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The ham has been baked, the feast has been served, the wrapping paper scattered throughout rooms then collected and taken out; the tree stood tall and proud as it did its job – providing a gorgeous home for presents galore. It is the day after Christmas and the presents are slowly taking over the house.

The oohgioia Christmas began Christmas Eve, as many Christmas’ do. That morning was the only one where some relaxation might be possible. After a  failed attempted to sleep in caused the day to begin earlier than originally expected.

Christmas Eve morning I headed upstairs to begin to prepare a pot of coffee. Joy had just gotten home with groceries for her and her family, she turned to Margaret and handed her a box of candy canes, “Here,” she told Margaret, “you can go put these on the tree.”

 

Bright eyed Margaret turned to me next, “Heather?” she asked, “Will you help me?

“Sure,” I responded, “I have a half hour until my coffee will be done any way…”

We spent thirty minutes decorating the tree, twelve candy canes would go on the tree and then twelve would come back off to be re-hung.

When the coffee was brewed and the tree had been decorated, Margaret and I moved into the kitchen and began baking breakfast. TheNorthPole.com provided an interactive place prior to Christmas where I found a handful of recipes to try out prior to Christmas day – that morning Margaret and I were making Christmas Morning Sausage Balls.

They were actually pretty delicious.

Later that afternoon, after a relaxing coffee break at Starbucks my brother and I headed off to our Mom and Ray’s house for their last Christmas Eve in VA. Delicious meatballs, chicken wings and cheese were eaten while crock pots, dress clothes and photos were opened.  It was a great evening at their house, gifts were given and received everyone loved everything that Christmas was bringing. Talk about their new home in Florida was had, while prospective home photos were looked at. My brother got new dress clothes to ensure he would look snazzy for those, hopefully soon to come, job interviews and I received kitchen items to hopefully turn my new kitchen into everything I want it to be.

That evening Jared and I enjoyed an evening on the couch watching TV and admiring our gifts under the fireplace. Finally the clock struck midnight, Jared looked at me and yelled “Merry Christmas,”  and we each exchanged our small gifts.

A brand new Super Nintendo controller for him and a new phone case that actually fit for me.  Next, Jared walked out of his office with a gift for Bean Butt, the stuffed mokey he had gotten me a few years ago – inside, with some assistance opening his gift, Bean Butt found his very own stuffed banana.

Shortly after it was time to sleep, Christmas was going to be a long day.

The morning began with a gift exchange between Jared and I. He had the biggest gift for me and I could not wait to open it, until I did… I am not sure she excitement and enthusiasm has ever left my face and body so quickly before.

Here I had this big heavy box that Jared had been making such a great deal about; then when I finally opened it Christmas morning inside I found, well I found four brand new hubcaps for my car. The gesture was nice, and trust me, the hub caps have been much needed for over a year now – it was just not what I was expecting. Frustrated I tossed his big gift into his lap with a monotone “Merry Christmas.”

Again, Jared got up, walked to his closet and came out with more gifts for me.

We then headed upstairs to find Joy, Tj and Margaret for that gift exchange.  Those gifts I had previously been worried might be super lame, those gifts that were lack luster next to the rest – they weren’t. Margaret loved each of her gifts and was more excited about the small things and a painting then I ever imagined she would be.

It was then time to move on to Jared’s parent’s house, where that gift exchange went just as well . Before I knew it, it was time to head off to my Dad’s house for Christmas Round Five. There I spent a great afternoon with my Dad, brother and Shannon, my brother’s girlfriend. Again it was a wonderful Christmas day gifts were exchanged, again and cheer came across faces and of course some random family fun.

After dinner, my Dad and brother headed over the Caryoln’s house (my Dad’s girlfriend) to set up their Christmas surprise. When they returned Jared came over and spent some family time.

It was Christmas night and the day still was not over, not all of the gifts had been given nor unwrapped. We headed to Caryoln’s house for desert where my brother got two Capitals tickets for his birthday game and  I got a blender – can you say MARGARITAS?!

Christmas finally came to an end, as Jared and I lugged all of the gifts back into the house, we curled up on the couch, turned on Myth Busters and enjoyed some pizza and beers.

This morning, Jared broke out his new Legend of Zelda 3Ds and I busted out the fancy coffee pot my Dad had gotten me – coffee was done in minutes, it was delicious.

It was quite possibly the longest and busiest Christmas I have had to date, but I think it was also one of the best.

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