For more than 30 years our family has chosen names for Christmas. Rather than buying a gift for the person we choose, though, we have to make them a present. My sister Cheryl sends us the names in the summer to give us plenty of time to work on our gifts. She keeps track of who chose whom (in case we forget!) and when Christmas draws near she lets us know who will be in town for the holiday and who will need to have gifts shipped. She always takes photos of us opening our homemade gifts, and this year, in addition to doing all that, she also agreed to write a guest post about our celebration. Thank you, Cheryl!
Homemade Christmas 2012
by Cheryl May
This year’s Christmas celebration started in an unusual way last Saturday: we all went to a basketball game. My granddaughter is a senior on Willowbrook High School’s girl’s team, and Anita’s fans (family) visited in the bleachers while enjoying popcorn and hot pretzel hors doeuvres during Willowbrook’s game against Glenbard East. Beth sat next to 7-year-old AnnMarie, and occasionally you’d hear a cheer “A-N-I-T-A…A-N-I-T-A!” coming from their section. The cheering must have worked. Coach Harrel of Willowbrook said it
was probably the worst the girls have played all season, but somehow they came away with a win.
After the victory we gathered at my daughter Janet and son-in-law Mike’s and ate pulled-pork sandwiches along with a couple varieties of cole slaw, seven-layer salad, crock-pot sweet potatoes, macaroni & cheese, jello mold and corn casseroles (loved the one our niece Marsha made) and of course a table full of cookies, brownies and other treats.
After dinner, finally, the big moment: opening the homemade presents! Beth says her favorite this year was the “Super Ray” costume Aunt Caren made for her nephew Raymond, but there were so, so many clever and creative homemade gifts this year I really can’t choose a favorite. I can tell you this for sure, though: I’m looking very much forward to clinking one of my homemade tulip glasses with Mike Knezovich’s Red-neck wine glasses (made from mason jars glued atop candlesticks) in the new year – both sets were sent by the Ulens in Florida.
After all the homemade Christmas gifts were opened we sang “Happy Birthday” to all the December Babies — Beth, Brian Boyer, AnnMarie, Bryce, Ray – and opened birthday gifts, too.
It was a fun and exhausting day, and we were all grateful to Janet and Mike for hosting us — I have a feeling we all slept well that night.
When we opened the Chicago Sun-Times the next day, we were treated to one more gift. Anita was mentioned in an article about the upcoming Bill Neibch Girls Basketball Falcon Classic tournament: “Wheaton North is seeded second and could face three-seeded Willowbrook and 5-9 senior Anita Sterling in a semifinal.” Woohoo! A-N-I-T-A…A-N-I-T-A!
Here’s hoping you all had a wonderful Christmas with your families, and hope we all have a healthy new 2013, too!