I hope everyone had (and is having) a lovely holiday. All of my houseguests left by 2-ish today, and rather than curling up on the couch with a book (I received four for Christmas), I started in immediately with the tidying. On Wednesday afternoon, my house was the cleanest it's probably been since we moved in ten years ago, and now I'm anxious to keep it that way.
I think the holidays went well this year. They were, as usual, very busy, but this year there were a couple of differences. This year I planned a mini Amazing Race style challenge for my brother & sister, their spouses, and the cousins--three teams total. I specified teams (no husband/wife teams) and then sent them off on a trio of challenges confined to my neighborhood. I think a good time was had by all, but the advice for future races started rolling in before the winners were even announced. I admit, there were a few elements that could definitely be improved, but I think, given that I only made the decision to host it on Thanksgiving, I didn't do too badly. Personally, I was relieved to have it finished.
A second difference this year is that I gave my sister (and husband) and brother (and new wife) a list of kitchen responsibilities. In fact, I magnet-ed them to the fridge to make sure no one could claim ignorance. It made a world of difference. I had help with EVERYTHING, preparation and clean-up went much more quickly, and I was not nearly so stressed and frazzled. I will be doing that again.
Right before we opened presents on Christmas Eve, my mom broke out a package of adhesive-backed mustaches, and we all slapped one on, to much uproarious giggling. I think I got 'The Sheriff', and it was not AT ALL flattering. I will NOT be posting a picture.
As far as presents go, I got some good ones and gave some good ones, so everything turned out just perfectly.