The fourth Thursday of November is not just a sit down, eat, and go home gathering. It's the annual Kelley ThanksChristmasGiving. This is the one holiday each year that the Kelley side of the family gathers together and tries to cram the two big holidays into one. It's always so much fun.
This year, we said we would host the holiday at our house. Our family is growing and we need more room to spread out (especially since all the Kelley's seem to average 5'10" or taller-well almost). Everyone brought a dish, or two or three, so we didn't have to do all the cooking. (The youngest Kelley "kid" has been recently deployed for a 4th time. We missed him and his family.) Here's an excerpt of the most recent info I had sent to the family.
Festivities will start tomorrow about 1 pm. If you think you'll be late, leave earlier. If you think you'll be early, then you can help scrub toilets (Craig doesn't want to clean all 3 bathrooms by himself).
First, we'll eat, then drink, then be merry. Warren noted that we are to be merry AFTER we eat. It's too hard to multi-task. Then, after we've become gluttons of food, we'll become gluttons of presents and white elephants.
Our address is ******. The secret word is "Papa's got a brand new bag."
We'll have a great time celebrating Thanksgiving and Christmas. Who knows, maybe I'll play the Monster Mash and we can re-enact Easter while we're at it.
Don't forget to bring a gift for David. Don't forget to bring your food!
It's hard for me to be serious sometimes. Thankfully, this family gets my sense of humor. :)
We moved our pub height kitchen table into our formal area, next to the dining room table. This allowed all of us to eat in the same room. In the kitchen, we set up our drink bar with water, sodas, lemonade, sweet tea, hot chocolate, hot apple cider, and coffee.
Crudites were set out as family started to arrive.
This yummy looking turkey...
...turned into this. Craig did a great job!
Here's just a sampling of the buffet. By the time all the food was set out, this counter was covered.
This was all that was left of the turkey. There were only a few slices of ham leftover as well. Notice the deviled egg tray was completely empty! I completely forgot to get a picture of all the desserts. That was set up on another counter.
Since we were celebrating Christmas too, we decorated for Christmas earlier in the week. Even though we all drew names for gifts this year, there were still tons of gifts to pass out.
We also did a White Elephant gift exchange. One of the gifts was a homemade "beard" that attaches to a hat. It was a hit!
The whole family had a great time.
Of course, I had to proudly show off my craft room and had a craft set up for everyone to do. We used alcohol ink and decorated ornaments (50% at Hobby Lobby), ceramic tiles ($.10 each at Home Depot), and ceramic plates (marked down to $.17 each at Kroger).
Everyone is so artistic and creative!
Everyone was exhausted by the end of the night from all the fun. Kaleigh came to visit us with her parents, Paul and Faynetta. She was so well behaved.
Our Princess just wanted to sleep under the tree.
A new fiance and baby were added to the family and it was so fun having them join us. It was an awesome ThanksChristmasGiving and we realized, once again, how incredibly blessed we are!!!