I'm giving myself a Christmas gift. I'm going to blog and munch on chocolate m&ms from my stocking plunder instead of continue the plethora of jobs still undone from Christmas carnage. I realized over the past two days how much Buck and I have shared in the work behind the celebration before. He's out of pocket this year. He's been home just long enough to tie up a few loose ends, assemble a dollhouse, sleep and partake in the early morning Christmas traditions of our family. He's since showered and scurried back to work before I could say, "Baby in a manger". Please tell me how many airplanes need him like I do on Christmas day?
Okay, so I've cooked and cleaned up from a delightful homemade cinnamon roll breakfast dripping with brown sugary goo and a classic orange lunch of from scratch macaroni and cheese (Grandma Eadie would be proud),clementines, and hoagies. I've got to consider timing on cooking the extravagant holiday dinner. I warned my mom, who is traveling to see us tonight, that the only possibility for food between Cincinnati and Loudon are greasy eggs and bacon from Waffle House or chips at the gas stations. I know so from previous experience where I believed my family could lunch on the way one cold December 25th long ago. I'm excited to make a feast for her this time. I can only appreciate fully now the work she put into each holiday dinner, and it's definitely her turn to be a guest.
After family rituals this morning, with my children's help, we separated mountains of paper/cardboard trash from plastic, and I burned the remains of packaging from a splendid and generous gift exchange. We cleaned out the van a bit, so if my mom wants to ride with us anywhere, I'm not completely embarrassed from the JUNK piled on the floor the children step on and over to reach their van seats. I'm doing laundry, because I always do. We've vacuumed after the initial hand sweep of the living room for plastic ties securing toys forever in place, plastic tags, plastic inserts, unidentifiable plastic this and that. I do not feel like a proud earth mother today. In fact, I never cease to be amazed and am a tad bit ashamed at the overabundance of simply everything we have- food,possessions, clothes, toys, technology, sweets, twaddle. It becomes most obvious in the trash. Sigh. As Scarlet O'Hara would say, "I'll think about that another day."
I loved it when Buck, just after presents were opened, proclaimed to the children as Santa did to the children in the film Narnia: Lion, With and the Wardrobe, "These are tools, not toys" and Buck added, "Treat them well."
Last night, I had the assignment of donning everyone in fancy Christmas Eve Candlelight service clothes by myself. Remember, how important Buck's job is as an air traffic controller on a evening when next to noone is flying? Tator didn't put on a any shirt literally until we were pulling out of the garage, because he detests all the fancy clothes in nice rows in his closet. "Mom, all those brightly colored stripey shirts look dumb to me. I hate wearing that stuff." He's much more comfortable with a Georgia Bulldogs (traitor!) t-shirt than a button down. Pooh Bear put on tights with holes, and I didn't notice till Tator pointed it out while I was driving down the road far from hope to change them. She also promptly pulled out her neatly groomed red, green, and gold hairbow the moment our bottoms sat in chairs for carols at church leaving her hair even more disheveled than usual. It was so crowded, we couldn't find five seats together so Pooh Bear and I sat in seats directly in front of my three boys. Believe it or not, my boys are angelic gentlemen to be commended during normal church, but I did mention earlier this was a candelight service, didn't I? The band played the longest and most rockin' version ever in the history of the world of "Go Tell it on the Mountain" with flickering lit candles in the curious hands of my three intrigued-by-open-flames-and-burning-hot-wax boys behind me. This "in front" position hindered my supervision of the three precarious fire hazards significantly. I grimaced as I turned backwards to find two of mine eating melted wax from the tips of their fingers. Just before the end of service and the lengthy spiritual song, I found myself holding all 5 blown out white wax and wick stubs with waxy covered paper circle hand protectors. Next year I'll know better to arrive early and sit where I'll have a bird's eye view of any delinquent candle activity.
I get a little sad lump in my throat on Christmas Eve these days remembering how the church I attended before I moved three years always asked me to be a part of the service in dance. The only people allowed to dance at our current church are true blue dancers in advanced ballet training, and these young ladies are a beautiful sight to behold indeed. If I counted correctly, I believe one gracefully pirouetted ten times around without pause at the climax of the song. I've personally met two of the other dancers (it's a big church), and their tender hearts as a gorgeous as their dance.
During church, my boys especially enjoyed the roving Christmas cam in beginning of the service. Every year, Pastor Bart takes a camera into the audience and questions a few children about their past favorite gifts, and what they want for Christmas this year. The crowd howled when an innocent, petite, dark eyed, ebony haired five year old squeaked in her best precious little girl voice, "I want a Darth Vader voice changer for Christmas". Bart doesn't know this, but Bart always chooses Wise One to interview, I suppose because my son is so very cute. Which is really too bad, because Wise One never receives the gifts he asks for in the service. I wish they'd pick normal families to interview who actually allow their children to write lists. I put a stop to the Christmas "greedy gimmes" years ago, and told my family I will buy or make gifts for them from my heart, not from a list. My boy told the camera and crowd last night he wanted a Star Wars Clone ship of some kind, and last year a Unicron which he'll never get but will never miss either. He couldn't come up with a quick answer to "What was the favorite gift you've ever received?" for the camera, but afterwards he told the family his favorite present ever has been his sister! Wise One is such a dear.
This afternoon, my boys all have their shiny new mp3 players stuck in their ears, except for Tator blasting the same rap song "Oopsy Daisy" his new Toby Mac CD in the living room. As they jam to tunes, they assemble new lego and mech sets. Peace is taking pics with his new camera of scenes he has arranged with his figures. I promised I'd help him set up a photo blog if he'd like. Pooh Bear goes from her new horses and dolls to her new pixter. She's gnawing on pink bubblegum from her stocking.
Now, back to my chores and Christmas joy. I do hope your holy day is most blessed. God bless us everyone.
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