For many years, we entertained at least one side of the family and some years both sides. There were 15-30 people involved, games, food, puzzles, music, more food, and a myriad of desserts. I decorated the house from top to bottom. We almost always had a few extras; girlfriends, boyfriends, exchange students, and friends of siblings who couldn't get home for the holidays. I finally made a 'Miscellaneous' stocking for those individuals.
But now everyone is more spread out and competing in laws have entered the picture. The grandchildren all have jobs and limited time off. (Of course the jobs are a good thing!) So this year, I celebrated with each of my kids individually. For Thanksgiving, I was in Dallas at Pat's and since all of his kids were home, on the Friday after we did our Christmas. Two of my great-granddaughters, Olivia and Jordan, added extra spice and fun to the gathering and gifts.
Three days before Christmas, I flew to Kate's in West Virginia. Unfortunately, only one of her three boys was able to be there, but I got to meet Ty and Aimee's new daughter, Claire. It was a quiet Christmas but, besides a wonderful supper at a Korean BBQ place the first night, Ron fixed a couple of great soups and we did enjoy a few cookies and snacks. And Kate and I managed to do a puzzle of Asian noodle dishes.
A week later, I am at Andy's because his son Elliot has a short leave from the Air Force and we did Christmas here on New Year's Eve Day. It turned out to be a "hat Christmas.' Sophie enjoys her sock monkey hat from me and both kids modeled the Patrick Mahome hats from their dad. Elliot also got a cap from Hawaii from his girlfriend Bethany and a Chief's sunhat, also from his dad. We had a a nice meal and visit before the kids headed out for New Years Eve.
So, I think that's it for 2023. No particular resolutions for 2024 except to downsize drastically and finish the book I've been working on too long, Grilling the Suspect. I also have ideas for another Frannie book, a fourth time travel book, and a stand-alone historical fiction.
Some random thoughts about writing, camping, and eating.