Snippets from Christmas Day at the Ferrell’s

Amid the chaos that happens in a house with five kids under the age of seven, twin babies and a puppy just over a year old on Christmas Day, I found time to enjoy and observe the family (sometimes known as the thundering horde that invades my peaceful domain–said with great love and affection). So I thought I’d share some of that evening with you.

The meal was lovely and we noted more eating was taking place at the adult table and lots of giggling was happening over at the kids’ table. This could be that the kids were having more fun or perhaps the adults were realizing this is the “Only happens on Christmas” meal and were devouring it with great intent? (Menu: Grilled flank steak, grilled Atlantic Salmon, Shrimp cocktail platter–made by me and not prefrozen, Augratin potatoes, crab stuffed mushrooms and bacon and broccoli salad.)

Then we dug into the Christmas stockings.

all-natural-beef-shank-bone-for-dogs-1Oh, wait. FIRST we neutralized the investigative nose of one very curious and energetic boxer/redhealer mix puppy. Yes, Rusty Puppy got a BIG beef ribeye bone to keep him out of the chaos. Of course that didn’t stop him from lying right in the middle of the family room while he gnawed happily on his gift!

Tradition continued. So, stockings…Lots of candy, do-dads, guitar/bass/mandolin strings (we have three guitarists in the family), ornaments, and toys for the kiddos. But the biggest hit, heard said by at least four adults, “We got toothbrushes. Yea! Mom forgot those last year.” Seriously people, traditions are strong with this bunch. Forget the toothbrushes once and you hear about it for years!

Almost all the presents were given out and opened, when the Jazzman got one from me to him and all the grandkids. It’s a book titled, The Book Without Any Pictures. They all gathered round and he read it to them, complete with crazy expressions and funny voices. It was a hit. Lots of giggling going on. (I couldn’t video tape it as I had my hands full of one baby and a bottle, but here is a Youtube of a teacher reading it so you can imagine the story at our house! Foods Bag

Funniest thing. At one point I notice my oldest grandson walking around with a paperbag, with handles, carrying everything he got inside. No matter where he went in the house, that bag went with him. 🙂 Cracked me up, but I had to know why? His answer: Because Grandma Suzie, when I was at Nanny’s house (his other grandmother) I forgot a present and it made me cry. I don’t want to forget anything this time.” I’m still laughing over it!

Odd moment. I was listening to my oldest granddaughter read to me from her new read alone books, when I noticed the grownup kids in a circle on the far side of the room. Focusing my attention a moment, I realized they were discussing the flaws in the newest Superman movie to the actual comic story. Uhm, who knows the cannons of comic books so well that they can have a heated discussion on the merits of the new movie vs the actual original story? My kids/in-laws!

51SG6-Q8c4L._SY300_Quiet moment. My second grandson, who sort of does his own thing, brought me his new Planes book and asked me to read it to him. He crawled up beside me with a sugar cookie in his hand. He told me the name of each plane as we went and listened to the story of Dusty Crophopper. When I finished, he said, “I’ll be right back.” He returned with another cookie, cuddled up close and said, “Read it again, Grandma.” Which, of course, I did.

Peaceful scene. My son’s girlfriend got the girls big poster size coloring pages from the Frozen movie. Well, the crayons in the stockings were all spanking new, so the youngest granddaughter and the girlfriend’s little boy hunkered down in a spot and colored quietly and with great purpose.

Finally, the Jazzman was starting to doze off and the last family was packing up to leave. As soon as they went out the door…silence. No seriously, the entire house seemed to settle down into peace, quiet and ready for a long nap.

What your favorite moment from your holiday celebration? Any traditions started? Any you forgot and will now here about for an entire year?

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  • Amy Conley says:

    Dud I beat Heken tonight? Kok

  • Jane says:

    Hello Suz,
    I have Christmas brunch with my cousin, but this year we had dim sum. It’s usually just us two and his girlfriend, but this year my parents, aunt, uncle and various cousins came out. It was nice to see everybody.

  • Amy Conley says:

    The best was having gradson #2 there and not in ythe hospital. But seeing his face when he saw his drum set was magical.

  • Helen says:


    Your place sounds wonderful 🙂 all of my family arrived Christmas morning by about 10-00 am and with the table set with fruit lollies cake and nibbilies the kids wanted the presents so that is what we did heps of happy smiles and yahooing could be seen and heard as all of the grankids enjoyed their presents we then started getting lunch ready ham pork chicken roast vegies peas beans and cauilflower and gravy followed by Christmas pudding , peaches custard and cream and lots of laughing and talking no new traditions just the norm and a great day was had by everyone but by 3-00 pm they all started to leave and Popy and I sat down for a very quiet afternoon 🙂

    Have Fun
    And we look forward to it all again next year 🙂

    • Helen,

      I bet your place was as noisy and fun as mine! Nothing like excited kids and grandkids to brighten the holiday, huh? The Jazzman had been on vacuuming duty while my son helped out in the kitchen. He’s mastered Bacon and broccoli salad!

  • Deanna says:

    Suz, sounds like you had a brilliant Christmas. My favorite part of Christmas is always the carving of the turkey and ham. I’m the official carver in the family and as my husband will say, I wield the knife with almost demonic pleasure. I only get to carve once a year, so I relish it. Alas, this year, I forgot my knives and had to use my mom’s rather sad excuse of a carving knife. It did the job but I think the lack of the good knife took a little of the pleasure out of it. I know, weird favorite part of the holiday, right?

    • Deanna,

      I totally get the appeal a very well honed set of knives can have! In fact, the Jazzman started me a new collection of hand-honed blades with hand-carved handles this Christmas. While I don’t wield them with devilish abandon like you. 😀

  • Shannon says:

    My holiday was with friends. And nothing went according to plan. The carrots didn’t cook in the crockpot as much as I knew Bill would like. When it was getting late and we needed to get to the movie, it was agreed that we would have AL-denti carrots. No time for desert, so we decided to have it after the movie. It was wonderful to be able to eat desert without the bloated feeling. Oh it was an English trifle. And yes, when I got home it was both quiet and late.

  • Debbie Oxier says:

    My favorite moment was when my youngest opened her present from her sister. We saved it for last because we knew it was going to be one of those moments you only get to witness once. You see, my girls are 39 and 37 respectively and while they’ve always been close, both have been through a rough time this year. My oldest wanted to give her sister something that would convey how much she cherished their relationship. She commissioned a special painting, done by our pastor’s wife ( who paints incredibly, by the way). The painting is of two women, holding hands. There is a heart with the word Love where their hands would be. Both are dressed in long flowing gowns of red and purple and carrying shimmering baskets of flowers. At the top it reads, “My sister, my best friend”. On their gowns, at the bottom, are written the words “kindred spirits”. My oldest had it framed in a gorgeous silver frame. Of course as soon as the youngest opened it, she started to cry. Then my oldest started crying, then me. The two girls were hugging each other and crying while the guys all stood around trying to figure out what to do! HA! It was a moment I will never forget and always cherish as their mother. (I’m crying just typing this!) Anyway, that was the best part of my Christmas, that and the fact my hubby was able to be there as he’d been in the hospital a week before Thanksgiving. That’s another story for another time. Thanks for letting me share!

    • OH, Debbie!

      That is such a wonderful gift and memory, not just for your girls, but for you! Okay…I’m crying just thinking about it. Amazing what women, especially sisters, can mean to each other, isn’t it?

      Thank YOU for sharing that with us!

  • catslady says:

    Everything went pretty smoothly but then there are no grand kids yet. My biggest goof was I always fill a goodie bag and there are always large bars of chocolate and I forgot the newest boyfriend (a year so I should have remembered) likes dark chocolate. I rememberrf my other daughter’s boyfriend liked it but he wasn’t giving any of it up lol. Me thinks I need to go out again and rectify that lol.

    • Catslady,

      Just wait until you have the grandkids! I have one SIL who loves Twizzlers, so I always stick a few packs in his stocking. The son gets Butterfinger bites and the other SIL a bag of Snicker bites. Funny how we try to give them each what they like, isn’t it?

  • Teresa Hughes says:

    Sounds like a great Christmas!

    I didn’t get toothbrushes this year for my kids. Mainly because they had recently went to the dentist and each had gotten one. But they still were in shock I hadn’t gotten them!

    My most memorable moment was at my mom’s this year. I have a grandson who turned one in July and a great nephew who turned one in October. They both received Rock ‘N Roll Elmos for Christmas. The looks on their faves when the dolls started talking and moving was priceless! Just watching them made my Christmas!

    • Teresa,

      That’s how the adults were around here last Christmas. “No toothbrushes?!?!?!” Made sure they got them this year!

      OMG, I might have to get the twins Dancing Elmos next Christmas. They’ll both be a little over one and should be a hit with them! Thanks for the idea!

  • Deb says:

    Six, what a wonderful day for your family! You were observant with all the happenings! I missed my own daughter opening her gifts from her aunts. It wasn’t exactly chaotic, but the kids just opened them one at a time, and I still missed it!
    Best part of Christmas Day happened with my older sister and Dad. (Dad has Alzheimer’s.) First of all, Dad doesn’t know us any longer, and asked me at least twice who I was, so I just smiled and said, “Deb.” But, as he and Mother were
    leaving, Sandy said, “Love you, Dad,” and he turned to her, patted her on the shoulder and replied, “Why, I love you, too.” Loveliest moment in a long time.

  • Suz – Sounds like a wonderful time was had by all.

    We had a wonderful holiday full of laughter. My son had bought two prank boxes – have you seen this? It’s just an empty box (you put a real gift inside) but it looks like it contains an odd “seen on tv” kind of gift. Once it’s opened, it says “prank box” on the lid, but you have to open it first. My son gave his uncle a box that advertised a coffee maker that worked in the shower so you could have coffee while you took a morning shower. LOL. The uncle thought it was real and wasn’t sure how to respond. I think everyone else realized it was a prank and were trying hard not to laugh. In spite of our suggestions, the uncle wouldn’t open the box. He was trying too hard to be nice about the gift. Finally, he opened the box and saw the “prank box” notation. Then he laughed, too. It was great. Oh – and I got the other prank box. An automated kitty-petter. LOL. Inside was a “soft kitty” T-shirt from the Big Bang Theory. Then we had great eats (which we’re still eating – leftovers – yum).

  • Suz, sounds like you all had a beautiful Christmas. Loved all the tidbits about the kids and their various personalities. Laughed at the toothbrush story! How cute.

  • flchen1 says:

    A favorite moment was watching my BiL patiently teaching my older kids how to play mahjong 😉 Of course, my parents can still whip everyone, but that’s all part of the fun 😀

  • Suz, what a fun day!

    We had a very laid-back Christmas. It’s hard to pick a favorite moment. Maybe when we finished decorating the tree. The boy was home at last, and we were officially launching our holiday.

  • Jeanne Adams says:

    Suz, what a lovely day you all had! We had a quiet one, but it was just lovely. The funniest bit was when all three dogs decided to run around the living room at the same time. The boys were trying to protect their presents, my DH was trying to protect the tree and I couldn’t stop laughing. I was absolutely no help. Grins..