Christmas cards we received this year
For several years now, I have had a hard time dealing with Christmas. I'm not sure if it is something with the weather, or unattainable expectations, extended family issues, or all the hustle and bustle... but Christmas has been a depressing "just-get-me-through-it-is-it-over-yet-please-dear-God-let-it-be done-and-over-with-for-another-year" event for me in recent years.
This year, I did my best to fight that scroogey feeling. (You've lost that scroogey feeling...) There was still the running around and getting things done and chaos... but the Christmas spirit was always lurking just below the surface, even if I didn't realize it. That holiday feeling bubbled up to the top just the other day... and boy, did I need that. Do you have any idea what it meant to me just to know that I had the Christmas spirit in me still? I thought for sure it had abandoned me in recent years.
See this face? See the smile?
I was like that ALL DAY LONG.
Christmas Eve afternoon, we visited with my Father-In-Law for a bit, then we went to my Mother-In-Law's house for dinner. She's still a bit sore about the whole regifting of the three loaves of
Our little niece said the prayer before our Christmas Eve dinner. She is almost four years old, and dressed very prettily in her holiday frock. While she said the prayer in her sweet little voice, our boy child repeated the phrase "BOOOOOGAAA" (booger) over and over and over. It was one of those sacred moments where I was trying to supress my laughter so hard the tears were streaming down my face.After arriving home late in the evening, the girls put out cookies and milk for Santa. Punkin even wrote a little note for Santa, asking him questions. Santa's replies look very much like he wrote them with his left hand... and, sadly, he "missed" the question on the back about what all of his reindeer's names are. I'm sure he was just in a hurry. He did, however eat the cookies and drink the milk that they left out for him.
We all had a lovely visit in spite of the BOOGA boy.
With all the presents ready for the kids the next morning, Hubby asked me to come downstairs to his office. He presented me with the present he bought for me -- a past, present, and future ring. The best part about his gift? This gift told me that he listens to me, and he appreciates me. All the poor man got in return was work uniforms and new underwear.
Christmas morning started around 6:45am with Buddy hollering out "MOOOOMMM! Me poopie!" A clear indication that the child was awake and had his present all ready for me. Experience and Mother's Intuition told me he was not in fact in need of immediate attention. After mumbling my standard before 8:00am reply ("Ok, Buddy... I'll be there in a minute...") I fell back asleep... but not for long. Sweet Pea padded into our room a while later whispering "Mom, did Santa claus come?" "Did you see any presents downstairs?" I asked. "I think so..." I told her to go check again and report back to me. Sure enough, there were presents.
We tormented the kids as long as we could without being too cruel. "Ok, let Mom and Dad get the camera set up first..." "Ok, just a second, let's find some Christmas music first..." They looked like runners set at their mark as they eyeballed all those gifts. When we finally let them at the presents, they discovered Santa brought just what they asked for, and a couple of extra things too. They enjoyed the gifts we gave them as well. Santa brought Mommy some new makeup, new underwear and a kickin' pair of new boots that are magically just my size. That Santa, he's too cool.
Hubby assembled the toys as I made my annual Christmas breakfast -- pancakes, sausage, and bacon -- (after Hubby fixed the blown fuse). There was no rushing around, no reason to hurry. It was such a good morning. I had some tears, but it felt more like a healing kind of sadness. This was truly the best Christmas morning I've had in years.
made from Nonnie's recipe, of course
Around 9:00am, I called Mom and suggested she and Dit stop by for a visit. It could only be for a couple of hours before we had to be at my inlaw's house, and we weren't exchanging gifts with Mom and Dit. It was just to be an informal visit, a chance for Mom and Dit to hang out with the kids. The past month has been a tough one for Mom -- losing her Mom, her Dad in a nursing home, strife with the extended family. She and Dit were just having a quiet breakfast at Dit's house, and I figured Mom was feeling a little lost. Inviting them over, even for a little bit seemed like the right thing to do. We visited and drank Mimosas and laughed. It was just very good.
At one point during our travels to visit with my inlaws this holiday, "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" came on the radio. Punkin has taught Sweet Pea the "added" lyrics in between the better known ones. After "you would even say it glows", you hear "Like a light bulb!". After "...join in any reindeer games", you hear "Like Monopoly!" After "...used to laugh and call him names", you hear "Like Pinnochio!"
Hubby was driving, I was riding shotgun and we thought all the kids were asleep in the back. I had quietly said the added lyrics a time or two, then stopped. Suddenly, from the back of the truck we hear a little sleepy Sweet Pea voice say "Like Pinnochio!" That made us adults laugh.
When I ordered these angels before Christmas, I had no idea that I was truly going to get Peace, Hope, and Joy this holiday. I thank God for that.
This was the best Christmas ever.
Other contributing factors to this being the best Christmas ever:
Other items that made me grin from ear to ear arrived a couple of weeks ago. I've been incredibly remiss in thanking the givers, so allow me to do that now.
A full bag of peanut butter Hershey's kisses and an autographed bag of Red Hots! Woo! Both are awesome gifts! Thank you! I've been enjoying the Hershey's kisses all day here at work... by myself. It's the holidays!
So yeah, seriously. Best. Christmas. Ever.