We normally spend Christmas Eve and Day with both our families. We are lucky enough that both sides get along so well that they invite each other over for celebration. And, because we came from two different sets of traditions, it has meant 12 adults and between 2 and 7 children are together for both those days. My in-laws celebrate Christmas Eve with a traditional Ukrainian 12-dish meatless meal before Midnight Mass at church and my parents celebrate Christmas Day, with a turkey, stuffing, etc.
Anywho, this year is different. My in-laws are heading to Australia with my brother-in-law and his family, as his wife is from Sydney. My other brother-in-law and his family will be staying in Lethbridge at their home. So, we are alone with my parents and my brother and his new wife for Christmas. Ah, the quiet of it all. Well, once our children are in bed.
So, a couple weeks ago, we celebrated an early Christmas with the Australia-bound folks. We gave our nieces their gifts early and had a nice, but simple meal that my mother-in-law lovingly prepared (as all her meals are). It was a pleasant, no-frills, no worries Christmas. Nobody cared that the house wasn't decorated, or that we had chicken instead of turkey. We relaxed by the fire, enjoyed good food, wine and music, and enjoyed out time together, even if it was 20 days early.
I don't know when we'll see my other brother-in-law and his family, probably sometime between Christmas and the New Year. And then we are talking about pulling together a traditional Ukrainian Christmas in January for some friends we recently made who just moved to Calgary. So, in all, we may end up with 4 Christmas celebrations!