Every year since getting married, we'd celebrate Christmas Eve at my parents' place. We'd have a Christmas Eve dinner, open presents, and putter around the house until 11pm, when my mom, my sister, and I would head over to the church for Christmas Mass. I don't go to Christmas Mass out of my own free will, with me being an atheist and all, but it pleases my mom, so I go. The hubby and I would usually stay at my parents' place overnight, and then we'd head over to the in-laws' in the early afternoon to celebrate Christmas there.
This year was different, with it being PK's first Christmas. Instead of celebrating Christmas Eve at my parents' place, we hosted it at our place. One might wonder why we'd host Christmas Eve at our place this year of all years, with having a child and all. The simple answer is that, while this setup was in some ways more hectic, it did allow us to stick to PK's nighttime routine. She continues to sleep through the night, and while feeding her formula DOES help, I think that her sleeping through the night is in part due to her nighttime routine. Her nighttime routine starts with 6pm with some playtime to wear her out before bed, followed by her bath at 7:30pm, a little feeding nightcap, and then bedtime. She winds up falling asleep between 8:15pm and 8:30pm. Keeping to PK's schedule on Christmas Eve lessened the chance of mucking with her nighttime routine, especially given that we knew that it would be somewhat messed up on Christmas Day.
Christmas Eve at our place went overall very well. I baked my grandmother's chocolate cake, a loaf of apple bread, tea biscuits, and some corn soufflé. My parents brought some store-bought chicken (at my parents' place, my mom would make a Christmas chicken), and my brother-in-law brought some apricot chicken. We ended up having a late lunch in lieu of dinner, so as to not conflict with PK's schedule. The food was all delicious, and everyone enjoyed themselves. PK slept while we opened our presents, but we woke her up to open up her own presents. Obviously she couldn't open her own presents, but she at least seemed to be fascinated by the stuff she got. My mom bought her this cute little Baby Einstein piano, which she is able to bang on to make some semblance of music. My sis and her hubby bought her an exer-saucer. It was a little big for her at first, but she has really grown into it in the last week. Just crazy!
Clean-up turned out not to be a huge deal, since my mom helped out with quite a bit of clean-up during the day, and then the hubby finished off some of the clean-up after he put PK to bed. I messed around on the computer while he did that, trying to install Ubuntu Eee on my Eee PC (my Christmas present to myself). Warning: the following description contains a bunch of techno-babble.
I got my Eee PC one week before Christmas, and had set it up all nicely. I blasted the original Linux distribution on the machine since it was total crap, and had replaced it with Ubuntu, my very favorite Linux distribution. It was all working perfectly. Then, it all fell apart, when, on Christmas Eve, my dad convinced me that I should be installing Ubuntu Eee on the machine instead. Ubuntu Eee is a version of Ubuntu that is optimized for the Eee PC. I figured that it made more sense, so I started doing that while the family was over. The install went well, until I realized that the machine refused to recognize my USB flash drives and my built-in SD card reader. This was definitely unacceptable, and so I scoured the Internet for an explanation. Of course, I was baffled by this, since my dad never had an issue with his own Eee PC. Through the course of Christmas Eve, I must have installed Ubuntu Eee about 6 times (if not more). Still, I had no luck in getting the O/S to acknowledge the existence of my USB flash drives out-of-the box. I did find some documentation that showed me how to get Ubuntu to recognize these devices, but even after I created the proper config file, the damned thing was still acting up. Since I knew that the full version of Ubuntu worked perfectly fine, I ended up reverting to my previous setup (i.e. full Ubuntu).
Unfortunately, messing with the O/S sucked up most of my evening after we put PK to bed, and the hubby and I didn't really get to enjoy Christmas Eve together. It unfortunately also turned me into a half zombie when my family was around, as I was busy re-installing the O/S after lunch, and wound up being half there for the festivities. I really regret having done that, but that was my own fault. I hope that this serves as a reminder of the old saying, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it".
In spite of my obsessive installation of Linux, Christmas Eve did go surprisingly well. I was initially really bummed out over the fact that we wouldn't be celebrating it at my parents' place, and even missed the idea of going to midnight mass, but this worked out well in the end. I don't know if we'll be hosting again at our place next year, or if we'll return to business as usual at my parents' place, but I do know that whatever we decide, I will NOT be installing Linux next Christmas Eve!