And the fire is so delightful.....
I love Christmas music, but man can they do a number on me. There are a few of them that always make me cry. Plus there are the ones that instantly shoot me to a specific place and time, and there are others that just need to be sung along with! I played all sorts of Christmas music over my projector system at school (thank you Pandora) which was met with a lot of yays this week and I suspect a lot of eye rolls, too. It was nice and festive and it actually soothes the savage HS beasties. The elementary school is quite the other story. NOTHING soothes those kids..... NOTHING!! They are pretty darn cute tho, those noisy little demons.
I feel like a gigantic weight has been lifted from my shoulders. School is on a 12 day hiatus and all my kids have arrived in spite of some dicey weather. I have to go to the grocery store (again) but really I am pretty much ready for "Christmas". Our Christmas will be today! And what a wonderful thing that should be. Now, I have to say that this will make me feel really funny on Christmas Day when no one is here, but I shall survive and go snow shoeing or something. This just needs to be done.
The Mad oldest son and family arrived at 12:15 last night after a somewhat stressful drive on marginally slick roads most of the way. It was discussed to wait until this morning to come, but they pressed on. The roads, once you get off the freeway system, (which is a long way from here, let me tell you) are indeed only driveable at 45 mph. We have had some wicked winter weather. A compilation of wicked, not one nasty storm. And seriously, like I mentioned on my facebook page, Santa, we are not joking. We would LOVE to be able to drive the speed limit at some point before May. This is beginning to be scarily unlikely!! Oh well. Anywho, My bella Ella is here, along with all those doggies and boysies and their girlsies and it is fab-you-lus.
We even had an elusive Michael visit last night, for dinner, which is always nice. The mad-middle son and Sarah Jane had dinner ready (well almost ready) for me last night when I got home. EARLY! Because we were allowed to duck out of work a bit early (YAY) and I got me to the store to pick up a couple things (including a lil gift for the baby bean) and they had even fed the horse! Already that was a Merry Christmas! So while we were waiting for the last of the visitors, we played a hot game or three of cribbage. In partners. And guess who I was partnered with- and I didn't even have to yell at him all that much for doing a bone head thing- well only once when he pointed a possible run of 4 out during the play. Geez. He just doesn't understand sometimes that this cribbage game is serious stuff. One just does not instruct one's daughterinlaw how to get an extra 4 pegs during game play!! Lol! Now if we were playing Monopoly the MA would be all business and would own the entire board before I could come back from getting a bag of giant cashews to be snacking on!!
I totally was channeling my dad during those games. He was the one who taught me to play cribbage when I was about 10 years old. He wanted to teach us a game where at least you learn something. Like your math facts- I can spot a combination of cards to add up to 15 like nobody's business! :) Anyway, even though I haven't played for a long time, I find these things are embedded in my brain and the fact that a double run of 4 is worth 10 points come spilling out of my mouth before I know where it came from. It was such a nice way to think of my Dad. He loved Christmas, when he wasn't depressed, loved Christmas lights, and the tree and when we got older he bought a TON of presents for my mom. I usually ended up wrapping them for him. My dad ALWAYS put the lights on the tree. Well, maybe not always, but I remember him doing it a lot. The first year he started buying presents in earnest for my mom, he took my sister and me with him to the Beloit mall. We went to whatever the anchor store was- Weise's I think, and he bought her a bunch of clothes and perfume and jewelry and such. THEN he took us to Walgreens and we had an actual old fashioned chocolate soda. My sister might have had strawberry, I don't remember exactly. It was not a Shake or malted but a soda- with the ice cream and a carbonated soda. We made up a song for it, I wish I could sing it to you. "I like the ice-cream, the whipped cream, the sooooooda, but I don't like the foam!" Rosebud I know you are reading this, I know you remember that- right? My dad in a mall, plus buying stuff, plus going to Walgreens- so unusual, you have no idea. VERY memorable. Anyway, that was part of my journey last night.
Although I am still slightly worried that someone didn't get an equal amount of presents, I am ready for this event. I definitely have come to the conclusion that it is the things that surround the presents that are far more important that the actual gifts. The traditions that can occur on the 25th or on the 21st and the family, the friends and the feeling that surrounds you are far more important. So I will let that whole equality thing go. We were as children treated very "equal". The girls and the boys all did all the chores. The outside stuff was not for the boys and the inside stuff was not for the girls. We all took turns with the dishes, with the cleaning, and all participated in the yard work and the garden. And they were pretty strict about trying to give everyone equal amounts of gifts. I bet there was some addition going on and everything. (my little secret: I never add the money I spend up. I just don't want to know. But I am pretty sure it is equitable, but that is where the worry will come in). I unfortunately have some left over hangups with gifts that still haunt me. Childhood can unintentionally screw with your mind. But it is good to recognize these things and move on with it. And I will have you know, my boys can cook and clean and do laundry and garden and such like champs, too. They weren't always happy to be forced to do it, but I think that they are glad they have that knowledge to be put to good use now!
I MUST get outside for a walk today. MUST. I can feel a few pounds on my tummy. I do not like it. While I am no longer obsessing about what my weight is, I can tell from my littlest jeans that the lack of consistent walking has taken its toll and I will be very active the next 12 days. But not so active that I miss much that goes on when the kids are here!
So as my brain sings Baby, It's cold outside to me, I am going to get going here. I am looking forward to the day's events and am wishing you all a very Happy Saturday. And if you are celebrating today, then Merry Christmas! Be sure to find some joy and peace in the people that love you now and maybe some great memories of Christmases gone by. Sending you all virtual hugs and internet smooches!