The Sledgehammer – Version 2.0

December 24, 2008

Having Ourselves a Merry Little Christmas Eve

Filed under: Family — Brian Lutz @ 10:57 pm

In a normal year, Christmas Eve is a time for the whole Vanderhoeven family to get together for a big gathering, with the highlight being the white elephant gift exchange (I think the obligatory fruitcake that always seems to find its way into the exchange is now nearing its tenth anniversary.)  Normally, my parents are the ones who host the get-together, but unfortunately, due to the ongoing snowstorms that have made a huge mess of the area for the better part of two weeks now, it was unlikely that anyone was going to be making it up here (well, they might, but getting back out of my parents’ street  in any of their cars would be highly unlikely.)  This means that the usual Vanderhoeven gathering happened in an alternate location, but none of us were going to be able to make it down there.  Instead, we all had a smaller get-together at my parents’ house.  With Jason, Heather and Brooks in town from Utah, it meant that the entire family was here, although our little gathering ended up being somewhat scaled down as a result of the weather.

Since we weren’t going to be able to do the full-blown Christmas Eve that we usually do, we decided to change things a bit.  My Dad happens to have his birthday on Christmas Eve, which means that he often gets shortchanged a bit on the whole party bit.  With Heather around to run the proverbial show, it means that we got the whole thing put together quickly, complete with streamers, balloons, banners, a cake, and even those pointy hats.

Connor and Corey seemed to quite enjoy playing with the balloons.

After a light dinner of cold cut sandwiches, potato salad and a bunch of other snacky foods  (which is usually what we end up having on Christmas Eve at the big family get-togethers,) we gathered in the living room for the scripture reading and carols, which is also typical of the Vanderhoeven gathering, although with less of us there things were a bit scaled down this year.  Corey seemed to be more interested in all the shiny bows on the presents under the tree than in singing (we’ll give him a few more years on the singing.)

After the singing, it was time for my Dad’s birthday cake.  Lighting that many candles requires a team effort in order to complete the task before the candles all burn out, but with three people on the job, it was taken care of before we could set off the smoke alarm.

When all was said and done, my Dad was still able to blow out all the candles without trouble.  Once I managed to find a portion of the cake that hadn’t been gotten hold of by either Corey or Imola (don’t ask,) it turned out to be quite good. 

It’s too bad that we weren’t able to join the rest of the Vanderhoeven Machine for Christmas Eve this year due to the weather, but at least the entire Lutz Family was able to gather together to celebrate Christmas Eve in as close to our accustomed style as we could manage given the circumstances, and we will be able to do so for Christmas tomorrow as well. 

For those of you wondering why we wouldn’t be able to make it, this should give you some idea of what we’re dealing with up here on the streets.  Fortunately, I was able to get my car out of my parents’ driveway on Saturday with the aid of my Dad’s 4×4 towing it up the street, but at this point I’m not even bringing it here since there’s no way my car’s getting  back out of there on its own until this stuff melts.  Earlier in the week when this was still mostly ice, Jared and Emily were able to reverse up the street with the chains on, but in this slushy mess they weren’t going much anywhere, and ultimately needed to get towed out by the truck themselves even with the chains.  As long as the forecasts hold out, this stuff should hopefully be gone in the next few days.  The whole “White Christmas” thing sounds fun in theory, but this year,  Christmas is starting to look just a bit too white for my liking.  Nonetheless, may it be merry in whatever weather you’ve got.


1 Comment »

  1. Very Fun Brian. We missed being with the family last night. Happy Birthday Bob!

    Comment by Judy Walsh — December 25, 2008 @ 8:10 am

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