Friday, December 26, 2008

After the Chaos Has Ensued

I hope everyone had a fun-filled, drama-free, fattening foods eaten all damn day and night Christmas and any other holiday that was celebrated in the last two days.

We had a very good Christmas. I love living closer to my family for the holidays. Less stress and I can go home after the presents are opened. That's my kind of holiday.

The festivities started on Tuesday night. I feel like there's something in my hair, but for the life of me, I can't figure out what it is.

Here's LOML in her new robe and matching pants that she opened on Christmas Eve. She's standing next to the TV tray we had to put Santa's Eggnog and cookies on due to the fact that we have a dog now. No more treats left on the hearth. Sorry Santa! This year, he got 2 sugar cookies, 3 shortbread cookies and one Sandie. And yes, that is a special eggnog mug. They're vintage milk glass eggnog cups with old-fashioned snow scenes on them. I got them at an antique fair held on a plantation in Louisiana several years ago. I adore them. We hung up 7 stockings this year. LOML, her baby doll Mabel, Jesse the Squirrel, Monica the fish, JD and Mike the cats and Max the dog. Everyone had something in their stockings. Mabel got some baby doll stuff. Jesse got sunflower seeds in a package with a bow, Monica got new gravel, JD & Mike got treats and Max got balls (yes, in addition to the ones he currently possesses between his legs), treats, a rope chew toy and a hot dog chew toy with a squeaky in it.

LOML got all sorts of jewelry making stuff. Beads, findings, tools, storage boxes, etc.......She also got candy and gum and pencils and colored pencils and notebooks and bath stuff and Barbie stuff and art stuff and miniature games and canvasses and joke stuff and hot cocoa and on and on and on and on....

Oh, yeah. And she got an easel. She's still trying to figure out how Santa got that in the bag AND in the house.

Her favorite thing she got this year? An actual PHOTOGRAPH of the North Pole (including a reindeer and Santa. She's pretty convinced that the reindeer in the picture is Comet). She had asked him for a picture of the North Pole and boy, did Santa deliver. Next year, she's determined to get him to give her a picture of the elves.

She about killed me this year. In the past years, I've been able to keep her from getting up too early. For my benefit, of course.

This year?


She was up at 3:30 IN THE MORNING!!!

I gave in and let her do the Santa thing but then declared that "WE WERE GOING BACK TO BED".

We then went back to bed til 8:30 and woke up to sausage and homemade pancakes. Yummy, yum, yum.

Here's a toy that Max got from my mom. Within 10 minutes, he had the ear almost chewed completely off. Damn dog.

Here's LOML checking out her stocking stash.

Later that day, we went over the river (creek) and through the woods (up a gravel road w/trees hanging over) to Grandmother's house.

We DID NOT do appetizers like we had at Thanksgiving. Thank the sweet baby Jesus. Cause I couldn't handle a non-traditional Christmas. I'm loosey-goosey on a LOT of things, but not my holiday traditions.

Here's the silverware holders I got from Lillian Vernon a couple of years ago that we used for the first time this year. I love these. I'm not a cutesy-cutesy person when it comes to decorating, but I LOVE these.

We also do crackers every year. If you don't know what a cracker is it's (to quote from this website):

In its simplest form, a cracker is a small cardboard tube covered in a brightly colored twist of paper. When the cracker is pulled by two people, each holding one end of the twisted paper covered tube, the friction creates a small explosive 'pop'. This 'pop' is produced by a narrow strip of chemically impregnated paper. The cracker tears apart and out of the cardboard tube tumbles a bright paper hat, a small gift, a balloon and a motto or joke. It is a running joke that all the jokes and mottos in crackers are unfunny and unmemorable. Similarly, in most standard commercial products, the "gift" is equally awful, although wealthier individuals—notably, the royal family—may use custom crackers with more expensive rewards.

In addition to Christmas Crackers, "Crackers" are used as decorative party favors to celebrate a variety of other special occasions and festive events. The pulling of crackers and donning of the party hats creates a relaxed, festive atmosphere certain to get any party function off the ground. Crackers provide a colorful and exciting start to any celebration, and also present each guest with a gift by which to remember the days events. At Christmas, crackers make great tree ornaments, stocking stuffers, and welcoming gifts for visiting friends and relatives. They can also be used as invitations, promotional gifts, an advertising medium, shower and wedding favors, and individualized gifts for special occasions such as Valentine's Day and Mother's Day.

This is the remarkable story of the Cracker - an unique insight into one of Britain's most enduring traditions which continues to bring pleasure to all ages and generations, from children to grandparents.

We're not British, but mom discovered this a long time ago and it's now been woven into our Christmas tradition.

Normally, we get just regular crackers with some cheap little toys in them but this year, we got a brand called Tom Smith (the quote is from their website) that had AMAZING GIFTS in them. Pictures and descriptions later in the post.

Here's the spread. There's a salty ham, baked cheese grits, broccoli casserole, dressing with chicken, potato & artichoke casserole (thanks again K for that recipe!), apricot salad (yuck), relish tray and pimento and cheese sandwiches. With the exception of the potato and artichoke casserole, the rest of the foods are our traditional Christmas spread. Give or take a few more dishes. We also had a chocolate pie and a sweet potato pie. Yummy.

Here's LOML trying in vain to pop open her cracker!

Here's the corny joke that was in my cracker. So lame...but, that's the tradition!

This year, the crackers held some AWESOME gifts. My aunt, C, got a pair of silver and cubic zirconium earrings. I got a silver pen, my mom got a silver magnetic clip, my grandmother got a silver heart cell phone charm that we put on her purse zipper instead, my aunt M got a silver bracelet and LOML got a black satin lipstick case. We are totally getting Tom Smith crackers from now on. We usually get plastic pink frogs or plastic yellow compasses inside our generic crackers. But not this year!
Here's the earrings my aunt C got.

Here's my aunt C after she opened her cracker.

Here's LOML laughing at some of the corny jokes. You also get paper crowns in the cracker for you to wear. We all wore ours through out dinner and present opening. Mine kept slipping. What does that say about me, you think?

Here's a typical scene at Christmas at my grandmother's. Kids and dogs and food.
Max and Bailey are trying to charm LOML out of her ham and other goodies.

Santa left a special gift for LOML at my grandmother's house. If you can't read the note on the package, it says: "You've been naughty, so here's the scoop. You get nothing but snowman poop" and the bag was filled with miniature marshmallows. She loved it!

And here's LOML at the end of the festivities. She's wearing a bow from a package in her hair. And yes, it was hot enough to wear a short sleeved T-shirt. Damn global warming.

All in all, it was a terrific Christmas. I got a photography studio in a box (for my etsy jewelry), a Disney book written by the Imagineers (the biggest surprise present that I AM IN LOVE WITH), some cash, a bird feeder, 2 decorative perfume bottles, handmade earrings by LOML, coasters, etc.......It truly was a wonderful Christmas. My big present from my mom I got back in the summer. It was my china cabinet and it's going to continue to be my Christmas present until next year as well as 2 birthday presents! But, it's all good. I LOVE my china cabinet.

How was your Christmas? Was Santa good to you and yours? Get anything good? Get anything bad?


Mama Dawg

31 really cool people who give a rat's patootie:

Middle Aged Woman

I need some snowman poop for my hot chocolate! We got lots of rain on Christmas Eve, which froze solid on Christmas Day. And freezing rain today. All this on top of the ten inches of snow that fell on Friday last week. Love Christmas, hate winter.


i loved all these photos!!!! SO MUCH FUN. i totally need to figure out how to get myself an invite to your house bc you are TOO MUCH FUN. also? that disney book? i am SO gonna hunt that sucker down. sigh. i love me some disney. merry day after christmas!

Mama Dawg

Consider yourself invited! Yeah, the book is awesome.


Looks like you had an awesome Christmas!!!

Pseudonymous High School Teacher

You captured your Christmas so intimately for us. I truely enjoyed the tour, except I wanted to funnel myself through the computer and make a plate at the food table.

I love LOML's smiles. SO happy for you and your family and your wonderful Christmas.


LOML is just about the cutest girl I don't know!
We did crackers this year too - they were the pickle prize at my parents' house. No good stuff in them though - where did you get these Tom Smith ones?
Yeah, I hate apricots too...


This year was our first year to do the crackers!! Yeah, prizes sucked, jokes were corny, but oooo the crowns were AWESOME!! i will post pics of the family in their crowns!1


great post!!! I like that "crackers" idea [I never heard of them before!].
The dog toy picture is priceless!!!

Irish Gumbo

Wow, that’s quite a par-tay you got going on over there! I was getting tired (and hungry) just looking at it all. Great pics!

Gumbo factoid: Where I come from, a cracker was what we called a ‘knuckle-headed Southern white guy’. Ha! Oh, wait…that sounds like me. Hmm. I’ll have to get back to you on that.

(sigh) I wish I had gotten some balls for Christmas. Always next year I suppose ;)

Swirl Girl

It looks as though you had a great day - and I just love the cracker thing . I have never heard of them...are those instead of stockings??

and LOYourL looks like she hit the jackpot!

Mama Dawg

IG-Yeah, we call white trash down here in the dirty south "crackers", too. I'll tell Santa (he twitters) that you'd like some balls next year. Better yet, Max (the dog) is having his removed next month. Want his? They're kinda smallish, though.

SG-Nope, not instead of stocking. In addition to. It's just a fun thing we do right before our Christmas meal.

Captain Dumbass

Where the hell did my comment go? I can swear because it's not Xmas anymore. LOML looks so cute! And I'm not jealous at all of the tshirts. Not when I had to dig out my own parking spot last night when we went to my in-laws for dinner.

You should have come here for Xmas. We're having the whitest one since '71.

Mama Dawg

Hell to the no on coming up there for Xmas. Couldn't pay me to do it.

Well, maybe you could pay me. But otherwise, nope. Sorry. Can't do it.


Bless ya'll's hearts! Looks like you had a fabulous Christmas! Love the pics.


Looks like you all had an awesome Christmas! Santa was quite good to us...he brought a wii...and I am having a hard time getting the girls to share. It's really fun ;-)

Irish Gumbo

Hey, Mama Dawg!

Smallish, you say? Hmm...beggin' not choosin'...maybe. Depends. What color is his fur? Wouldn't want the change to be TOO abrupt :)

Mama Dawg

IG-He's a black and tan dog. His ball fur is on the light black side, if that makes sense.

Mama Dawg

I can't believe I just wrote the words "ball fur" on my blog comments section.


Melissa B.

Quite the Superior Snaps!! Looks like y'all had a Very Merry Christmas. I always have so much fun at Candid Carrie's Friday Foto Finish Fiesta, don't you?


It's great to see you had such a wonderful holiday. Ours was nice too. Santa's always must be my halo ;)


Leave it to the 'Brit's to combine family love and small IED's. What? No tripe??

mommytoalot have a great sense of humour. I enjoyed reading all about your Christmas. Your little one is adorable. Looks like a good time was had!
thanks for stopping by my blog

Z's Mom

It looks like you all had a great Christmas....and Santa was apparently very good!!! :)


Wow you DID have a fun Christmas! I like the pic of your daughter checking out her stocking stash. My stocking was always my fav part.


How wonderful to be so close to family.. We have something similar to the crackers here, but they are LOUD and smoke actually come out of the bottom...


I think you guys had an awesome Christmas! I love LOYL's robe.

you said snowman poop. hehe


Where I come from a "Cracker" is white folk. Hold up, that just a Chris Rock video I watched.

Where I live people don't know there IS anything other then white folk.

What IS in your hair?


Awesome Christmas post! It looks like everyone had a GREAT time.

I love crackers!! Thanks for the recommendation, I'm totally going to the Tom Smith website after I write this comment and checking it out. We used to do crackers for Easter, but they would be great for any holiday dinner.

We had a great Christmas too! Looking forward to the New Year. :D


OH, we got those crackers one year and they DO have really good prizes in them. I got silver earrings too. So much fun. It looks like LOML got some good loot! And I love that you had dressing with chicken...'cause we have that too. Every year. I love it.


Great post and photos !

Stocking stash is a big deal in our house. We try to make it fun each year.

Happy Holidays.


That robe rocks, indeed!

Any way you can email or post your recipe for potato and artichoke casserole? It sounds incredible.

Thanks for sharing all the pix. We had a fun Christmas. We also use those same crackers. They have pretty cool prizes, for sure.

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