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Archive for the tag “CHristmas”

Tales of Christmas Passed

That’s right. Passed. As in, “I’m going to pass on celebrating all twelve days of Christmas.” This, I don’t get.

Growing up, we always bought our tree on Christmas Eve (one year mom even had us return it because it was a Canadian Pine…forbidden in our house. Can you imagine, returning a [live] Christmas tree on Christmas Eve? Nevermind that, but the DQ with the tree lot took it back. And off we went to the Eagle nursery down the street for our usual last-minute pick-up). Part of the reason behind putting up the tree weeks later than most of those around us was that Santa brought it when my brother and sister were young. We also firmly believed in keeping the tree up at least through the Epiphany…still do. So, often it is creeping up on February before our tree is down.

Which brings me to my next point.  Why bother with the tree if it isn’t kept up after Christmas at all? There used to be someone two doors down from my family who would have the tree out on the curb by the time we got back from Mass on Christmas morning. Really? That strikes me as at least a little sad, that the very day being celebrated is spent tearing down evidence of the holiday. I’ve seen more than a few houses that have done this very thing over the past few years.

Though the presents that Santa brings have become a big point of Christmas, the whole reason for Christmas still remains Jesus’ birth, not just for kids, but for everyone. And the arrival of the Three Kings is a large part of the holiday, arriving (ta-daaa!) on the twelfth day of Christmas, January 6. So, despite the fact that the wrapping is on the curb (and the kids have been happily occupied with new toys all week…hope that lasts), and I spotted Valentine’s Day candy and gifts in the store today when I went grocery shopping, our house will happily have our inside and outside lights on for the next couple of weeks. Feel free to share the joy well into the New Year! 🙂


The Final Countdown

I still have several gifts to purchase, and just received word that the main gift I ordered for my husband several weeks ago will likely not come until next week. What the what? I received a shipment notice early last week, so, logically, it shoudl be here already. I received the other item in my order over a week ago. Why bother ordering early? (okay, okay, so it wasn’t that early, but it was still single-digit December.) Needless to say, I have to hit the store tomorrow.

I wish it were as easy as it seemed for my daughter’s teacher. I made bracelets for her teacher and teacher’s assistant (and took pictures because I wouldn’t mind recreating them…I always say that the best gift to give someone is something you would like to keep for yourself (but, obviously, don’t), unless someone has their heart set on something that you find really repulsive. Another post, another day). We also made a frame for her teacher, which had crayons all around the border (and ended up really cute for a teacher gift, I think), and gave each of teh hall monitors a bag of hershey kisses (had the earlier incident occured, well, earlier, it would have been helpful. I have lots of LBS. of those things around the house now).

So..we head to my in-laws and a family friend’s house for Christmas Eve, meaning tomorrow, my day consists of the following [deep breath]:

1. Finish baking. Not just cookies — Lord knows that the nine or ten varieties I already have done are in no way enough — but cakes/pies/tarts…something else for desserts on Christmas day.
b. Help the kids decorate their gingerbread house. My daughter did a really good job on one when she was my son’s age, though she was also much more patient than he.
III. Shop for gifts (see above).
4. Finish my eldest’s Christmas stocking. It’s dangerously close, so much so that I could just put the back on and be done. But I don’t want to do that.
Oh, and maybe I shoudl work a little on the younger ones, just so there is something to tack to a regular stocking until I finish theirs.
E. Make a couple of presents, because I’ve thought of things to make, but not to purchase for some.
6. Wrap presents. I mean everything. Except for those that already went to my brother and his family. They were wrapped in teh wee hours before packing them up to ship.
7. Fix the start from our tree. It won’t light this year, and when I tried to open the door on it to get the lights out, the stand for it came off. Go figure.
H. Find something suitable to wear for Christmas Day. I will say that I’ve been back down to my regular size for a while following baby three, but my shape isn’t quite teh same as usual in all areas, and I wore the one dress I know fit me to a wedding about a month or so ago, and I keep forgetting to bring it to the cleaners. And I refuse to wear slacks (yes, slacks) on Christmas.
9. Clean my house. No, noone is being hosted here, except Big Red himself, but girlfriend just needs to vacuum and sweep. No breaks from the kids this week…none.
X. Sleep. I’m not very good at that lately. Well, I’m a champ at sleeeping, not so much with actually going to sleep. Hopefully that will change after Christmas.

Speaking of…off to bed. I have to rest up!

That’s HOW Much?!?

The children are all nestled snug in their beds (well, one may be reading) for a little nap after getting back from running some errands and coming home for lunch. Let’s just say mama could use a glass of vino.

Kids are kids, and it seems that the only place that they were on 100% don’t-touch-anything behavior was the one shop where there were no less than three screaming children having a fit on the floor. I felt so badly for the moms, and told one of them I just had the same sitation in the supermarket 5 minutes before…which makes me think the terrible two’s are accurate for boys, and the girls provide mental anguish later in life. I digress…

Fast-forward to Michaels, where they seemed to be fine until right before we got in line. Bags of Christmas candy in the aisle, candy on the counter…that place is littered with the stuff by the checkout. And it’s all at kid-level.

My two-year-old proceeds to say he wants a treat, runs and grabs a bag of Hershey Kisses, and tears it open before I can get to him. He didn’t get to any of the candy, but the bag was torn. (Peanut gallery passers-by chimed in with a much appreciated, “tell her you need it, not that you want it!”) Guilty conscience that I have, I head to the checkout and tell the lady I’ll pay for it (while he grabs one of those stinking eye-height truffles by the counter…which was already unwrapped by some other kid and put back. Luckily, the man behind me verified to the cashier that it was already open. Have I mentioned that several of the casiers at the local store are not very friendly? ‘Cause they’re not).

Now, it’s happened once or twice in my life — well before my children came along — that something has been broken or fell off of a precarious shelf when I was looking at something, I’ve brought it to the counter, let them know what happened, offer to pay, and am told that they just damage the item out of the system. Easy, since I’ve seen a LOT of damaged items left to rot on a sales floor. So, it’s not so much that I had to pay for the bag of candy, it was that:

1. She said, “well, what am I going to do with it?” With a little bit of ‘tude.
b. Apparently, Michael’s sells Hershey Kisses for $5.99/bag. Come again? $6 for the same bag I can get (and did) on sale for $1.50 before any coupons at CVS?

I’d have felt better about it if the response was even just a sorry about your luck, or even no comment at all. I already had them with me in line, just shocked at the price for the things. But clearly I was not in a mood for attitude on top of it with a baby in a stroller, a little girl who checked out before me who insisted on puchasing her own stickers for a chain letter she received (it was a cute letter, but we spent a lot of time carefully picking a pack that her little friend would especially like), and a little boy who was having hulk-like cravings for chocolate.

Anybody want Hershey Kisses, come to my house.  I have lots.

Getting Old(er)

My birthday was last week, and I think I’m not along when I say that I’m not the only one who has to sit and think for a minute when someone asks my age. I figure once someone’s married and has kids, keeping tabs on that sort of thing are the least of their worries.

My husband ratted me out to our 4-year-old and told her my actual age. A could of years ago, i asked how old she thought I was, and she told me 22. Last year on my birthday, she said, “you’re 23 now, right?” I didn’t want to discourage her addition skills, so I applauded how smart she was and said that was exactly correct…if I were 22 the year before. What’s a few years, give or take?

Fast -forward to last night, when I was watching A Chipmunk Christmas, the same one from when I was young, and mentioned to said 4-year-old that it was teh same one I watched when I was a little girl. Her response? “Oh, how is it still in color?”

Then she laughed.

Back in the Saddle

It only took about a week, but my internet is now up (hooray! Finally!). Nothing like having my connection down in the midst of trying to get Christmas gifts ordered last minute. Then again, I guess there’s nothing like waiting until the last minute, so… Either way, in the words of Gene Autry, I’m back in the saddle.

On tap for today: Cookies! [Hopefully] lots and lots of cookies. I made a few small batches over the weekend to bring to some distant relatives that I was meeting for the first time, so I made small batches, and they are out of the house. Well, except for a dozen or two I stashed in the freezer. I have a long way to go.

In other news, I’m sitting here and noticed my Christmas cards — also sitting. I still have time for those, right?

A Few of My Favorite Things

My husband went out tonight for neighborhood poker night, so my grand plan was to put the kids to bed, maybe crack open some wine, and watch a movie. Well, the kids are in bed, but the rest did not quite go to plan. But I did catch up on Glee, so I have that going for me.

The rest of my plan will have to be carrie dout another day. I love Christmas, and everything about it, and there is one movie that we happened across the first year we were married — Recipe for the Perfect Christmas.

I try to at least catch some of it each year, and my husband just rolls his eyes. It doesn’t have any great plot, isn’t necessarily Christmas-y, other than the time of yesr in which it is set, and I would most definitley consider it a chick flick. I don’t know that I would watch it, other than Christine Baranski is in it, and I’ve really liked her since she was on that show with Cybill Shepherd about 15 years ago.

Okay, okay…I do like bad movies, so I probably would watch it, anyway.

It’s That Time

Yesterday, we had a marathon stay at a friend’s house which was basically all day.  Besides their regular crazy antics and plain old playtime, the kids cut out and decorated Christmas cookies.

I have not begun to make any of our cookies yet, but that will start probably in the next week or so.  I like ’em fresh for Christmas Day.  the batch from yesterday will be long gone by then, anyway.  But I digress…

The kids had so much fun making the cookies together, and I was stunned how long it kept their interest.  Maybe it’s strength in numbers that kept them all occupied until the frosting was completely gone.  That, and the bags of candy they were using to decorate didn’t hurt either.  Another almost alarming observation?  The older girls did not eat a single cookie until they were all decorated.  Not a one. The boys?  Let’s just say my son had one cookie, beautifully and skillfully decorated with frosting and candies, which the disappeared in rapid succession almost immediately following the last M&M had been placed.  The other little boy didn’t even get that far.  Cookie, meet mouth.

Don’t know if their interest will be held like that when they make presents at my house, but here’s to hoping…

St. Nicholas and Other Things

My eldest is too smart for my own good.  Yes, MY own good.  Last week on the way to school it was, “is Rudolph real?”  I over analyze a lot, and said that, while I’ve never seen him because he leads the sleigh while I’m sleeping, it only makes sense.  Light bulbs haven’t been around forever, so it wasn’t until fairly recently that Santa would have headlights on his sleigh, and before that, what else could he have done in the fog and snow?  Rudolph is the only logical answer.  I asked if she believed he was real, and she just gave a simple, “yes.”  Maybe I should have asked that first. See what I mean about too much info?

She has also been asking from a very early age, what gifts came from whom at random times throughout the year. (When I say “early age,” I mean very early. As in, she’s only 4, and this has been a regular thing for at least two years.) My husbands diverts all questions to me, as I have a mental file that keeps tabs on every detail so all the magic stays intact for as long as possible.

After we left out shoes, said our prayers, and gave goodnight kisses on the eve of the Feast of St. Nicholas, he came after all were alseep, and the filled shoes next to the doors went unnoticed during middle-of-the-night bathroom breaks until not-quite-6am hours of the morning.  The kids were thrilled, to say the least, going through their boots –I was informed that by leaving boots out, they may get more since there is extra capacity. Last year, I was told sandals were the way to go because there are no confines to the space — and then I heard the question:  “Is St. Nicholas Santa Claus?”

In short, a week or two ago I was asked a similar question, and related it to St. Nicholas celebrating his feast day with treats, kind of like when kids bring cupcakes into school, or people celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Then, he’s the guy who celebrates Jesus’ birth in a big way come Christmas.  My son said something almost simultaneously, so I was able to dodge the question on the morning of the 6th. Lucky for me, it hasn’t come back up since.


Weekend Warriors

I love to have a full plate of things to do, especially around the holidays, and this weekend was no different.

We have a local craft store that has ornament making the first weekend of December each year, and I can’t rave enough about how cute the ornaments are, plus that they actually keep.  This year’s options didn’t seem as well thought out as in year’s past, but the results were still super-cute.  More importantly, the kids really look forward to going there to make them, and love every second of it.  Added bonus:  we saw a friend there that we have not been able to get together with in months!

We did end up bumping the ornament-making to Sunday, because we went to our town’s tree-lighting and to dinner at a friend’s house after.  The weather could not have been better, and there were a ton of people there to follow good ol’ St. Nick in his horse-drawn carriage to the site of the tree.  Then to the new park building for cocoa, donuts (which were gone by the time my two-year-old got up there, which was disastrous to him, especially since there was no nap that afternoon.  Which made it disastrous for all of us), Santa (which we skipped because we are seeing him next week, and sometimes there is too much of a good thing, if you know what I mean), and, perhaps best of all, model trains.  I seriously think my son could have watched them for hours.

Fast-forward to Sunday for Church, ornaments, football, dancing, and buying paint (“maybe Home Depot if we have time…”), not to mention a trip to buy a present for the giving tree…whoopsie-daisy on that one.  I forgot they were supposed to be in today, so in the morning, guess what i’m dropping off?

Construction Paper Advent Wreath

Construction Paper Advent Wreath

This year’s version, complete with extra bedazzle…notice how the candle on the left has a “gumdrop hat.” They were also all given one or two polka dots this morning.

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