We started out early on Christmas Eve morning, doing what the Quirk family does best, which is eating. There's a little hole-in-the-wall restaurant called Gracie's out in Maryville that does authentic Southern cooking, and anybody who knows anything about good eatin' heads for Gracie's for breakfast. It'll take 10 years off of your life because Mama Gracie herself is back in the kitchen drowning everything in lard and butter and transfat deliciousness, but it's totally worth it because you will die with a smile (and fresh biscuit crumbs) on your lips.
After a fortifying breakfast of biscuits and gravy with a side of bacon and more gravy, the family headed over to the mall to pick out the official family Christmas ornament for 2009. It's a bit of a tradition that each year we get an official ornament depicting ourselves as teddy bears or penguins or whatever the ornament makers decided to group six of a kind of for that particular year. That done, we sent the boys home and Mom and the Seester and I headed to a sports store for a bit of last minute stocking stuffer shopping (where we also accosted a stranger in the checkout line, but that's a story for another day).
Having eluded store security, we headed home to bake-and I'm not exaggerating here-five boxes of brownie mix and 2 boxes of cake mix. (I told you that the Quirky family liked to eat). We made them in holiday shaped cake tin things and then decorated them with colorful icing. (They were adorable, although Heaven knows I'm going into a diabetic coma just thinking about them).
Then Tony and I took off for the Midnight Christmas Eve Mass (actually held at 9pm), which is, as always, lovely to behold (even with the woman next to me who sang lustily despite being completely tone-deaf. Kudos to you, woman who can't carry a tune in a bucket. Good for you for not letting the not-so-subtle glances from the people three pews in front not dampen your Christmas spirit).
Christmas morning has us back over at Mom and Dad's for the official opening of the presents. (I received a Dremel Multi-max (score!), some Van Gogh reproductions, a new PDA cover, The Big Bang Theory Season 2, a spa gift certificate, and a zippered hoodie with Tony's hockey team name on the front). Then it was over the river and through the woods to grandmother's house to chow down with the whole extended family (hence all the brownies and cakes). Christmas Day night saw us back at Mom and Dad's house, where the guys watched the Batman: Dark Night DVD (a Christmas present) while Mom, the Seester and I played cards in the kitchen. (I trounced them thoroughly).
On Saturday, Tony and I headed out to Turkey Creek to pick this up:
It's his new shiny red Dodge Dakota extended cab pickup truck. (It wasn't technically a Christmas present...the heat had gone out in his old truck and it would have cost half of the blue book value to fix it so we just traded it in for this bad boy). It's
While Tony was out thinking up pointless errands to run in his new truck, I spent the afternoon with the Seester and Melanie. We laughed until we cried at some Youtube videos (they deserve to be a post of their own), and then various family members showed up for a rip-roaring poker game that evening. (The Seester's hubby, Patto, ended up wiping the floor with everyone. Cough!shark!cough!)
The Seester had to head back to Chicago on Sunday (booooo!), but we managed to get in another meal (surprise surprise) at a Japanese Hibachi place and then three games of bowling at the local bowling lanes first. (Why bowling? I have no idea. It's not like any of us have bowled in years, and none of us are really very good. I argued hard for the kiddie bumpers, but was eventually voted down). We did guys against girls, and had each managed to win one when my team totally imploded in the third game. (We were plagued by injury...otherwise I am confident that we would have smoked them). Still, a fun time was had by all, despite the fact that I cannot move my shoulder today.
So that was our Christmas. Lots of family, lots of laughing, lots and lots of food. I had to take most of today just to recover from it all. (Of course, I also maintain that those are the best kinds of holidays to have). I know it's a long post...I'm sorry. Feel free to read it in installments if that helps. Take your time.
I'll just be over here eating the remaining two dozen brownies.