It has been a whirlwind these past few days. Just look at the schedule:
Sunday: dinner at my cousin's (11 adults, 2 children, 4 dogs); come home, stay up until 12:30 finishing the stockings.
Monday: work until 1:00; Christmas eve celebration with 11 adults, 2 children, and 4 dogs. My uncle loved his ornament--he thought I bought it!--but I still don't have a photo. My nieces loved their stockings--Yay-o screamed when she opened it and Lala raced to put them up on the mantle. She was especially excited because her name is on it; now Santa knows which one is hers. My cousin and husband loved Summer Place, and I was right--I had bet the dude that she would cry and she did a little. And my aunt liked the Frenchy Bag. Also, everyone voted, and I make the best lobster stew. Unfortunately, I think this means I have a new job for Christmas eve.
Tuesday: We slept at my sister's Monday night so that we'd all wake up together for Christmas. It was just the five of us early on, and Sissy loved her pillow, dad liked his beer sign (though he's selling the business; I told him he could remember how he made his millions), and my mother loved her necklace. At 2:00 the 6 adults and two children came over for Chinese (a family tradition). When my cousin's MIL saw the necklace that I made my mother, she offered to put them in the gift shop she manages. So I guess that's a compliment. But I'm not quitting my day job yet.
Wednesday: The crew, plus my cousin's SIL, came to our bungalow for dinner. We had a Polish theme dinner with bigos and pierogies. You can read about it here, including a recipe for the bigos, which I improvised a bit. Of course, we started cleaning the neglected house at 9:00 am and "finished" (I skipped the craft room; my mother said it looked fine, "worked in.") half an hour before people arrived. And then once they left, we started the cleaning all over again.
Thursday: I went to work, leaving the dude to finish cleaning up (and I have to say, I was relieved to be here, except for the "interview" with the boss's boss). But I had to cut out a bit early to get to the restaurant for the 60th birthday party. Seventeen people, but no dogs. The dude scanned 100+ photos of my aunt and I organized them into a little power point presentation. There wasn't space to display it, so we passed the computer around. It was good that we had entertainment, because the service sucked. Nevertheless, it was way better than the restaurant where we usually have her birthday dinner--the service and the food. My stitched piece was deeply appreciated and passed around. My cousin's MIL asked how I could see to stitch without glasses, because apparently she thinks everyone has 80-year-old eyes. But it brings me to the Friday quiz (Jo, I haven't forgotten...soon.)