A Wily (and Slightly Hillbilly) Christmas

Better late than never, right? Right.

Our Christmas celebration started on Saturday when we headed out to visit with some of Justin’s clan at his dad Duncan and his wife Pattie’s house. Justin’s brother Josh and his girlfriend Emily were there and we had a great night of good food, laughs, and lots of hounds.

It was about 40 below but that didn’t stop us from making a fire in the  fire pit and huddling around it like a bunch of loons.


Don’t let their sweatshirts fool you – it was COLD

Duncan and Pattie’s dog Maggie was there, of course, along with their neighbor’s dog and Brody, so there was a lot of hound going around.



Maggie was concerned that all of the dogs would be staying forever.





We started off okay…


…a little less normal…


…and there we have it.

After a lovely visit with that crew, we headed back home on Sunday. Justin’s mom was spending Christmas with us, so Justin picked her up at the airport, we grabbed some lunch and then spent the day catching up and running a couple of errands.

My parents hosted Christmas Eve at their house so we cruised over there to celebrate with my extended family. As is always the case when my extended family gets together, there was a lot of not-so-quiet laughter, stories, and delicious food.

Justin was up at the crack of dawn the next day to prepare for the 2nd annual Turkey Off. If you are a longtime reader of The Wily Hound, you might remember last year when the 1st annual Turkey Off landed Justin in the hospital after he went toe-to-toe with a fireball:


I’m happy to report that this year’s event was incident-free! My brother PJ fried a turkey and Justin smoked a turkey and they were both delicious, though that did mean that we did a good portion of our Christmas cooking outside like hillfolk. To add to the hillbilly vibe of this year’s festivities, we pulled up to my parent’s house on Christmas to find PJ and my dad shooting at an oil can in the driveway. We were obviously horrified and turned right around to go home.


068PJ’s girlfriend Sophie had anticipated how much everyone would love BB guns and picked up a couple for PJ and Justin. They might have been the biggest hit of the day.


There was a slight hiccup when Justin’s turkey wasn’t quite ready to eat come dinner time, so there was a bit of heckling from PJ, whose turkey was carved and ready to go.


Everything worked out just fine, though, and after a few minutes in the oven, Justin’s turkey was ready to roll.


Both of the turkeys were delicious and had great flavor. We never took an official vote, but since no one end up in the hospital, I think it’s safe to say that everyone won this year.

We spent the rest of the day exchanging gifts, playing board games, breaking in our new BB guns, and laughing until our stomachs hurt. It was a great Christmas and just another reminder of how lucky we are to have such wonderful family and friends.

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