Well, my family, as wonderful as they are, have managed to put a crimp in my typically last-nanosecond (hey, the tree only went up yesterday, haha) preparations for the big event. Because my sister's son and stepsons will be celebrating on Christmas Day with their "other" families (oh, divorce, how you complicate matters), our family celebration--complete with turkey dinner and at least a portion of the gift-unwrapping--will be done Christmas Eve. This means I have ONE DAY to finish all the shopping and wrapping, instead of two. And I work at 5 on the 23rd, wheeeeee! Should be a fun day. :)
I haven't even counted the gifts I've managed to get for each kid (they should each have an equal number of presents under the tree, even if I have to wrap socks and underwear, dammit), so I'm not sure who I even have to buy for in the morning. But I did manage to get a few things I need for myself to wrap and put under the tree, so the kids won't feel I've been completely left out on the big day. (I'm usually ruthless about denying myself material things, but hey, it's freaking Christmas and I could use some nice, 300 thread count, 100% combed Egyptian cotton sheets, so what the heck. Hang the expense.)
This will be my first Christmas here in Edmonton in over a decade, and I can't freaking wait. But as much as I like having family around, the weather has been brutal. I think temps have averaged out at about -15C for the last six weeks or so, and my car is covered in crud and salt from the roads. Lugging stuff in from the car to the house leaves me hypothermic, my fingers stinging from the cold, even through gloves. Lugging it back to the car, all wrapped and nice, just to lug it into my parents' condo won't be fun, either. But it will be worth it. :)
Frankly, a turkey dinner cooked by someone else, with the dishes going into someone else's dishwasher? I can't even imagine what that's like. And we're having ham at my sister's on Christmas Day, too, even if we'll be three kids short. Two evenings of wine and comfort food, family and Christmas spirit, and no mess in my house...that's freaking priceless.
Next year is soon enough for me to have everyone over to my house. I still have renoes to finish in order to make this place liveable (oy), and I'll hopefully be in a better position to dictate days off with my employer by then. And maybe next year I won't leave everything to the last possible moment, too. But I don't think so, lol.