December 29, 2021

mystery gift: a game of chance, patio presents, elite club is over-rated, card request, & an almost b-day

Thank you all for the kind words, prayers, and thoughtful comments for my last post. Joe's daughter's baby is due any day, so they are waiting to finalize the funeral plans. Still hard to wrap my brain around.

I did make a request of Joe shortly after I found out he'd passed away. I know he's new to heaven, but I'm hoping he can use his charm and make a miracle happen for another family I know. I've not shared this yet. It has shook me to my core. I learned about it in early November and this intention is never far from my thoughts and prayers. I will share next week. One horrible-news post is all I can muster in one week. 


Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. The Shenanigan family truly had a very delightful and relaxing day filled with good food, great memories, and laugh-out-loud moments. I managed not to cry the entire day. 

Despite all of my rushing around and last minute buying, the kids were very satisfied and pleased with their gifts. Everyone accepted that Reggie had more to open. I'm happy to report that he is no longer going to be the kid at school who dresses strictly in hand-me-downs. 

Somewhere under here is a kitchen table.
 I think this was a result of dragging
 gifts to my folks' house and back. 

The department store that wraps gifts complimentary messed up. Considering what I asked of them, all if forgiven. Three of the 16 gifts for the males lost the sticky note with the recipient's name on it. This lead to a new twist on Christmas morning called:  MYSTERY GIFT. I was able to narrow it down to Reg, Ed, or Tank. I might not recommend MYSTERY GIFT to people who care that everyone gets the correct gift on Christmas morning. Otherwise, it's funny. 

We put sunscreen bottles in the 3 youngest kids' stockings, so there were some raised eyebrow looks, as in DOES THIS MEAN WHAT WE THINK IT MEANS? Those 3 are looking forward to time in the sun over spring break. 

Tank stuttered a bit, as in WAIT, WHAT'S HAPPENING AND WHY AM I NOT GOING? Um, college kids have a different spring break and you applied to attend a mission trip, 'member? After we cleared that up, there was no pouting. If I needed to, I could always say two magic words to put him in his place:  SKI TRIP. 'Member that adventure?

We ALL slept late on Christmas. I haven't babysat since Dec. 17th and guess what? I've discovered that sleeping from midnight till 8 or 8:30 am is apparently my original factory setting. I'm living my best life, in the sleep department anyway. I didn't think it was possible for me to sleep that late again. In a word:  glorious. 

The family on the patio - that speck in the
distance is Lad and Finn crossing the golf course.
Their blinds can be raised with a remote but
something broke and I thought they had
 it fixed, but alas this was our visit -
my folks continuing to ram their heads
 into the bottom of their blinds.

Since my dad is immune compromised, my side of the family didn't gather. Each family took time stopping by and standing on my folks' patio, at least I thought that was the plan . . .  We'd already picked up our gifts from them (yes, my mother shops for all 22 grandkids - each kid gets multiple gifts. Try to wrap your brain around that one), but we had each of our kids (and Coach and I) bring two gifts along when we visited. We opened them on the patio because it wasn't terribly cold out. Lad walked over with Finn who wagged his butt till it almost fell off. I think my folks enjoyed seeing us open the things they'd purchased.

Finn helps Lad open his gift.

As we were leaving, Marie showed up with her family. We drove away as they filed into my folks house. So, they'd all gotten the booster - which we weren't able to all get prior to Christmas, plus Mini was still isolating. Still, it felt crappy when they got to hang out indoors for hours (they stopped by my house after they left my folks' house to grab a god daughter gift off of my deck, so I know how long they were there) while we were stuck on the patio for 10 minutes. Hard not to slip into that mode where I feel like some people in my clan are getting elite treatment, even thought I do get that they were more germ free than my people. 

A new tradition:  patio presents -
that we hope ends this year.


Is there anything better than that sentiment? And, he's probably right. I've decided to hold onto those words like a warm hug. Lord knows my guys have their moments, but on the whole my messy, goofy, funny bunch enjoy cracking one another up and being together. As a mother, I do cherish that. 

This is BEOFRE family game started - it was
 kids learning the game while some of us were
 still prepping food and tossing out boxes and
 wrapping paper, HEY, DON'T

We played a new game Christmas evening that we really enjoyed. It's called SMART ASS. Then we brought out an old favorite:  BALDERDASH. Tank cares little about winning that game, so he works hard at creating the goofiest definitions. The 'judge' who has to read his fake definitions struggles to do so without rolling around laughing. Classic. Tank's pawn was still in the start when the game ended, but someone he felt like the winner. 

It took me longer than usual to get my Christmas cards in the mail. When the cards were done at long last, I raced back to the mall to shop for the girls. I was done shopping on the 22nd. Not exactly a record. 

*By the way, if any of my regular readers would like to receive one of my cards with my lengthy but humorous poem, please email me your address. My email is my real last name clan7 at yahoo. LMK if you need help figuring out my legit last name.* 

So much for not buying clothes. I did make
 them all commit to getting rid of old stuff
they don't want. I'll update you as improvements
 warrant, so expect never to hear about that again. 

A few days before Christmas the doorbell rang. A woman was standing on my front porch with a beautiful floral display. It was wintery and oblong with a bunch of evergreens and a candle in the center. I was SO surprised. As I reached out to take it, she said:  DELIVERY FOR MARYANN AND MARK. Oh.My.Gosh. It was for Mary Ann and her hubby. I pointed the woman in the right direction. She was so apologetic. I was like HAPPENS ALL THE TIME. 

Curly:  YOU SHOULD'VE KEPT IT.  *lest you think my kid is an ill-mannered monster, she was kidding. 

The thought of Mary Ann never having the manners to thank someone for the center piece gift because it was delivered to my house in error had me giggling . . . like a maniac.

My birthday is tomorrow, December 30th. 

(or as my friend Kari would say, IT'S MY BIRTHDAY MONTH, BITCHES . . . that just doesn't work for me though. People are too busy to entertain my birthday requests for a month).

I'm planning to post something, probably funny and short (famous last words?). I'm not gonna lie, my birthday is often glossed over. Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to comment on my birthday post. It can be simple or maybe you can tell me your favorite post (from my blog - that was implied, right) or make a request for an upcoming post. If you've never left a comment, THIS is the day. Get excited. I might not respond to your comments till Friday since I'm sure my offspring will refuse to let me lift a finger - even on a keyboard. Thanks in advance.  


Nicole MacPherson said...

Happy early birthday!! Maybe you can have your birthday month from Dec 30-Jan 30? It's an idea. Glad you have been enjoying some sleep - well deserved - and maybe next year patio presents will be a thing of the past. I hope so, anyway! There's no way we could do that here, it's way too cold right now.

Sounds like a lovely Christmas, and I can't believe your mom shops for all 22 grandchildren! Wow!

Maddie said...

Happy Day Before Your Birthday Day!!! :-)
(*Sending my Bday wishes a bit early cuz I’m nervous my health will sideline me from commenting tomorrow. I hope you have a wonderful birthday! And I will hopefully comment again tomorrow!)
Mystery Christmas Gift sounds like a game my family would enjoy. I can hear the laughter now! Maybe you have invented a new tradition?!
I love that you guys play board games at Christmas! My fav too. Also a fan of card games. Something about those “old fashioned” games just encourages silliness, happiness and laughter. So lovely. Glad you and your fam had a very merry Christmas!

ccr in MA said...

Oh, nice one, Ed! It’s probably true, and it sure says great things about your crew.

Kari said...

Despite Covid, it sounds like you had a wonderful Christmas!

Umm, birthday month isn't celebrated by others; it's celebrated by you! And it starts you have the entire month of January to reward yourself in small (or large, depending on your preference) ways.

Happy Birthday, a little early!

Pat Birnie said...

Happy early birthday Ernie! I sent you an email as I'd love to read your (surprise, it's lengthy:) poem)
Yay for a full day with no tears, just laughter with your wonderful clan. I love Ed's sentiment- what a sweet thing to recognize. I never had my gifts wrapped at a store but occasionally mixed them up myself. I remember watching a kid open a gift then me saying "oops, wait, no! give me that - it's for your brother". I cannot fathom buying for 22 grandkids! I buy for 8 (9 next year!) but not multiple gifts. I think as they get older it will be cold, hard cash.

Jenny in WV said...

The 12 days of Christmas start on Christmas, so it seems reasonable that your birthday month should commence on your birthday. I hope you have a fabulous day whatever you do!
I snorted with laughter at “SKI TRIP”.

Jeannie Bruce said...

I hope you have a wonderful birthday!

I am trying to figure out what I am going to do with my spare time now. Full confession, I found you through another blog and just spent the last month reading your blog from 2013 to present and feel like a weird stalker but I do like to read blogs from the beginning to know whats going on. You are delightful and amazing and hilarious and my new favorite blogger for sure!

Ernie said...

Nicole - You are not alone thinking I should celebrate for the next month . . . I'm not opposed to trying that. My kids might call BS though. Aunt Leprechaun once announced that it was her son's birthday week and my kids moaned in unison, They find this cousin to be fairly spoiled. They were like OF COURSE HE HAS A BIRTHDAY WEEK. I'll see if I can get them on board.

I left that off of my comment on your last post - the cold in Calgary would have me balled up in a corner in tears. You are a brave soul to get out there and embrace it with all of your layers. My folks, particularly my dad, may not have many Christmases left - so hoping that patio presents ends HERE.

I'm not sure how she keeps it all straight. I'm surprised she didn't start the mystery present game herself.

Ernie said...

Maddie - Sorry to hear that you aren't feeling well. Hoping that is a temporary issue. Early birthday wishes are gladly accepted, thanks.

Mystery gift is a funny game. Might now have gone over very well when they were younger. Reminds me of the year I forgot to buy Tank's MAIN gift. I kept looking at laser tag sets online but he'd enter the room each time. At some point I convinced myself I'd bought it. Well, thank goodness I had a moment of clarity on Christmas Eve and realized I'd lost my follow thru. Ran to Target and got the last set.

We are usually at my folks' house with loads of cousins and food and gifts, but the board games really were a lot of fun. We pivoted and did just fine all on our own.

Ernie said...

ccr - I agree. Ed has a very clear way of seeing things and he's OK telling it how he sees it. This was the kind of clarity that made sense AND warmed my heart.

Ernie said...

Kari - Oh, I get it. So, I was doing it wrong? Not the first time. Well, I just bought myself some rice pudding at the grocery store. Watch out world, the next 30 days is all about me. Let the celebrating commence.


Ernie said...

Pat - Thanks for the early b-day wishes. I'm usually late, rarely early - so this is a new thing for me.

Yes, Ed hit the nail on the head. A few of Marie's kids do not get along and they wouldn't take their oldest kid with them because she hadn't yet gotten the booster. Me? I would've stayed home to be with her. I feel sorry for Marie's oldest. Feel like she's always drawn the short straw. Anyway, of the 4 kids she brought to my folks' house, a few of then don't get along.

I've been the fall guy for mixing up gifts a few times before too. When they were younger and it was toys, it was harder to pry something from someone's hands.

SO I DO NOT SEE AN EMAIL FROM YOU. I'VE CHECKED SPAM TOO. YOU DO REALIZE THAT SHENANIGAN IS NOT MY ACUTAL LAST NAME, RIGHT? My address is my real last name followed by clan followed by the number 7 Please try again.

Ernie said...

Jenny - I like the way you think. I've often said that Mother's Day should not be limited to one day. That would mean that people would listen to me for more than just the ONE day. I'm gonna give it a try.

The ski trip story is fairly amusing. Straight out of a movie. Glad you enjoyed it.

Ernie said...

Jeannie - Well. You are amazing. I am so tickled that you chose to stalk me. (giggle, giggle). I feel like I should apologize to you . . . some of those early posts, yikes. Lengthy with no real justification. You might know me better than I know myself at this point. ;) I'm so happy to welcome you. I will keep it a secret from my family in case it might stunt their gift giving, but I probably don't really need any other presents for my birthday . . . your compliment is gift enough. Thanks very much.

Busy Bee Suz said...

I'm with Nicole-December 30-Jan 30!

I'm glad you guys had a good old-fashioned fun (and distanced) day. You are the Elite, not them. ;) Our family does a lot of laughing too and there is never any arguments or aggravations from each other; so it's always weird to find out that is not always the norm.

Funny about the mystery gifts!!

Finn's first Christmas with the Shenanigans; he looks so happy too.
Happy birthday! I might not read your bday post today, but I'll get to it eventually.(we have company) I hope your day is as fantastic as you!

Ernie said...

Suz - I've already suggested that we go to dinner and take the kids along to celebrate my birthday . . . they haven't spilled drinks at the table or spit food out on their plates in ions, so they might be OK in polite society. He'd already made a reservation for tonight that can't be changed for just the two of us - so, another dinner out this weekend with the gang . . . let the celebrating continue.

Ernie, president of the elite . . . has a nice ring to it. Finn did enjoy Christmas - we gave him some free reign and we were here all day. He tends to like a crowd.

Enjoy your company. Take your time, I'm not going anywhere. :)

Pat Birnie said...

I tried to send the email again - yes I have figured our your real last name (S....also means wild or cruel) SO Hoping it went through:)!

Ernie said...

Pat - yes, wild or cruel . . . that's us. Happy your email came through. I was wondering who you might have contacted saying HI, PLEASE SEND ME A CHRISTMAS CARD. ;) Enjoy your trip.