warning - this post is soooo long. guess i'm extra chatty today.
i realized i asked everyone their christmas eve tradition without sharing ours! growing up, we always played cards and ate tamales & turkey tacos with my nana, papa & aunt lavada. turkey tacos are made with thanksgiving turkey my mom would freeze, and then you roll it up in a corn tortilla and fry them. serve with "guacamorle", as my mom says - she's got some crazy pronunciations! but now that my brothers and i all live in different states, we have our christmas later in the week. complete with turkey tacos.
|me and my brothers :)|
everyone brings a bunch of wrapped gifts, some awesome, some horrible. and we roll dice until the timer goes off, and whoever rolled the last doubles wins. they can either take the gift on the table, or steal a gift from someone who's already won. it gets ugly, folks. i spend all year looking for stuff to put in the game. i won a mossberg shotgun last year! there's a case of milwaukee's best beer that's at least 10 years old, and we manage to sneak it in every year by disguising it inside coolers or boxes. troy's mom gets sneaky and hides a $50 bill in some lame present. there's usually booze and accessories and tools. you're supposed to bring half girl gifts, half guy gifts. it started out as 5 each person, but we have so much fun everyone has started bringing more to keep the game going longer! so yes, i am counting the days until we play the game!
one good part about our christmas eve is that once we head for home, the kids are exhausted and go right to sleep. which gives santa plenty of time to fill the stockings, set out the gifts, and eat some cookies. and then we have a lazy christmas day where we watch the dvds the kids got, and play their new board games.
another new tradition for us is buddy the elf. you know, the elf on the shelf? i've thought about it the last year or two, and kept telling myself "i could make an elf..." and you totally could! there's a tutorial and everything! but i had a 30% off coupon and got ours for $21.
thanksgiving night, i planned to "see" something at the front door as we pulled in the driveway from turkey day at grandma's. and then i planned to "find" the box from santa, containing our new elf. but i didn't plan on the kids not wanting to leave! they were having so much fun with their cousins! i waited almost an hour and finally said, ok, we're going, let's load up. (troy & i drove separate because there's always some card playing and gambling going on, so i planned to bring the kids home with me) they wanted to stay with daddy, i insisted they go with me, there were tears, and yelling, and sobs, and the whole bit. the entire 20 minutes home, i was feeling like the worst mother ever.
but we made it home and i did my "what was that i saw?" and came downstairs with the box. and wow, did those frowns turn upside down! we spent a little time playing with a christmas elf name generator online, and the kids decided they liked the name buddy. so, after we named him and read the book, i turned on one of my favorite holiday movies, Elf. and we watched it snuggled up with our new family member, and had a slumber party in the living room. i know some day i'll be able to tell the kids this story and laugh about it, but i'll admit to a few tears of my own while driving home that night!
we've had a lot of fun with him! the first night, he played in their blocks box. then we found him hanging from our tree, playing cards, and having a friendly game of connect four with Lion. i hacked our elf by inserting wire into his limbs, to make him poseable. the wire i had was too thin, so i twisted several lengths together. i've also forgot to move him once, but covered it because the kids had gotten up in the middle of the night and we decided that was why. phew.
an unintentional new tradition is me taking (terrible) photos of buddy's adventures and posting them on instagram and facebook. and googling inappropriate elves so i can giggle like a 12 year old.
how about you? do you have a shelf elf? any fun ideas you want to share?