Holiday Traditions

It’s that time of year again.  Lots of bright and sparkly lights around.Time to decorate your house and tree. Time to hunt down the perfect gifts for your loved ones.  Time to visit with family and friends.  It sure can be a hectic time of year, and expensive.  Everyone has different family traditions.  I will explain how my holidays are, and truly will be, hectic this year.  My craziness has already begun, with work holiday parties– my girlfriend’s work party was crazy as usual. 

This past Saturday the craziness truly began.  Well, I guess it really was the week before when my work holiday party was.  It was fairly low key, but it was still a fun time and great to see everyone outside of the office.  There were a few epic Giant Jenga games that were over 40 levels high. This past Saturday was my girlfriend’s work holiday party and they go all out.  We were at her boss’ country club where there was an open bar from 7 PM through 12:30 AM.  Do I even have to say that it got a little crazy?  Well it did, but in a good way.  They had some great food, a freshly made Chinese buffet at the country club. I definitely made mine way too spicy. This week, hopefully, won’t be as crazy, which will allow me to recover from the weekend.

This weekend, my girlfriend will be flying back to Michigan to be with her family for the holidays while I will remain here, in St. Louis,to be with mine, and take care of the dog. I know, I know, we should be spending this time together.  We keep talking about starting to rotate Thanksgiving and Christmas for where we are:  just can’t seem to start it.  I have family that comes in town for those two holidays and I enjoy spending time with them and she doesn’t get to see her family that often, so she takes advantage of the holidays to go home to be with them. 

My family’s tradition is that we do my immediate family’s Christmas on Christmas Eve.  Both my brothers and their families and I go over to our parent’s house to have some great food and open presents.  This is crazy, but actually is the calm before the storm.  I’m not sure what food we’ll have this year,but there is no doubt that it’ll be very good. My Mom will make something amazing, as usual.  We will have a great time, and my nieces and nephew will be entertaining as always.  Oops,I just remembered that I still need to make my family’s version of Chex Mix!  My Grandma had a great recipe and I now have the task to make it for the family.  I know what I’ll be doing this afternoon now.

Time for the big day, Christmas.  I will be doing my usual thing, making chicken wings for my Mom’s whole family Christmas party at, again, my parents’house.  This has been a tradition as long as I’ve been alive!  There will be at least forty people there, a little crazy. Again, it will be a great time, and great to get all of us together.  There aren’t many occasions where it is possible for all of us, especially the cousins, to get together.  We don’t exchange presents with the big family,though I believe the little kids get something. I can’t even begin to explain the shenanigans that go on this day.  My parents have always put a Where’s Waldo ornament on the tree, so there will be hunting for him, possibly even a ransom letter for him, yes, that has happened. We are also a family that has an ornament that is a pickle, which is another thing to hunt for; this one stays on the tree though.  Another odd tradition of my family is a Christmas Crocodile.  I think that came from when my oldest brother gave a giant plastic crocodile to my parents as a gag gift and it now always comes out to guard the tree.  We are a special (weird?) family.

Then its time for New Years. This year will be even more hectic for me.  We are planning on having friends come in from Chicago and Kansas City to stay with us so we can go to a party.  They will be coming in on Saturday.  My girlfriend, thankfully, will be coming home on Friday.  I thought about going up to Michigan after Christmas, but I would be way too stressed out about people coming and needing to get so much done to get the house ready for guests.  I need to clean our 2nd and 3rd floors, install the vanity in our bathroom, finish mudding and re-paint the bathroom wall, make sure the bathtub has stopped leaking, and vacuum all the dust from dry walling.  But New Year’swill be fun. It always is.  I am just glad that our friends are coming to us, so we don’t have to drive home the next day.  We usually go to Kansas City for New Years, so the next day is a bit of a struggle.

Well, that is my hectic holiday schedule.  I’m sure you all have just as crazy times.  I hope you have a crazy family like mine and have such fun traditions. Please share them in the comment section.  You never know, other people might share the same traditions, or you might get ideas for cool new ones that you want to try.  I hope you all have great holidays and let’s go see some houses.

Thanksgiving Travels

I would like to start this off with Happy Thanksgiving everyone.  I hope you had a great week and you were able to spend it with lots of family and friends.  Some people have the issue of traveling during the holidays as I did.  I had to drive from St. Louis, Missouri to Ann Arbor, Michigan.  The drive there wasn’t too bad, 7 or so hours, with a little bit of snow.  The worst part of the drive was its length.  I have learned many ways to pass the time while driving on long trips.  This time was a little more tough, as my girlfriend was working remotely, in the car, during the drive, so it was a little more boring for me for the first 6 hours.  I was going to listen to an audiobook but realized we were in her car which does not have Bluetooth and my phone does not have an audio port in it.  I just cranked up the volume on my phone and listened to the book.  There were some moments where that was tough.  After I finished the book (I was almost at the end when I started it) we switched over to listening to a hilarious podcast.  I will write a post on podcasts that I enjoy soon.  Once we got to Ann Arbor, we let the dogs play for a bit and then went out to dinner.  We had some awesome nachos and some good beer.  The next day was Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving Day was a great day with great food.  First thing I did though was work.  I made sure to write my letters and either post or schedule posts on social media.  After that, I watched a lot of football and hung out with my girlfriend’s family.  We took advantage of most people being inside and took the dogs for a long walk and then to a local school to let them run. I’d forgotten how fast my dog is when he can fully sprint.  It was a lot of fun.  After the walk, the dogs were all tired, and that was GREAT.  Family friends had gotten to the house by the time we returned, which added to the excitement.  Louie, my dog, got to reunite with people he only gets to see once a year; yes, he remembers them.  I’m sure our Thanksgiving was like most everyone’s, congregating in the kitchen and catching up with everyone.  After catching up, we returned to the couch and watched more football.  If you couldn’t tell, I like football.  Once the food was ready, we all sat down and ate. We ate SO much food.  We all thought that we were full after dinner, until we remembered there was dessert.  It all was so good.  After we ate our dessert, we were all tired and returned to the couch to watch more football, aka nap.

Friday was a day of recovery.  Since we had eaten so much food, we had planned on going on a long walk with the dogs, but first I had to get some work done.  I’ve learned that being a Realtor requires discipline to continuously communicate, even when you’d rather just sit back and relax.  When I finished, we went on a long walk through the woods; of course, it was muddy, and I almost slipped at least 10 times.  It was a great walk.  After the walk we went into downtown Ann Arbor to get lunch and to check out the local shops.  Ok, I was the only one who needed lunch.  After I ate lunch, we checked out some local shops.  I bought a few cool prints and some spices.  It was a good time.  After we were done at that collection of shops, we were picked up by my girlfriend’s dad and we moved to a different part of town, after dropping off the letters I had written, so I could get some University of Michigan gear; I had been wanting a good pair of sweat pants.  We kept walking around for a little bit and shopped some more.  Once we got back to the house from shopping, my girlfriend and I left to go see her friends from high school.  That was a lot of fun, and very entertaining.   The drinks were flowing, and the music had them all dancing.

Saturday was the big, but depressing day for the house.  Michigan versus Ohio State.  This was supposed to be the year that Michigan won.  I watched the first half as I wasn’t allowed to get up; my dog decided I was his bed and he was laying on me the whole time.  The second half I was in the other room reading by Kindle.  I forgot how good my book is.  After the game, everyone was upset (guess who won).  We took the dogs for another walk, not if the day before.  After the walk we went and did an escape room.  It was really fun; however, we did not escape.  We went from the escape room to dinner, where we met up with some other friends.  Great, now I’m hungry.  At dinner I had an amazing burger with Ghost Pepper cheese on it.  It wasn’t too spicy though.  This day was not as filled as the rest, as we were going to be leaving to drive back home the following day.

Sunday was our day to drive again.  Before we left, her family made breakfast.  Which was delicious, as usual.  One funny thing though, was when her brother was going to fill up my glass with orange juice, he spilled the juice into the pan full of scrambled eggs; they were still good.  The highlight of the breakfast was the scones that her dad makes, they were awesome.  After breakfast, we packed up all our stuff and hit the road.  The drive back was just as long, but there was a little more excitement, rain.  This whole drive we listened to a new audiobook that we’ve heard good things about.  We both really enjoyed it.  I am so glad that I didn’t have to drive through the blizzard that hit the other side of Missouri.  We were so happy when we got home.  We had ordered pizza, which delivered 15 minutes after we unloaded.  Now it is time to eat healthier and to exercise to work off all the food that I ate.  Well, that was my Thanksgiving.  I hope you had a great week too.  If you would like, tell me about it in the comments section below.  It is always great to hear of adventures that others have.  Have a great day and let’s go see some houses.