Christmas Eve is a traditional time for all to gather at my moms old house, which now my brother and his wife home.  We have done Christmas Eve in that house since 1963. This photo is precious to me, because it shows the love of a father for his son, and the joy from a son for his father. How special. How priceless.

The tradition has changed a bit. For years we read the story of Christ’s birth from the bible. The kids would share in it. Mom would always cook a buffet type meal , now Tom has replaced that with his incredible stroganoff. For probably 28 years I have brought over sugar cookies with my own special fluffy frosting, and recently have added an assortment of cookies- complements of the cookie exchange at work.

We used to buy gifts for everyone. Let me tell you, that got to be pretty expensive as we all grew up , got married and had children of our own. And as we grew up and there were more of us, the one person get a gift , open it and the pick one for someone else lasted for 3 hrs.

Now we have each adult bring a gift worth 20.00. And for the kids we have name drawing- so one kid gives one gift to another kid. The adults are counted and each draw one number out of a bowl. This yr we had 15 adults. When you get a gift from under the tree you can opt to keep it or take someone else’s gift . You can only make this choice once. So number one gets the gift they chose, unless someone above them chooses to take what they have. one yr I was number 6 and I think I had 4 different people take what ever gift was in my hand at the time.

It is fun and that is really what it is about., Enjoying each other, not really about the gifts. This yr I got number 13, Mark was number 12. He got 20.00 in scratch off lottery tickets, I got a utility knife, Jeff’s wife Amanda was going to take Mark’s gift  “  no matter what it was “ she kept saying… so I chose to steal his lottery tickets and gave him the utility knife. ( Hee hee we won 28.00 in lottery winnings )

Well she got her eyes on a 20.00 Pizza hut gift card that my nephew had gotten, so she took that, gave my nephew a evergreen swag for a front door and a 10.00 Wegmans gift card- so Mark ended up offering to trade my nephew the utility knife for the evergreen swag and gift card. It was such fun.

Today , well it was a quiet day, we went no where, had crock pot roast beef ( umm it came out very good) Yorkshire pudding, veggies and will have some apple crumb topping pie. Tomorrow we will meet Shawn and Pat for breakfast then go over to Jeff and Amanda’s to bring them their gifts. Mark and I had gone out together, bought stuff we wanted for each other and wrapped it. It was a nice change- and it was funny because some of the stuff was almost a surprise… that is what is  great about getting old.. Everything is new !.  Mark talked to Adrianne a little bit ago, Mackenzie is pushing 11 pounds and doing great. We get to see them next Friday…

Yes today is almost over but it was a really nice day, yes a really really nice day. I am sitting in my new office chair, we have got Marks web camera working , the new individual serving coffee pot is set up and we have our health and our family…. Life is good… Merry Christmas to all.//// and to all a good night. Love mrs justa. ( Cindy)