Friday, January 2, 2009

Remembering Christmas 2008

Christmas is truly magical—the season sweeps you off your feet, out of your routine and into an energy all its own. I love it and am sad to see it go. The most obvious evidence of it being over at my house is, of course, all the decorations are gone. And you KNOW Christmas is over when you have a small rubber turtle soaking in your tub evidently growing to forty times its size in just 3 days. When else does that happen? However, I do love new beginnings, a clean, crisp calendar, and a home without miniscule slithers of garland in the most unusual places. So before actually hanging my new calendar for 2009, this is what I want to remember about our last magical month of 2008. The season was short, but my list is LONG. Very very long. If nothing else, enjoy the pictures!

First, let me say that this will be the Christmas always known as the one that Jeff downloaded all of our Christmas music on to the Ipod. So frivolous, I know, but can I still hear a really loud cheer?? Hallelujah is completely appropriate, I think. Music is such an integral part of our Christmas, so when I realized on Thanksgiving night that our main CD player wasn’t working, we had a crisis on our hands. After downloading everything from Bing to American Idol hopefuls, he could do no wrong the entire month of December.
I am so thankful for Jeff’s enthusiasm for Christmas and our celebration. He was a light/electrical genius making it possible to get one more year out of our very old and wonderful tree. We spent most nights at home by the fire, whether it was cold or not, shopping on the internet, and sipping coffee while watching/listening to a made-for-TV Christmas movie (his tolerance is endearing, however we did find two good ones).
I found Brighton’s decorating meter to be more active than anyone else’s. He was most helpful and his normal expression of being excited out of his mind (verbiage,verbiage, verbiage) was in full force the entire time. Juila really wanted to be helpful but I lost her as soon as I brought out the Christmas books.
Okay, my list:
- Finding out Christmas morning that Brighton’s big present needed to be charged 8 hours before it could be used
- Jeff’s making his new turkey syringe a multifunctional tool
- First Christmas we didn’t have to wake them up to come and see their presents
- How a watch on their wrists made them both look strangely older
- Blake’s breakfast/dinner table napkin antics
- Madly texting teenagers- omgsh!
- Sweet “lump in your throat” words from Daddy before eating Christmas dinner
- RJ reading the Christmas story
- Belgium-made Browning from grandfather to grandson
- Chocolate covered strawberry crème Santas (ick) before 9am—compliments of Papaw
- Mom quietly enduring the effects of chemo and somehow not missing a beat of Christmas (You are amazing, Mom. Really. Thank you.)
- Finding out about a first date and then becoming Sherlock to find out all I could about the one taken out (all really good, by the way)
- Experiencing Wii-itis
- Daddy texting his employees “Merry Christmas” first thing Christmas morning and then Mom texting him from the next room because he couldn’t hear/wouldn’t answer her (Who will ever know?)
- Communion cup accident for the first time in 26 years
- Finding Daddy’s WELL hidden stash of Martha Washington balls and buckeyes
- Looking at my nephew and niece not believing how much they have grown and, despite their Daddy, how handsome and beautiful they have become
- Third generation “Rock ‘em Sock’em” toy
- In the midst of all the Christmas plunder, watching my kids fall into default mode with blocks and books
- Grazing the back counter of the pharmacy—enjoying the bounty of the generous bakers of Soperton
- Amy Grant’s “Jingle Bells” on her new Christmas album- an instant favorite for the kids
- Losing kids to Meema and Doodle’s toy filled basement for 3 days—only to come up to eat and open presents (or to get a band-aid)
- Meema’s 2nd and 3rd choices for Christmas presents “in the back”- she aims to please
- Cousins trying to wash off freckles with room spray—causing an in-house eye emergency (Where are you, Kevin, when we need you??)
- “Spend the nights” with cousins and movies on the turquoise couch
- Corralling, finding, separating three girls' FOUR American Girl Dolls' clothes and accessories
- Doodle-made canopy beds for certain 18” dolls
- Missing one family member terribly and Jeff’s brother’s prayer that sent us all for Kleenexes
- Meema and Doodle’s forbearance with a completely trashed house which is immaculate upon our arrival
- Cousins who are friends making their own private dining room
- Aerobic workout disguised as a children’s game—Hyper Dash—You have to get it!!
- Needing more AA batteries than ever before

What I will remember about Julia:
Her appreciating traditions, “We do that every year!!” having only done it once--- LAST year, hearing her sing songs from White Christmas “Lord , help the mister…………”, telling babysitters our family history by explaining all of our ornaments, learning what her favorite Christmas songs were, her incessant questions while we watched the movie “The Nativity Story”, her learning to make paper snowflakes, the writing of her first Christmas list and her delight in her new found purpose for the Christmas tree skirt
(She and her cousins did this when we visited in November. They had circulars!)
What I will remember about Brighton:
spotting the nativity in the Christmas boxes and asking, “When are we going to do ‘away in a manger’?”, being able to “rock around the Christmas tree” with us without running off crying (we like Brenda Lee really loud), not forgetting the “caution” ornament complete with orange blinking light that he bought at a garage sale 3 MONTHS before, his reaction to most gifts, “You are KIDDING me!!” and my favorite, “I have been waiting for this my whole life!!”, his affinity for building leading to big opinions about the design of our gingerbread house, his singing Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree one morning from his bed, wishing Jesus a “Happy Birthday” every time he prayed but also praying, even though he knows all about "Santa", to keep Santa safe as he came down the chimney with his umbrella (this due to the Mary Poppins CD’s in Julia’s room), his being convinced he was seeing the “Bethlehem Star” on our road trip and begging us to make the detour, “Can we go there?”, after bedtime one night calling us to his room because “our” Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree was on his radio- “not the ‘boy one’ (MercyMe), not Amy Grant but Brenda Lee!”, his excitement over the wooden car and trailer Doodle whipped up in his shop a few minutes before we left, his new nicknames for his grandmothers, “Sugar Meema” and “Sugar Nanna”, and last but not least “Orbit Head” (for another time)

Okay, if anybody is still reading, I actually saved the best for last. I know I said this would be the year we would remember that we got the music on the Ipod, but actually there is one more thing for which this Christmas will be forever imprinted on my memory. I spanked my brother’s fanny in Wii bowling—in his own home, on his own game!! With BOTH of his family’s watching! Spanked, spanked, spanked. I nearly tripled his score. Not just spanked but 3 times spanked.
It pained me, Blake. It really did. The shame on RJ and Hunter’s face made my heart ache but they seemed to shake it off pretty easily. You practice up for the year and I will give you another chance next Christmas. Can you say "V"?

Brighton trying to make his ball go "right".

B took it seriously. Wonder why?
Makes you wonder lots of things, doesn't it?
(Also, only a son-in-law can get away with that.)


Alyssa said...

I loved every word and picture! Sounds like a Christmas to remember! I'm so glad your mother had the stamina to be part of so many wonderful moments.

Anonymous said...

Bowling with a pulled hamstring and a strained groin. Injury has been terrible but I'm glad you enjoyed your success. Maybe after my broken ribs heal we can bowl again. Those are not excuses though. squeeze em, see ya soon bsd

Sarah said...

loved reading these sweet memories

Raechelle Ivy said...

Sounds perfect!!!
Holden got a new game for the Wii that is SOOOO fun! Tell your brother to get "Rayman Raving Rabbids TV Party!!!"

TJ Wilson said...

who said you were competitive??!
perhaps the funniest is Brighton's 8-hr charged gift...
nah, the bowling photos win!
and J reading her book.
can just picture the pharmacy back counter... hope to see it in person someday.

Beth said...

Loved, loved, loved reading this post, especially your specific memories about Julia and Brighton. Some favorites: Julia's singing references to White Christmas; her four new American Girl dolls (yippee!);her Santa list; the picture of her engrossed in her book (a girl after her momma's own heart!). . and favorites of Brighton: his endearing exclamations that show his sweet, sweet personality; singing "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree"; "seeing" the Bethlehem Star. . .and last but not least I loved your pictures and description of your thorough and complete victory over your brother in Wii bowling. Very nice indeed from one sister to another.

Krista said...

Let me say I am shocked this hand full of you actually made it to the end!! Patience and endurance, you girls have.
First thing is-- Julia has 2 dolls, so the "4" comes from her cousins.
"Anony"- Your excuses are pitiful. Pi-ti-ful.
And, yes, Beth, victory is sweet- especially with an out of his mind competitive brother

Dondra said...

What a great post! It makes me wish I could have been a fly on the wall when you beat Blake so bad! :) Enjoyed it!