Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Christmas Came and Went
These last few weeks have seemed a blur. There were so many things I wanted to accomplish, but didn't. I didn't manage to send out a Christmas card (though I haven't given up hope for a possible New Year's card). I didn't get my house as orderly and straight as I had hoped. I didn't bake all the Christmas cookies I wanted to bake. I didn't manage to pick up the desired gift card for my father (had to merely give him cash - which, although I'm sure will work just as well, doesn't feel as generous or nice).
But, I would have to rate this Christmas pretty high. We had a lovely Christmas morning at home as a family. I had two action-packed cleaning and organizing days without the two little ones (every mother needs two days without her small children every now and again). Moreover, we had a wonderfully relaxing and enjoyable visit with my extended family in our home.
When we invited everyone, I wasn't sure how many would be able to attend. My family is fairly spread out, from Florida to Mississippi, to Kentucky, to Illinois, to Wisconsin. Thankfully, many were able to attend (despite long drives for a few). Only my sister and her family missed our gathering.
My youngest brother, Tim, and his family arrived Sunday morning. My parents arrived by dinnertime and my eldest brother, and his family, arrived Sunday night. My ES said, "I couldn't believe you guys stayed up until 12:30 talking." I replied, "That is what my family does when we get together. We sit around and recall various stories from when we were growing up."
It is always interesting to see what others remember. Oftentimes, I remember something that others question or don't remember. However, this year, it was my turn to have my memory jogged. While we were sitting and sharing, my niece, Amelia, got a bloody nose. I remarked that her dad often had nosebleeds when he was younger. He piped up, "Yeah, and surprisingly it didn't help when some unnamed person, out of the blue, hit me in the forehead and said 'Be Healed!'"
I asked who did that and discovered that it was me! No way! Apparently, one day I felt the incredible healing powers surging through me and - quite unexpectedly - decided to cure my younger brother of his nosebleeds. My parents said that particular episode left everyone puzzled and landed my brother, Tim, in the doctor's office with another nosebleed that wouldn't stop. They even thought perhaps that was the time he had to have his nose cauterized. He even remembered some doctor rubbing his hands together (in true Igor fashion) and saying they would be taking him to the "bleeding room." (something about causing him to bleed, so they could determine how long it took for his blood to clot???)
The cousins got along famously. My own boys thoroughly enjoyed having other kids at our home. They are still begging for some of them to come back (yes, YS continues to say "Abby come back now.")
The weather was absolutely perfect. My mother, who lives in Florida, had said she was praying for no snow and temperatures in the sixties. It was definitely in the sixties on Saturday. Sunday and Monday were a bit colder than that, but still warm enough to afford some outdoor play. We enjoyed several long walks on our property and my niece, Kirsten, took many beautiful photos (I'll have to snag some from her to share). It was even warm enough on Monday, for all of us to sit out in the sun room by the big tree to open our presents (by that time there were 24 of us, because my brother Mark's family came for the day on Monday).
I was a bit bummed because this morning, ES and I saw a blue heron down in the creek and all our guests were gone. At least they were able to see six or seven deer back in the woods on our walk Tuesday morning. Plus, the kids noticed several tracks of coyote and deer.
My biggest anxiety centered on food preparation. I'm not very comfortable in the kitchen, but I wanted to provide adequately for all those invited. We ended up having a very successful spaghetti dinner Sunday evening. Monday, at lunch, two of my sister-in-laws brought in lunch meats and chips for a sandwich buffet (they also bought me a pack of Sharpie pens because I complained that my own Santa is just too practical and failed to get me the requested Sharpie pens because "we already have enough pens").
When the final guests left our house on Tuesday afternoon, we were all feeling happy and worn out. We had a splendid visit. We had a bounty of food to share. The cousins all had a good time playing together (I must say the Magnatiles were the biggest hit - especially since we received another 100 piece set for Christmas, which broadened the horizons of building possibilities). Everyone seemed to love viewing our home and property. I feel deeply blessed, indeed!