Time sure does seem to fly by much quicker when you get older. I remember when I was younger, a 25-minute drive to Silverdale seemed like an eternity. My Mom would have to pack us a sizable snack and we’d pop in an “Adventures in Odyssey” cassette to keep us quiet. Birthdays were such a blast, but by that evening, it began to sink in that I would have to endure 364 more days until my next party. *sigh*
Anyhow, it’s looking to be a fairly busy three-day weekend for the Tanaka family – here’s a condensed look at what’s in the works:
Friday: Bethany and Dad are going to Seattle for a special daughter-dad time. I’m thinking that they’re going to be heading to the Space Needle and perhaps Pike Place Market … the rest of us will be chilling at home and begin to prepare food.
Saturday: Christmas Eve. Our whole family is invited to the birthday party of Owen, who will be turning 3. We’ll head home, eat our traditional Christmas Eve meal of hot dogs, (wait … scratch that – I’m told that we’re having Angus beef burgers instead … win.) tator-tots, and rainbow jello. Rainbow jello is essentially thin layers of jello in various colors laid on top of each other to create a colorful cube. It’s amazing.
Most of us then climb into sleeping backs around and underneath the Christmas tree, tell stories, laugh, watch a disco ball that my Dad hangs up spin wildly, and eventually do fall asleep. My Mom comes by later, and whoever is unfortunate to be awake/goofing off gets sent downstairs to their bed.
Sunday Morning: My Mom makes ham and cheese strata for breakfast while my Dad works on his patented “Baby Jesus bread” (basically a braided bread with raisins and sugar). I don’t remember a Christmas morning without either of those two dishes.
Note that we don’t tear open all of the presents before we eat – haha. The anticipation rises to a fever pitch right around when we finish clearing away the breakfast dishes.
When our family was smaller, we used to get a ton of presents. Instead of opening all of one’s presents in five minutes, we take turns, yes take turns. One person will open a gift while everyone watches, oohs & ahhs …. as you could probably guess, it took an astronomically long time to open my 12-15 gifts back in the day.
Gifts are much less of an issue now – birthdays are still pretty big events, though.
Sunday Afternoon: This year, we’ll hope to finish presents at a reasonable time and head off to church – our church actually meets in the afternoon (we rent out First Christian Church in Port Orchard) so we get the entire morning free … sweet! I’m thinking some of us will be dressing up in Christmas colors, but I’m not totally sure on that.
Sunday Evening: What the Tanaka fam consumes at dinner largely varies. This year, we’re going to be getting a Costco spiral-cut ham – when we get back from church, it’ll be ready to roll.
The day after Christmas, we’ll be having some of our relatives over just to hang out, so it should be a lot of fun. I get work off that day (oh yeah!)
I love this time of year. All we need now is a white Christmas …