Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Count Down to Christmas!

"Christmas is for children. But it is for grownups too. Even if it is a headache, a chore, and nightmare, it is a period of necessary defrosting of chill and hide-bound hearts."
- Lenora Mattingly Weber

"For many of us, sadly, the spirit of Christmas is "hurry". And yet, eventually, the hour comes when the rushing ends and the race against the calendar mercifully comes to a close. It is only now perhaps that we truly recognize the spirit of Christmas. It is not a matter of days or weeks, but of centuries - nearly twenty of them now since that holy night in Bethlehem. Regarded in this manner, the pre - Christmas rush may do us greater service than we realize. With all its temporal confusion, it may just help us to see that by contrast, Christmas itself is eternal."
- Burton Hills

"Oh, for the good old days when people would stop Christmas shopping when they ran out of money." - Author Unknown

Have you hung your stockings and decorated your tree? Does your yard glitter and flash as if a circus is coming to town? Have you shopped till you couldn't stand or maybe until you spent money you didn't have? Do you have your menu planned and the food all bought? Are you ready for Christmas? Are you counting down the days?

I'm not. I do have a tree and I do have a load of gifts under it. I haven't hung any stockings this year. I don't have anything glittery or flashing in my yard. I have a few snowmen and Santa's sitting around inside waiting with me for the final day to come. They are sitting stony faced and silent. I think if they could speak they would join me in saying BAH HUMBUG!

I used to love Christmas. Daddy would put up the silver tree, with it's blue balls and color wheel,
in front of the picture window. Mama would let all of us go into her special living room that night and we'd curl up on her white couch and become entranced by the wonder of Christmas. I remember a certain Christmas when Mary- ( she will say it wasn't her!)- convinced all the rest of us to join her in a quest to catch Santa in the act. We all snuck into the living room and slept on the floor around the tree. It was a bad plan!

We were going to kill her the next morning when we got up to NO CHRISTMAS GIFTS! Lucky for her Daddy came in while Jimmy and Frank had gone after their knives. He called a family meeting right then and told us to all get dressed and come to the dining room in five minutes. We still planned to kill her, but first we had to go for a "family meeting", even more reason for her to get a whipping from the rest of us.

Filing into the dining room we went straight to our own chairs and sat down. I had spotted two bicycles and a Cassette player on my way in but I knew better than to mention them. I hurried to my chair and tried not to grin. Lots of other stuff was scattered around in the Dining room but we were in trouble. Daddy had called a family meeting. Finally Mama and Daddy came in and Mama stuck Martha in her high chair and then sat down herself. Daddy asked us why we had slept under the tree. Mary of course denied that SHE had anything to do with it. Daddy fussed a little bit but not too much and Mama Just sat there grinning at us as if she had known all along we were sleeping under the tree. Finally Daddy said we could check around the dining room and see if by any slim chance Santa had left us anything in there since he couldn't find room under the tree for all of our bodies in the way.

I knew the Bike's weren't mine. They were too small. There was a tiny pink one for Martha. The other one was also small and green. Reuben got that one. Cassette players went to Frank and Jimmy as well as big jugs of BBs and new pocket knives. Trudy got a typewriter and a slew of paper. A new plaid jumper (dress) and a Purse. Mary got a stereo, some low rider jeans and a vest. She and I both got some bodysuits. We also got coats. Mine was orange and hers was beige. I really got a pretty good haul that year. I got two Dolls. A big baby doll and though I asked for a Ken doll, Daddy had decided that I didn't need a man doll. Instead he bought me a Ricky doll. Ken's little brother and no threat to my female dolls.! ( I wish I had a Ricky doll now!! Anyone who reads this and has one send him on to me!)

We all always got pajama's from Grandma Morris and chocolate covered cherries from Aunt Lucy's family. We got fireworks from Uncle Oneal's family. A paper sack with fire crackers and chasers and sparklers for the younger of us. The older ones got Roman candles and Bottle rockets in their sacks and the boys also got cherry bombs. We did have stockings hung but they weren't filled. Our stocking stuff was all in a paper lunch bag. We had a banana and orange and nuts. We had an apple and candy and sometimes we'd have a special surprise hidden in there too.

Christmas was so simple back then. I used to love it so much. Then I grew up and married and had children. Then divorced and Married again and had step-children as well. Can you see me giving my children only two or three gifts? Or giving them things they really needed like a coat of pajamas? I would be scared they would revolt and choke Dave and I while we slept. Actually they have had some pretty slim Christmases. I can't blame them. I'm not really sure when I started being such a scrooge. I could blame a number of things. I think mostly though that It has become such a hassle to shop for everyone and a worry that they want like what ever you buy. Plus we always had to share children with the other parent on Christmas. Most of our day was spent delivering children to other places. I absolutely hated that! I hated that the children had to open their gifts and then leave their stuff here and go spend the day somewhere else.

For Dave and I this will be a simple Christmas year. We have no children at home this year. They all grew up and left us. We have discussed what we might cook for Christmas dinner. We have invitations to eat with other people. We might do that. We might cook soup and grill us a cheese sandwich. We will have some guests that day. Jenny and David will come by and get their gifts and most likely eat a light lunch here on their way to their Uncle's house across town.
Emily will come by with Luke and his two daughters at some point on Christmas day to get her gifts and theirs. They might eat a bite or two if they make it here before they have eaten everywhere else. Cooper left today headed for New Mexico to see his beloved for Christmas. Anthony will be flying in on Friday to get Mason and take him to New Mexico for Christmas.

Hey wait!! I can cook what ever I want? I can sleep late that morning if I want too? I can let each person open their gifts as they come in without trying to get them to all sit down and open them one at the time? This might have possibilities! I might even learn to like this new way of Christmas for me and Dave. We could go fishing! WE could visit friends! We could even eat at the Chinese place!! We could stay in bed and watch movies! The list is endless! It might take us a few years to do all the things we could do. I take back my Bah Humbug! I think I even see a smile on the stony faced Santa's around this house! I Almost LOVE Christmas again! Just wait till I tell Dave we are going fishing on Christmas! Have a wonderful day!!


Big Time said...

Can I go fishing with you? I am planning on coming to mama's and we might get up and make the rounds and visit all my brothers and sisters that day. If somebody isn't at home we will move on to the next one. We won't be looking for gifts just a hug?

I love you Patsy. Reuben.

Merry Christmas!

clare_stjohns said...

Hey Patsy, ya'll can come to Hilton Head with us! or to visit us!

We decided make the best of Christmas any way we can do it; last year we weren't all together but this year we are going to be at HH with Becki and Corey.

Merry Christmas! Camella

Sunshine said...

Merry Christmas! Enjoy your day no matter how you spend it.

Pblacksaw said...

Clare-stjohns~ I hope yall have a great time of fun and fellowship. Be careful drive safe. Merry Christams to all of yall!

Bigtime~ something might could be arranged for late in the afternoon..maybe after yall have visited with every one and Mama has gone home to rest. Mr Griner has some big bass in his pond! We will be home all day cause who knows when which child will come in or out? Yall will have a good time moving from house to house. Yall will be all hugged out! I love you!

Sunshine~ Welcome back I was worried about you. I thought you forgot us .. I hope you have a wondeful Christmas.