Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Hostess with the mostess

"Never worry about the size of your Christmas tree. In the eyes of children, they are all 30 feet tall." (Larry Wilde)

This is my family. My mom, dad (on phone with my grandma), sister and her husband (Yes, he is wearing a black dickie under a white sweater, a la Cousie Eddie in Christmas Vacation.) They were all nice enough to drive 1.5 to 2 hours just so I could have some Christmas celebration at my house this year. Because our snug two-bedroom condo doesn't sleep nine, I can't host any overnight holidays.

I served three kinds of homemade soup: my White Bean Chicken Chili, and two soups from The New Basics: a Winter Squash pureed with cream, and a brothier winter vegetable with potatoes, leeks, celery and spinach. The three kids (not pictured) had canned chicken noodle.

We exchanged gifts last night, and my parents were so generous, buying us a videocamera so we can take video while in Vietnam and later of their grandchildren. I can't believe how small it is! I'm taking a poll: Do people think we need one that holds more than 7 hours of video? I doubt it.

My brother-in-law kept with a tradition of giving us home improvement as a gift. Last year he installed our new kitchen lights. This year I unwrapped a piece of drywall, which meant he was going to fix the holes he left in our ceiling. In the past year he has learned how to drywall--by going to Mississippi to help rebuild houses after Katrina.

But the best gift of all was this beautiful pin made by my 15-year-old godson Jack. It's that clear polymer stuff in a bottlecap with a little wreath. I also got a matching one with a snowflake. My sister (the non-crafty one, of Jesse Tree fame) has her kids make a gift each year for each of their grandparents and godparents. As the kids get older, the gifts get nicer and nicer! Last year I got a beautiful hand-painted silk scarf. I love the idea of instilling in my kids the importance of giving of yourself, so I plan to adopt this tradition with my own children.

Thanks again, Schlumpfs, for making the treck to our house. We'll see you soon at New Year's!


Anonymous said...

I think your family has started a lovely tradition for the children's gift giving!! I would love to get my boys to do something like that. For years we have been "adopting" 2 children on an Angel tree...around the boys age and getting gifts for them. This year we couldn't quite do that so we gave money to a coworker for the holidays for her children (her oldest was diagnosed with cancer), so the money will help with their Christmas.

You made quite the assortment of soups, it all sounds like so much fun. I'm glad you and DH are enjoying your friends and family and having such a nice holiday season.


Anonymous said...

Hi Heidi: It was so much fun at your house and everything was so delicious. Thanks for pampering us. I wish we could have stayed longer. I'm glad you like your pins. On rare occasions, because of time, the grandparent/godparent gifts become a team project amongst the 3 kids. Clare did apply the glitter to your pins because Jack didn't get home from school in time (there were a lot of drying stages to this project--overnight in fact for the resin). But all of Jack's love is in there and he did everything else. Usually I decide what the project will be and go and purchase all the needed materials. This year the kids came to Michael's with me and they came up with the idea for the grandfather/godfather present themselves (those turned out good, too!). When your kids are old enough to do this project I have about a half-gallon of the resin and catalyst leftover because we only needed enough for 10 bottlecaps. (Oh and Andy helped, too. He helped drink the beer so we could get the 5 gold and 5 silver caps!) Have a very Merry Christmas!! Amy