Well, we've never spent Christmas Eve anywhere but home. When the children were growing up, we always stayed home, and allowed them to open one gift. It was always from us, because of course Santa doesn't come until they are fast asleep. It always helped to get them to settle down and go to bed.
This year, we spent Christmas Eve at the hospital with my Mom. She had been extremely sick all day Friday, but was alone for most of the day, and didn't call anyone. By the time Baby Sister arrived for the weekend, Mom was in distress and had to be taken to the ER. After a good dose of Morphine and Zofran, she was much better, but wanted to stay the night. I remember when my father was battling his cancer, he always felt safer in the hospital. And I can understand it too, because if you start feeling bad again, all you have to do is push a button and they bring you the joy juice.
I sent the rest of the crew home, and stayed with her overnight. Christmas morning the oncologist arrived to discuss some treatment that would help her discomfort, and released Mom. Sister #2 had come by then, and she took Mom home, allowing me to go home to take a short nap, and finish up some cooking. Mom was NOT going to miss Christmas supper, so I had to finish up my list of foods.
We gathered at 4:00 p.m. and did all the cooking, heating up already cooked food, and set out plates, and the necessary things for a meal. Mom finally relented and allowed me to make her famous "Won Tons" as she always calls them. They are actually named "Sausage Stars" and for the first time, I believe I did a pretty good job. Everyone said so anyway. I also cooked a HUGE pork loin the same way I normally do a roast, making gravy with it. My nephew nearly made himself sick on it, he loved it so much. I always make Cookie Dough Heath Bar Pie, and my other nephew told me for next Christmas, he wanted one for his gift. So, considering I was exhausted, aggravated, not in a very Christmassy mood, my spirits were lifted.
It wasn't the Christmas gathering I would have wished for, LeLe and her family couldn't attend for one thing, but I am still thankful we were able to gather at Mom's house and not at the hospital. So, I can still say God is good!