First, the elephant in the room. I’ve stopped posting three times per week. I’ve always known I couldn’t be relied upon to post daily, but once a week? I’m just getting lazy at this point.
I do solemnly swear to pick up the pace after the holidays.
Since I’m like pretty much every mom, I realize I constantly bombard you with stories about my children.
Side Note: If we ever have a conversation in real life and it solely revolves around our children, we need to try harder. I’m determined not to be the woman who can talk of nothing but poop, diapers, rashes, and sleeplessness! Plus, if you work a “real” job (ahem. One with a paycheck, as I absolutely count mommyhood as a REAL job), I want to hear about the outside world.
I thought I might switch it up and talk some about those other family members with whom I hang.
Question: Once you have a husband and children, are your parents and siblings still considered your “immediate” family? Do they get demoted to “extended”? I’ve always wondered.
For those of you not “in the know,” I have one brother named Drew. He’s a bit more than two years older than me, and, of course, I was always known as “Drew’s little sister.” He’s a pretty cool guy and became an ordained Presbyterian pastor not too long ago. God could not have called a better man into ministry. While I tend to run deep (i.e. more serious, pensive, smaller friend circle), he runs wider (i.e. a million friends, a big smile, and a very full calendar). Isn’t it amazing how different siblings can be when they come from the same gene pool?
Unfortunately, his pastor status ruined Christmas forever.
I kid! I kid! Mostly, his job keeps he and his wife from participating in family stuff on Christmas Eve because he’s working. Therefore, we’ve all done the mature thing and moved “Christmas” to anywhere other than December 24-25. This works out nicely for my immediate (immediate-immediate?) family because the Hubs’ fam lives in the wilds of Alabama.
Therefore, a few years ago, in the name of Christmas cheer, my mom (hi, Mom!) decided that we needed to start a new tradition or two.
White Elephant (aka Dirty Santa)
Can I be honest and tell you that I miss office Christmas parties? I always try to force at least one round of White Elephant on my friends and/or family during Christmas to compensate…much to the delight of my husband.
We did a White Elephant gift exchange as a family one year, but I don’t think it was a clear winner since there were only six people playing (and everyone was very polite). My extended family also plays White Elephant on Christmas Eve. We only make the party every other year, as we alternate Christmas with the in-laws. I love how this White Elephant always has a theme. We’ve gone through:
- Something that starts with a “T” – I actually missed this year, but I heard the giant box of toilet paper was the gift stolen the most.
- Something wild – A leopard-print thong may have made an appearance, which was shocking coming from my family.
- Something hot – This was the theme for my immediate family’s game. My mom gave a Victoria Secret gift card to encourage the possibility of future grandchildren. There may not have been a direct correlation, but Olivia did arrive the following November…
- One size fits all – Not one, but two “Make America Great Again” hats made their way into that round.
- Something from my hometown county – This was difficult because I lived in Alabama at the time.
- Hurricane Preparedness – This year’s theme. After we all survived Hurricane Irma this September, it’s still near and dear. I’ve been a bit stumped by this topic, but my husband’s pick will guarantee laughs.
The Saran-Wrap Ball Game
Last year, I discovered the Saran-Wrap Ball Game on Pinterest, mainly because no one has the ability to be creative anymore without assistance from Pinterest. Mom and I hit Dollar Tree, and she started wrapping and wrapping and wrapping tiny prizes and gift cards into a ginormous ball of press-and-seal (highly recommended above regular).
Basically, you sit in a circle. One person wears a pair of oven mitts and tries to unwrap the saran-wrap ball as quickly as possible. If he/she manages to unwrap any prizes, they are his/hers to keep. The person next to them rolls two dice. When he/she rolls doubles, the person working on unwrapping the ball takes off the oven mitts and gives them and the ball to the person who rolled the dice so he/she can have a turn trying to unwrap while the next person starts rolling.
Basically, it looks like:
I’m actually filming, so you’re seeing my sis-in-law, my brother, Mom (hi, Mom!), Dad, and a hint of the Hubs. As you can see, it gets a little crazy, and you never know when Swedish Fish will come tumbling your way. Also, my dad was very into the game by the end. It got a little crazy.
Olivia was a month old at this point, so this is how I competed:
This year, we’re keeping it old school. Mom and I (the founders and main members of the family’s party-planning committee) decided to do a simple boys-vs-girls game of Christmas charades.
We decided it would only be fair to warn the men of our plan ahead of time, as we’ve already conferred about potential charades options. I’m feeling confident the women will win. Obvs.
We’re always looking for new, interesting games to play. Do you have any family games to recommend?
I feel a little funny about this, so I’m tucking it into the bottom. If you enjoy reading See Mama Read, would you mind sharing on Facebook? I’d love to spread the love, as I think I’m hilarious.