Best. Christmas. Ever

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.
Go figure.

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 fake decorative bread thing, but I think she may forgive me sometime before the dawn of the next century.

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.

We all had a lovely visit in spite of the BOOGA boy.
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.

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:

These are some of the items that helped bring Christmas alive in my heart in the last post. You'll notice that the box was opened upside down -- SOMEONE taped the box so well that the only way I could get into it without tools was to open it from the bottom. I was proud of myself for being so clever. Hee!

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.

Thanks guys!

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!

This year, I didn't hang a single ornament on the tree. I let the kids do it all. I can't tell you how much joy this collection of ornaments tickled me. I believe this is Buddy's handiwork...

So yeah, seriously. Best. Christmas. Ever.


Mr. Bloggerific Himself said...

Mmmm. Red Hots.

eclectic said...

Those pancakeys look pretty yummy -- I may have to try them! I'm glad Christmas came to visit you for real. That's cool. Very, very cool!! Now... I wonder what we can rig up for the New Year? ;)

Circus Kelli said...

Mr. B - And they're mine. ALL MINE.

Eclectic - Those pancakes ARE (or were) pretty yummy. The New Year? Hmm. I dunno. What are you doin for the New Year, darlin?

platypus said...

Oh Kelli, that was a gorgeous post. I've come over all misty-eyed! I am so glad you also found your Christmas spirit and it sounds as though the children had a wonderful time. Stumpy has also been singing the extra lyrics to 'Rudolph'. You may get tired of it in another ten years or so!

Nilbo said...

I'm so glad you had a wonderful Christmas. It's great that you were able to enjoy it through your kids and find the funny in what they have to say.

That Santa ... what a guy. Amazing how he knows sizes so well ... or maybe he's just been measuring your feet while you sleep. Ohhh .. creepy Santa!

Ortizzle said...

Loved. it.
Especially. the. tree. and. the. letter. to. Santa. ha. ha. ha.

Now... on another subject: you been messing around with the font size on your template, woman? Cuz I used to be able to read your blog just fine (on my little laptop screen), but now it looks like the font shrunk (shrank?) to a 6 or 7 point size. Yikes... maybe I do need to make that appointment with the eye doctor, hee, hee.

Doug said...

Tell me about that "Past, Present and Future" ring Sis. Never heard of one of those.

Man what wicked boots, bet they'll keep your ankles warm.

What a glorious tree that is. Uhhh Huh !

And best present of all, your joy in Christmas -- and the love that goes along with it.

May your New Year be better yet.

Circus Kelli said...

Platy - Hee hee, you may be right.

Nilbo - Heh, Santa knew what size underwear I wear, too... yikes...

Ortizzle - I'm SO sorry about the font size. Rookie mistake! It should be fixed now.

Doug - I sent you an email.

WILLIAM said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful time.

Susie said...

This is a wonderful post. So happy for you. And those boots are HOT, girl. Santa must have a thing for you.

Sharkey said...

Susie stole my comment!

This WAS a wonderful post--it brought a tear to my eye. So glad you had a great holiday.

And the boots? Totally hot.

wordgirl said...

Yummy pancakes! We had waffles...courtesy of Mr. Half. Glad your Christmas was a good one.

mrtl said...

As it should be. Hugs!

Amy said...

Well this was just the best post ever. CK, I am so glad for you! What a lovely christmas you had!

That picture of the tree, where it is kind of dark and the lights are just glowing, that is just perfect.

Merry Christmas to you, my love.

August95 said...

Hey There Kelli, your post warmed my cold cockels. :)Just don't tell Bloggy ;)

So happy you have found your Christmas spirit again. I felt very similar this year. Way more at peace.

Buddy's decor technique rocks.

Hugs and Happy New Year

August95 said...

owowowow. I forgot about your ring... That is the sweetest thing ever.

Very shiny not to mention beautiful.

Bone Machine said...

Those YPS!! bastages can write?!?!?!

I did not know that.

Squirl said...

I'm pleased that you found your Christmas spirit this year. Sometimes it takes a life-changing event to help us dig up those deep-seated emotions. I'm glad that you did so well.

Oh and, nice bling and nice boots. ;)

JessicaRabbit said...

Happy after the holidays relaxing to you! Sounds like you had a great one!

Circus Kelli said...

William - We did. :)

Susie - Hee!

Sharkey - Susie's like that...

WordGirl - I'd love some pancakes or waffles right now. I'm hungry.

Mrtl - You know it! Hugs to you!

Amy - Awww, you're the sweetest!

August95 - Don't you worry, you're secret is safe with me. I'm so glad you were able to find some peace as well. Hugs and Happy New Year to you, too!

Bone - Apparently so! :)

Squirl - You're right. I hope you're having a good holiday season, love.

JR - HEY! You came over because of the boots, diddin ya?

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