo dump of the Dirty Christmas festivities.

PS- Bayou and I aren't in any of these photos.
The one photo that was taken of us, we both managed to have slack-jaws and drunk Homer Simpson eyes.
So basically this:

I'm off to peel the labels off of 4,000 presents.
Santa's Little Helper to the rescue!

TBag. Out.

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