Christmas With the Pfisters

My family is all about the holidays. There's the annual race to be the first to get the Christmas tree up. Before that happens, Shorty's already on his, "What do you want for Christmas?" query. Then there's the baking and shopping and more shopping. Oh, and more shopping.

We open presents on Christmas Eve after a chili dinner. That's a long standing tradition. This year, we may have started a few new ones. My parents, Steven and I went out to Cracker Barrel for breakfast. There's a definite generation gap between my parents and Steven and me. He and I were hysterical at the breakfast table and they didn't quite know why most of the time. My Mom tries to keep up but I think Shorty is just happy that we're all together.

We learned a valuable Cracker Barrel tip. Do not let Steven order the hash brown casserole. He ordered their Old Timer breakfast (sans eggs because he and I don't get along with those) with hash browns and the waitress said, "Hash brown casserole?" He wasn't paying close enough attention and said, "Sure." The hash brown casserole comes coated in cheese. Steven hates cheese.

Does he eat pizza?


Does he eat quesadillas?


Is it an irrational hatred? You bet. He is Steven, after all.

We are all about the presents. I forget that not everyone else is as crazy as we are. The above is a picture of my tree with all of my presents for everyone else. Well, almost all. I still had some wrapping left to do so there are about 10 presents more.

My tree only has glass ornaments on it and you might be surprised to know that they make NASCAR ornaments that match my criteria. I have several from last year and found the above this year. Isn't he cute?

I got this cow ornament in an annual ornament exchange with my poker girls. We've been doing it for 10 or so years now. Of course, now this ornament makes me think about Rhett.

My parents have been bugging me to come over and see my tree. Shorty even told me last Saturday that he was coming over that night to see the tree. I told him, "Go ahead but, I'll be in Tucson for the night." To be honest, my house was such a mess that I didn't want any guests to see it. I finally did some cleaning and they came over yesterday. I got a picture just as evidence.

This is my parents' tree. Or, one of them. Shorty put up six trees this year. Four in the front yard with just lights and two decorated ones inside. I did say we were all about the holidays, didn't I?

Spartacus loves the Christmas tree! She spends hours sleeping on the tree skirt and even hacked up a hair ball on it this year. Nice. Here she is trying to climb over the presents. She got held up sniffing one of the gift bags. Actually, she almost fell in to the gift bag.

The other new tradition that we may have started is playing poker. Yeah, I know that's a surprise. The four of us played a $5 buy in No Limit Hold 'Em tournament that Steven won. Then my Uncle Jim came over and he joined us for a second tournament that he ended up winning.

After poker, it was time for the chili. We've had lots of appliance incidents over the years. The most have been with the garbage disposal backing up. This year, it was with the stove. Apparently, the plastic knobs for the burners cracked and they couldn't be turned off or on properly. We found this out after the chili burned a bit. Shorty was not amused.

I commented that the chili had a Chipotle flavor to it. Steven got that I meant it was smokey. It wasn't bad, though.

Here's Steven with his "big" Christmas gift. We've taken to calling it a double you eye eye. That's what my friend Chris' Mom calls it and Shorty said there have been people coming in to Wal-Mart asking for it that way. BTW, watching sports while opening gifts is a given for us. We did mute the TV and played Christmas songs so we weren't all about the sports, though.

It's become a tradition for me to buy Steven a "smart ass" shirt of some sort. This year's seemed especially fitting.

Norene got me this calendar. Shhh, don't tell her but I got her the daily Bushisms calendar. Great minds and all that.

Steven's not so much a he is with his new Transformers toys. They came with the DVD and I had to get it for him once I saw the toys. I knew he would love the toys.

Here's the aftermath. Well, Christmas Eve's aftermath. We still have today to go. My Uncle Jack, Aunt Rose Mary, my Godparents and some friends from Wisconsin are coming over to my parents' today for dinner and there will be even more presents.

I feel pretty lucky that I get to spend the holidays with my family and friends. Hopefully, we're all together for many years to come.

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