It’s Christmas [Eve] in the [Salt Lake] City

Since we’ve been married, Jamie and I have alternated spending Christmases with my family and his. Unfortunately, plane tickets are $800 to the Motherland so we were relegated to spending them in Utah. In so doing, we missed my brother Pat’s epic Christmas sweater with battery-operated lights.

Oh wait. This is it.
Though they’re pretty much the same thing.

Jamie’s sister did a fantastic job hosting Christmas Eve. You know that one chick…what was her name again? Oh yeah: Martha Stewart. Well, she has nothing on Tammy Porter who got her start working at the global interior design firm, Gensler.

I’m willing to bet Martha didn’t dine on Pork Tacos with Avocado Poblano Guacamole, Mexican sodas and Sticky Pudding with luscious caramel sauce.

And let us not forgot our darling twin cousins. During our previous attempt at cousin pictures last summer, Bode let Ava do a face plant.

They fared much better this time around.

Back in Canada, Christmas Eve is THE MAIN EVENT with a compendium of appetizers, a gift exchange, the left-right game, playing the bells, a Christmas story and more irreverence than I care to admit.

The year bum darts was introduced was definitely a low point.

Wanting to integrate some of our family’s traditions, Jamie’s sweet sister suggested we do a gift-exchange game at the last minute, which sent Jamie and I scrambling to local stores for just the right gifts. We decided to do a repeat performance of the White Elephant Gift of the Year we introduced last week: a picture of The Great Pumpkin.

I explained the rules and because we had a much smaller group (eight people), I declared we would only do two trades per round. Well, bless their hearts, that crazy Johnson clan misunderstood and thought I meant a gift could only be traded twice and then it was off-limits.

Such corruption of my beloved games is equal unto my reaction when, shortly after Jamie and I got married, they declared the Rook is to be played high and not low.

I have not been able to play my beloved card game with them ever since.

Turns out the joke was on us because Jamie’s pumpkin picture was the very last picture to be chosen and in a twisted turn of fate, he was the one who ended up with it.

He said it was the very best gift exchange ever.

Merry Christmas!!!!!

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