I missed the Carnival of Christmas (hosted by Adam’s Blog ) because I was too busy making preparations for our own family’s Christmas but enjoyed (during some rare quiet moments) reading many great posts. We went all out decorating the house this year because most of the renovation is done. There’s more work to do ( of course) but nothing as overwhelming as last year. I love Christmas and the way it takes over our lives so I just try to go with it. And I guess it’s obvious that I love Christmas trees. Here is a wonderful article about the best Christmas tree in the world. And here is an account of my own great grandmother’s attempt to decorate for Christmas.

Many more trees have sprouted up in our home this Christmas but alas none of them real. But Christmas was very real and joyful for our family even though some were struggling to stay well while others were actually sick. Everyone seems to be better now so we are looking forward to the rest of the holiday festivities. And our son and daughter-in-law and grandson will be home tomorrow, hopefully in time for the family football tournament.

Now that Christmas Day is over the celebration continues. The annual family Football Tournament is tomorrow and we are hosting it and have done so for at least five years. First we enjoy all the food and then we get on to the games. Up to thirty members of the family are expected. My Dad and brothers draw up the bracket for the tournament after the drawing of names. Last year the females in the family dominated. My sister-in-law won by beating my niece. This year some of the new members of the family are ready to rumble.

My youngest daughter works at Starbucks and came home with two very cool Starbucks trees that were being discarded after Christmas. She rescued them and brought them home. We are adding more prizes to the tournament this year from Starbucks. Not only will the top winners receive prizes but there will be goodies awarded to others who have achieved some kind of family renown at the tournament.

Our niece and her husband spent Thanksgiving with his family in New Hampshire and brought us some great New Hampshire Maple Syrup. We will have some on New Years Day with pancakes, black eyed peas, ham and cornbread.

The tree in the living room is dressed with the oldest of our family’s collection of Christmas ornaments. Many old fifties ornaments as well as those collected in Germany and South America are on the tree. Plus we’ve hidden the German pickle which all of our children try to find. There are three of them and two have been found so far.

This angel belonged to my great grandmother and plays Silent Night. My grandmother gave it to me when I was a teenager and I have always treasured it.

Some of the old Santas have been around in our family for quite some time but still have an honored place in the dining room on the buffet.

This little tree is in our entry and is our grandson’s favorite tree. Every ornament is one type or another of Santa and he likes to point to each one and ask me what it is.

Our youngest daughter’s Russian castle. I bought it for her when we were in Germany at a little Russian shop and she let us display it this Christmas.

The only Christmas candles I have left are leaning and cracked but still usable on our dining room table. During the renovation the candles were mistakenly placed in storage and they all melted. The tree candles were the only ones that didn’t.

This is one of our Starbucks trees on the kitchen table with some of the prizes we are giving at the football tournament. The tablecloth is from Ribeauville, France. I won’t be posting much (if at all) tomorrow as I will be busy making Rum cake, dips, appetizers and other food for the tournament. Wish me luck. I never make it to the semi-finals of the tournament even though I know how to play football. I guess I’m just not lucky. Maybe talented but not lucky.

Here’s what my Dad wrote after he won the 2002 Family Christmas Football Tournament…………

This was a real good year to win the football tournament. Sometimes luck is better than talent as Drew Pearson once said. When Dallas won the Super Bowl Drew Pearson was lucky on a pass play that he caught…… just by pure luck. Pearson said luck was the reason the Cowboys won the Super Bowl that year.

On that pass play he was knocked to the ground and while he was lying on the ground the ball ricocheted off a defensive back and dropped right in his arms. He was still lying on the ground in the end zone when he caught it. They won.

In my third game against Ryan I was trailing him 13-15 and on my final drive I was going for it on 4th and 14. I thought about trying a field goal but the odds were against that so I went for it but I came up short on the play.

But wait! There was a flag on the play and it was against the defense. 15 yards against the defense. That gave me a first down and then I drove on down and scored and held on to win the game 20-15.

It takes luck sometimes along the way to win a big game or a Super Bowl or our own family football tournament. If you dont believe me, ask Drew Pearson. Pure luck. He caught it and it won the game.