Last night the Christmas elves fulfilled the magic of our familie’s true meaning of Christmas!

For the past month we’ve been trying to figure out how those of us who are going to be “home for Christmas”  at Horsefly could all get together for dinner and enjoy our family traditions!  You see this is the year when several members of our family are spending Christmas day with the other branch of their family tree.  Our grandson and his sweetie, Sarah, were coming home on his days off, and of course every body in the community wanted to see him. Everyone else had so many other commitments it almost seemed as though we wouldn’t  be able to ALL get together at one time.

But the Christmas Elves-Love, Family Tradition and Spontaneity  showed up-and Voila everything fell into place.

It all started yesterday morning about 10 A.M.  The Love Elf made the phone ring.  I answered and the voice of my oldest grandson, Jason, came across the line. “Hi Grandma.  What are you guys doing today?”

Now I had checked call display and realized that the call was coming in from his dad’s house.  “You’re here!  I kept checking on facebook to see if you were on the way yet–and there was nothing from you.  When did you get in?”

We talked, and he told me they had gotten to Horsefly at 2:00 A.M.  The roads from the north had been slippery and he’d only been at Dad’s place for five minutes, when he missed a step in the dark and twisted his ankle. It hurt so much it just made him turn cold and numb for a moment.  But he wanted to make sure they got to visit with us, so I asked him if there was room in their schedule to come for supper.  They were delighted to do that, so I took out a big chicken to thaw and Lloyd volunteered to sweep the floor and dust the furniture while I went to Horsefly for an appointment with my hairdresser.

On the way to Horsefly, I met my daughter, Cherie, on the road heading out of town. I was almost late for my appointment, so I just gave her a wave and carried on. I barely got into the salon and to my amazement Cherie’s pickup pulled up beside mine.

The Elf of Spontaneity had prompted her to turn around and come back to say Hi. And her daughter (our oldest granddaughter, Jennifer) was with her. What a bonus!! My hair dresser was just finishing up with the person before me, so I slipped out to say “Hi” and give them a hug.

The Elf of Spontaneity prompted me. “Hey, what are you guys doing for supper tonight?  Jason and Sarah are coming over.” Before we knew it, everything was planned.

Cherie would bring a salad and a vegetable dish.  I’d phone my daughter Cindy, who is our oldest child and ask her to make a Black Forest Cake (It’s a cheat one we make all the time. Every one likes it; it’s simple and Cindy and her husband and two daughters live on the top floor in the house we live in so if she’s short any ingredients she can go to my pantry on the ground floor and find what she needs.) I’d stop at Clarkes General Store on my way home and buy ice cream and wine, a bottle of Baileys for coffee and hot chocolate, as well as a jug of cran/raspberry juice and a bottle of Sprite to make a punch for the children, the non drinkers and the drinkers who have had enough and need a change!

I phoned home to ask Lloyd to take a second chicken out, then had my hair trimmed. I did my little bit of shopping and hurried home to put the chickens in the oven, get the veggies in the pot and ready so that all I had to do was turn the burner on when it was time.  Lloyd had worked his magic in the house, Cindy and the girls were making the cake and everything was ready to go.

Jason and Sarah came at about 4 PM.  Cindy & the girls came down, but we had agreed not to say anything about anyone else coming for the evening.  We drank hot chocolate and Baileys and visited.  I told Jason and Sarah that supper was going to be a little later than I’d expected and that I had invited Cindy and Gary and the girls for supper too. Hot chocolate and Baileys

Above: Hot chocloate and Baileys and Christmas conversation

It was so cool to listen the entry door open, and hear Jennifer say “Hi Guys”.  At first Jason didn’t catch on, then suddenly it dawned on him.  He barreled out of his chair and hobbled to meet them. After all the hugs and greetings he looked and me and said “you must have called them.”  I just smiled.

We discussed if we should bring in the “big table” which grandpa made several years ago.  It is a big sheet of plywood that he fancied up the corners and the edges  on with a router, and then stained a mahogany color.  It gets folded up and resides in the garage until we call upon it for another family get-together.  I knew grandpa would say “No” because it makes more work.  We have to take the extra leaf out of the regular table, push it together and move it out into another area. Then the big table has to be brought in and set up, and table cloths and all that “stuff” gets done.

But  to my delight the Elf of Family Tradition  prompted every one else to say “Yes.”  So as the smaller table was dispensed of, the big one came in. The big green damask table cloth settled over the plywood top and a white lace one floated on top of it.   A centerpiece was put in the center.  And we used my favorite Family Tradition–my best china from Chinet (Yes, we use paper plates!  Years ago everyone agreed it’s worth not having to do the cleanup) and wineglasses and cutlery and napkins went on the table.   The folding chairs were brought out and our office chairs were enlisted for duty.

Ty, Jennifer’s fiance, has become the official meat carver at family gatherings and he did the honors with the chicken. Everyone pitched in to get the food in dishes and on the table.  Oh–and don’t forget the cranberries!!   It wasn’t turkey dinner, but there will be lots of turkey in the next few days; and the family being together is the important thing!

We all sat down.  Cindy said grace, then we all toasted each other with wine or punch. We had a wonderful evening enjoying each other in the spirit of our Family Tradition.

Above:  “Christmas” dinner at our place on December 22, 2011.

Christmas Day will be here the day after tomorrow, and we’ll all share gifts and eat turkey.  But last night we celebrated Christmas in our hearts as a family!!

Our toast to you!!  Have a wonderful holiday!