Yesterday morning Shannon and I woke up in our own bed for the first time in a few weeks; it felt good!! I woke up, and then slept some more. This continued until the afternoon when we headed out to the Auble Family Christmas Party, Mom’s side of the family.
Traditionally, this is a spagetti dinner, but this year we broke the tradition with a chili cook-off. Aunt Judy, Aunt Sharon, Danielle, and Lynn each prepared their own blend of chili, or as I prefer it to be said chili con carne, the way I remember it from elementary school. The intent was to vote on the best chili, but I have to abstain based on the fact that I am related to some of the cooks. They were all excellent!
After dinner, we had our traditional white elephant gift exchange. Everyone brings a $20 gift. The first person picks any gift from under the tree. The next person can either steal an open gift, or pick another gift from under the tree. This continues until everyone has a gift. There is a recurring theme with the gifts each year; candy, beer, wine, movies, gift certificates, kitchen utensils, and pottery. This year I was looking for some road snacks, Belgian beer was perfect. I managed to gain control of the Belgian beer and thought I had it wrapped up; who would steel from a kid with cancer? My family is ruthless, Mike had no quam. Fortunately there was a second gift of Belgian beer which I stole from Ryan. This created a chain reaction until Ryan and I had possession of the beer enough times that it could no longer be stolen. No Belgian beer for Mike, but he did walk away with some very nice kitchen strainers, probably his second choice.
After the white elephant exchange Michelle, Mario, & Simona, and Mike, Lynn, Carmen, and Matty surprised me with a very special gift, my first Harley Davidson shirt. Love the shirt, thank you guys so much!