Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas '08

What a day! It has been a long, lazy, very happy Christmas day! In all the 25 years I've lived in Arizona, this is the first one I can remember that even bordered on anything like a white Christmas. A week ago it was white! I had intended to write a little in here about it because it's so very unusual, but I was hit pretty hard with a virus the day it snowed, and it took me a week the get better! I was too icky feeling to even go out in it. That's just not like me! All told we got about 5 inches. It snowed great big flakes from the time I got up that morning till after dark that night, and stayed on the ground for over 24 hours. (Yes, that's a picture of my street in the Mohave Desert, AZ!) As long as I've lived here I can't remember that ever happening. I think it was the record for our area, at least it was for Vegas.

Today, well, we're just wet. It's been gray and dismal, and drizzly and absolutely wonderful all day! I'm so happy! I have been waiting for a Christmas that is something besides sunny and finally, Christmas 2008, I got it. Beautiful! My sweet husband even bundled up and stood outside with me because he knows I love it best when he shares things with me. That nearly made my day, knowing that he could generally care less about the weather, and does NOT like cold, wet weather at all. That was my best gift.

The kids have been having trouble sleeping for a few days now, with the excitement and anticipation and everything. They actually went to bed and went to sleep a little bit easier the last night than they had in several days. I think they simply exhausted themselves! Allen and I got to bed pretty late, though. We were seeing to all the last little things so that when we got up everything would be in order. It was nearly 2:00 am before I got in bed with the lights out. I figured we'd probably sleep in until 8:00 or 9:00 like we usually do.

Surprise! Jonathan set his alarm this morning! He was up before 6:00am! It was not because he was so anxious to get to the gifts, although I'm sure that factored in, but he wanted to have a chance to pray and read his Bible a little bit before all of the gift exchanging began so that he could have a good perspective and a right heart about it. Being the mom I was pretty moved by that.

If that wasn't enough, he decided to empty the dishwasher for me so I wouldn't have to wake up and do it on Christmas. That was sweet! It was the clinking and clanking of the dishes that got the attention of the little brother and the animals, and finally my husband and me. I came stumbling in first, groping for the burner knob to start the coffee pot. My husband was busy getting the camera out and set up. The kids were patient and polite through all of that, so we all got together around the Christmas tree and went about the business at hand.

The kids were thrilled with their gifts. I'd known for a long time what they wanted most, and for the most part I had purchased those things awhile back. Video game paraphernalia, model cars, silly hats, GI Joe's and other things boys like. Of course the teenager had to have an MP3 player. My husband and I don't really exchange too much. We always get each other something "from the boys" and maybe some little something else, partly because the kids would be upset if there weren't gifts under the tree for us, too. I got a nice planner and my annual pair of house slippers and bottle of cologne. My husband got a blue tooth headset for his phone. Not to sentimental, but being a truck driver he really needed a decent, hands-free way to use his phone.

Once we had all the gifts open and the trash and boxes out of the way, I was in the kitchen getting ready to cook breakfast when I heard a strange sound calling me from the back of the house. It was calling to me... calling... calling... The closer I got to the sound the more I realized it was actually my husband's snoring, and making me very aware that the kids were busy with their new stuff, and that I had not really gotten much sleep, and that I could probably sneak in there and join him for a little while. Two hours later I made my way back to the kitchen and fixed hash browns and sausage and eggs for everyone. I don't think the kids ever realized we were gone.

I made fudge, which is becoming a yearly event. This year I messed it up somehow. It's edible, but it's just not quite right. That's kind of a drag, because I made it to give as gifts to my friends. By the time I realized it wasn't the best fudge I'd ever made it was too late to make a different batch. I imagine it'll be eaten. It's the spirit of the gift that matters, and it was a labor of love. I actually took a small box of it over to our neighbors across the street. They have been, let's say, "less than friendly" to us over the years, but every once in awhile I take them some little thing. I took them a pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving. They seemed to appreciate it. They will get back to their old nasty tempered selves soon enough, but just for a moment there we were actually neighbors.

Of course later on in the evening we had our annual nachos and salsa and chips. We always do. I think that tradition got started back years ago when we used to go out Christmas light-looking on Christmas eve. We've had another tradition of letting the kids open stockings on Christmas eve, and I was always trying to make something quick to eat so that we'd have time for both activities, and nachos fit the bill. We stopped going out to look at lights on Christmas eve a long time ago for one reason or another, but somehow the nacho tradition stuck. We have of a lot of little traditions, small and weird they may be. I'm sure all families do. We honored most of them, and we all had a really great time.

This year we bought a card game for the kids called "Apples to Apples". We sat around the kitchen table and played it for hours! It was so much fun! I can't remember having such a good time with all of us around the table just kidding and cutting up. I highly recommend that game to anyone, by the way. We like games okay I guess. We're not real big game players as a rule, but this one was different. It's low stress and not too competitive, full of fun and laughs no matter how old you are. No one threw a fit or got their feelings hurt. No one struggled much with rules or understanding anything. It was just plain and simple fun. Maybe this will be a new tradition.

We're going to go out to the Allen's parent's place tomorrow. His sister and her family are up for a few days, so we're having a the big traditional Christmas dinner out there. That will be nice. We'll get to visit for awhile, and it will make more good Christmas memories for the kids. My husband always says that nothing's quite as over as Christmas, and this will extend it for another day.

I wish it could go on and on. My husband has been home for a few days back to back, which rarely happens, and we've all spent some happy times together. I wish I could have seen my other kids. I talked to my daughters, but I couldn't reach my son. We thought he and his wife would be by today, he said they would, but I guess something came up. Maybe we'll hear from them tomorrow.

Meanwhile, I'm finishing up my cup of holiday tea, and then it's off to bed with me.
Good night, merry Christmas, and God bless you.

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