A nursing home is probably the single most depressing place you could spend Christmas. This morning at eight, my family and I went Christmas caroling in a nursing home. Crazy, I know and believe me I was less then a happy camper when seven thirty rolled around. It's always an awkward experience because half the time people are slumped in their chair at breakfast, yelling out random words or are uncomfortably happy to see you. My heart melts when I see these precious people with no family by their side on Christmas morning.
Singing with my family is a humorous experience, we're all musical (with the exception of my brother Stephen, sorry bud) and our reactions are all over the place. My brother Michael takes the singing part seriously but always seems to be making me laugh, my sister Margaret stands in the back and feels the most uncomfortable, mom and dad get really emotional, Claire and I harmonize and Stephen sings notes I didn't even know existed on the scale...joking! (but really). That's not even my whole family, we're up to 11 now that both of my brothers are married!
As we were walking down a hall to exit the nursing home, a lady named Martha shouted from her room for us to come sing to her. She sang along with us, smiled the whole time and couldn't believe that we were all from one family haha. It was totally worth giving up sleep, opening presents in our pj's and enjoying a lazy Christmas morning. She was such a beautiful person and her joy lit up the whole room.
After the caroling we ate a huge breakfast/brunch and opened presents (one at a time, going from oldest to youngest) while my sister Genevieve (who lives in China) sits on the coffee table (via skype) and watches. We usually end up going to my aunts house, but this year a few relatives came to us for a mini open house. My sister and I played in the woods with my camera (best investment I've ever made) while my brothers played ping pong in the basement. The evening ended with Christmas dinner (basically thanksgiving meal), discussion (or arguments, depends on how you look at it), movies, cheese and more wine.
Tomorrow is a whole other ball game and consists of more family, food, presents, and parties!