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Monday, December 26, 2016

Cassie's Journal - December 25, 2016



Merry Christmas, Everyone!

Okay, there’s a very good chance that it isn’t even the Christmas holiday season as you’re reading this someday in my near or distant future, but Christmas should be in your heart everyday anyway; so have a Merry Christmas even if it’s a hot, mid-summer day!

This has been a really awesome day, but we’ve also been too busy; and I am seriously worn out now.  Ethan, Ehlana, and Silkie gave us the wake-up call at five-thirty; Michael came over by six; and we opened gifts for an hour before Michael and I needed to hurry to his house for more gift-giving fun; and a gourmet breakfast courtesy of Jacob and Jake.  I’m not going to write about the actual gifts, but I will mention that I didn’t see any disappointed kids, teens, or adults today – including everyone we saw at church this morning.  My day just sped up after breakfast as Michael and I took care of the clean-up from that meal; hurried on to the church for music warm-ups ahead of the service; and then we had an hour and change of Christmas celebration with a lot of music and fun as we were in full-immersion with the true meaning of the holiday!

I’ll go off-track here for a moment to write about our church having two services this weekend; since that’s apparently something that isn’t done anymore in a lot of places.  For us, it isn’t really complicated – when Christmas falls on a Sunday; we still have a Sunday service.  Getting to celebrate Jesus’ birthday is an awesome added bonus, and while that did add to the craziness today; it was in a good way.  When you think about it, I don’t even get why this is an issue.  There certainly wasn’t a guy around here suggesting that Sunday football be cancelled because it’s Christmas Day; and I hear it won’t be a problem next weekend either.  In fact, now that I think about it; I’m sure there are more college and pro football game days because of Christmas and New Year’s Day being on Sundays this year!

Okay, that might only be one or two more days of football, but I can still work with the joke; and have some fun with it as we roll through the end of the college football season over the next few weeks!

Moving along, the social time after the service took a while for some of us – partly because Michael’s parents don’t normally get to do that when the Inn is open; so they stayed and visited with lots of people as we all got ready to continue our Christmas festivities.  I haven’t mentioned the Christmas dinner cooking that Jacob and Jake had on the go since early this morning, but they were putting on the feast for their family; and the Bassett clan began arriving at the house at the same time we did; since Michael and I brought Ryan and Sophia home with us from the church.  We had to get to work to help out with getting the dining room set up and deal with other chores around the house, but Sophia was happy to supervise in the kitchen or dining room; and Ryan got the video games warmed up and ready to go in the play room.

Not having the Stone family here for Christmas isn’t either new or awkward for me; but I can’t help but feel a bit of sadness because Michael’s grandparents, aunt, uncle, and cousins don’t feel the same connection with their roots as Michael’s parents, brother, and sister do – and only want to come here for Thanksgiving or Christmas; but not both anymore.  The Bassett clan more than makes up for the family-centric fun, though; and we had a blast today.  The early Christmas meal was definitely a highlight; the gift-exchange was a hit with the kids; and the play time was great too.  The post-dinner clean-up wasn’t all that exciting, but Michael and I did have lots of teen help; so we made the best of it – and did have fun talking with Michael’s cousins and the collective boyfriends and girlfriends.  Yes, I’m one of the members of that group, but I don’t feel like I’m on the outside of Michael’s family, and I’m also no longer the newest; since Patrick has that spot now.  That did feel a bit strange to be sharing Michael’s family Christmas with my best friend’s little brother, but that made for some entertaining moments too; and Patrick and Jessica are a really cute couple.

Moving along, football was the name of the game by the time Michael and I moved on to my house, and while we weren’t having a major family Christmas dinner; Grandma and Grandpa were there already – and with us for the meal while Uncle Adam and Aunt Leanne were busy having Christmas dinner with his family.  Michael joined the football watching in the living room; I helped Mom with the tail-end of the Christmas dinner cooking and set-up; and then the guys had to walk away from the game while we enjoyed our meal in the sunroom this year – mostly because we all love the view there more; and could do that with a small group of just eight diners – not including the puppy mooch.  Two Christmas dinners in one day is too much – especially when there was a gourmet breakfast this morning too; but I do have a hyper-metabolism and will survive.  The third kitchen clean-up of the day was easy-enough because we all pitched in to get it done while the guys also watched the ongoing football; and then we moved into the living room to hang out there while waiting for Uncle Adam, Aunt Leanne, Zack, and Brianna to come over for the family gift exchange.

They did that once his family was settled in for the evening after their much-larger dinner clean-up; and Uncle Adam’s parents hosted the family fun at their house while they were with us for an hour and a half or so.  Brianna was so adorable tonight, and while she might eventually get sick of the comments about it; the rest of us really are having fun getting to watch what it must have been like to be around here when Aunt Leanne was growing up!  Then again, there’s a very good chance that I’d have been just like both of them had I been born here and been part of this amazing family of ours instead of it just being Mom and me for the first nine years of my life.  Mom’s likely glad that didn’t happen; since I was hyper-enough and a handful to keep up with anyway – even for a Magi Master single Mom. ;^)

That gift exchange didn’t take long, since we each had two or three gifts to open; so Michael and I spent most of that time playing with Ethan, Ehlana, Zack, and Brianna – while the guys continued to watch football.  The second game of the day is also why the play time continued in the living room after our aunt, uncle, and cousins headed home again; and Grandma and Grandpa stayed until the game ended before heading home too.  Once we were down to just six; we cleaned up from the evening fun; Michael and I came up to the lounge with Ethan and Ehlana to watch what might be our last Christmas show of the year; and then Michael and I got to have a bit of Christmas alone time while my parents, sister, and brother went to bed.

We couldn’t get too enthusiastic about that because we’re both working the Boxing Day breakfast buffet at the Inn in the morning; but we did have a modestly-hot, minor make-out session before Michael went home at one o’clock.  I got ready for bed after seeing him out; got started on my bedtime computing; and ended up doing some family business work that needed to get done sooner instead of later.  That isn’t going to leave me with a lot of time to sleep; but I still have a bit more to write about before calling it a night.

First up, the weather today was mostly really great – even though we didn’t get to have a white Christmas.  There was some light rain early this morning, but then it was pretty good for the rest of the day except for a heavier rain storm around dinnertime.  The temperature climbed into the sixties; and the ‘feels like’ temperature hit seventy for a couple of hours ahead of the late-afternoon rain that rolled in around sunset.  Next, I should mention that there are a lot of details that I’m not including in this update; since there is just too much to include everything.  That’s mostly been a lot of cameo moments – like the stops along the way home from Michael’s house to mine this afternoon that included helping to drop off gifts at the Bassett house and two quick visits with the Emersons and Johnson clan.  Yes, we saw all of them at church this morning too; but Michael and I really wanted to at least have a few minutes with Rowen and Tim; and we might not get to spend much time with the Johnson-McEwan gang before they all head home sometime tomorrow.

That seems so strange to me, but it’s also the way my holiday weekends are going now, and while I’d love to spend more time with our family and friends; I wouldn’t do that and leave Michael’s parents short-handed on one of their busiest days of the year.  That does remind me that we’re going to have another very long, busy work day, since Michael and I will be working all of the afternoon buffets as well as the one in the morning; so I guess that will have to do it for tonight.

My last Christmas music video picks are from two of my favorite a Cappella artists of the year; so I’ll wrap up this Christmas Day report with their holiday messages to the world!





And now it’s nap time for me; so, until next time...

...May the Magi Force be with you!