It started this early morning, my mother and I in the kitchen, making enough food to feed our army. My job was appetizers and desserts. By just after lunch, I had made a quart of smoked salmon dip, an large oval casserole of artichoke dip to be baked just before everyone arrived, 12 dozen mushroom palmiers, 2 pumpkin pies, a cherry pie, a french silk pie, and I'd brought shortbread and gingerbread I'd made earlier in the week. That sounds like a lot, but we had almost 60 hungry people in my parent's house to feed! Aunts and uncles, cousins and their spouses/partners and children, my brothers and their families (and parts of my sisters-in-law's families), and my newborn great-nephew (I'm still trying to wrap my mind around the idea that my brother is a grandfather) - 4 generations from age 89 to 6 weeks all under one roof. Yep, it's a zoo - but it's a happy zoo. ::g::
The music starts almost as soon as there's more than two of us in a room who can sing or play. It keeps going until dinner. Rather than try to fit everyone at one table, we eat in shifts - but we all gather together right before the feasting starts to sing a carol chosen by the eldest among us (this night, my Aunt Mòrag, who chose An Rionnag – The Star) and toast each other and the coming year.
After dinner comes the part all the kids wait for - the distribution of the presents heaped under the tree. My father plays Santa, complete with the traditional white-trimmed red hat (I'm guessing, though, that we've got the only kilt-wearing Santa in town :-D). Then the kids head off to the basement to play while the adults sip our afters and start up the music again. The last guest left at around 10:30. SInce most everyone cleans up after themselves (for a change ::g::), there wasn't much to clean up. I probably *ought* to be exhausted, but I'm still too hyper to sleep. I'm sure fatigue will hit soon, but in the meantime, I'll read what's up on my Friends Page and wish you a lovely Christmas Eve, my dears! See you at hoggywartyxmas !