Christmahanukwanzukkah

Yesterday was a really nice day. My mom came over in the morning and we had lunch together. It was a bacon wrapped pork roast, broccoli slaw, deviled eggs, and au gratin potatoes, then we had candy cane cheese pie and homemade cookies for dessert. It was simple and I only made about half of the above list.

The kids got a ton of loot between us and both sets of grandparents, and also two of their aunts. With five kids, there’s too much to list everything. Santa ended up giving them (from oldest to youngest) a phone, another phone, a baby doll, a marching drum and sticks with other instruments, and a vacuum. There is much, much more, but I’ll spare you.

I got some really nice gifts, too. I would have been happy to just make others happy but it was nice to be thought of. I got a better sewing machine, a 52 ounce refillable mug for the gas station by our house, a container of English Breakfast Tea, an immersion blender (always wanted one of those even though I didn’t ask), a wok (again, didn’t ask but always wanted one), storage bowls, a gardening set, an oven mitt with a brownie mix inside, and a lottery ticket. I didn’t win anything on the ticket but that’s okay. I’m content with what I did get.

Dinner at my mother-in-law’s ran late as always and we didn’t eat until 8:00 so nobody really wanted to hang around for dessert by the time presents were opened. We brought our whole pie home, as well as a big chunk of pineapple upside down cake, a lot of our cookies that we took with, and a mess of other leftovers. I didn’t cook at all today and tomorrow there will be a big salad to go with whatever I do cook.

We got home at around 11:00 and Kid #5 had trouble going back to sleep. Once we got him down, I went to bed and didn’t get up again until 9:30. Then I ended up taking a nap this afternoon. I finally feel a little more human. I just needed the rest. The cold I’ve been dealing with the past few days is easing up and I think with another night of sleep, I’ll really be on the mend.

We missed lighting candles last night for Hanukkah so we made up for that tonight. We have one more night tomorrow night so tomorrow is when the kids get their “big” gifts. It’s not anything that big, really, but they got plenty for Christmas.

We did the first night of Kwanzaa tonight, also. We didn’t do the exact traditions as outlined by my friend and the internet when I consulted them, but we made it work. We worked together to weave mats out of construction paper. There were 4 so we’re using them as regular placemats. We don’t have a Kinara either so I cut one out of construction paper and taped it to a door. We also didn’t have the right color of paper for the candles (no green) so I used white and wrote the English words for the principles on them in the appropriate color crayon. Tonight’s principle was unity and I think working together to make those mats signified unity more than anything else I would have come up with. From here on, we’ll do an activity each night, talk about the principle, and add a yellow “flame” to the paper Kinara. It’s the best I could do on the fly when I’m broke from Christmas, but it was definitely something that brought us together and that’s the point of Kwanzaa (at least partly).

I really feel like I’m offering the kids a lot here by offering them knowledge about other cultures and making these traditions a part of our family. They like it, they enjoy the experience, and we’re making family memories together. All in all, I really like this, even if 11 days with overlapping holidays does get pretty hectic!

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