Sunday, December 28, 2008
at 7:21 AM
We had a great Christmas that stretched from two days before Christmas to just couple of hours ago. And though it was wonderful, I am glad it's winding down because I am exhausted. But as Joey reminded me, there are only 362 days before the next one. Yikes! Here are some highlights: Ed's younger son Joey arrived from Wilmington, NC on Tuesday night. It was great to see him for the first time since September. Christmas Eve, we met John and the grandkids for an early church service. The kids and John headed home to be nestled in their beds and we were back at the house by about 8:00. Ed had to work Christmas Day so Joe, Ed and I opened gifts on Christmas Eve. I got to chat on the phone with Doug and Bill and Becky that night, too, so I felt like I had my side of the family around me that night, as well. Ed and I didn't really give each other a list this year. One of the gifts I gave Ed was a CD changer for our Bose Wave. And Ed gave me a CD changer for our Bose Wave! I guess great minds think alike. We got wonderful gifts from family and friends and it was nice to have quiet "adult" time to open and enjoy them. Becky gave me "Bulb of the Month Club" which came about 10 days before Christmas. And on Christmas Day, which was a balmy 70 degrees here, the first bulbs began to bloom. Christmas Morning Ed left for work and Joey went over to John's. I had the house to myself to prepare dinner and get ready for the arrival of the kids that afternoon. Once more I got to talk to most of my family and that was really nice. And Doug even opened the presents we gave him while I was on the phone with him. I was rested and ready when everyone converged on the house late in the afternoon. Arabella came in appropriately attired carrying a sackful of gifts. She unloaded her bag and Ed was in charge of handing out the gifts, which all came out fast and furiously in a chaotic manner, unfamiliar to me.
Eatons don't subscribe to the controlled, painfully slow, process that we knew as kids in the Hall family. In my house Dad handed out one gift at a time and we all watched as each one was unwrapped, again, one at a time. It took forever. But then, all the while he had been piling up all of his gifts and at the end we all had to watch him open each one, tortuously slowly, removing one piece of tape at a time, folding the paper and so on and so forth, as we groaned and complained. It seemed an eternity of ties and golf gifts before we could leave the scene and play with our new toys. But we came to expect it and would have found it disappointing if he had skipped the whole process one year and just rushed through it all. So, it was a hectic evening with dinner and presents. The kids liked their gifts, although Zeppelin may have felt that he got a few too many clothes this year. It was so late by the time all the gifts were opened that our 2nd annual "Count the Santa Claus" competition had to be postponed until Saturday, when Bob and Susan, Ed's brother and sister-in-law, would be there. Ed took Friday off and a good part of the day was spent at the mall returning things that didn't fit. What a madhouse that was! Bob and Susan arrived from Louisville later that night and Joey got to visit with them a little before retiring for a few hours sleep before his 4 AM departure time Saturday morning. The old folks stayed up to nearly 11:00 that night, I think! Saturday morning, Ed and Bob went golfing. Susan and I lazily chatted over coffee and then we went to the golf course and walked the last few holes with the boys. The womenfolk went back to the house to get ready for our afternoon dinner with the kids and Bob and Ed went shopping, if you can believe that. They were gone about 2 hours like a couple of women cruising the after-Christmas specials.
Soon, John and the kids arrived and we had a nice dinner and they opened the presents that Bob and Susan brought for them.
We had our "Count the Clauses" game like we did last year.
But this was something new for Bob and Susan. And they ran around scouting out the Santas before the children arrived. I had made up personalized tally sheets with a picture of each child on their particular sheet but Bob got so into it that I had to make up a sheet for him with his picture on the top so he could do the count with the other kids. He was so excited about the impending contest that he bought a new Santa on their shopping trip and took special care in placing it on the back of the bathroom door.
Of course this gave him an advantage, not to mention that he had cased the joint out earlier. The object is to count the Santas in each room listed and put that number down on the tally sheet next to the appropriate room. Then they have to come up with the correct total number of Santas all over the house.
Arabella and Zeppelin and Bob set out on their own.
Susan helped Indigo, but she wanted to play with each Santa they found so she didn't quite get the idea of counting them. Bob kept challenging the judge on what really qualified as a Santa, i.e., nothing on the tree or any of the Christmas cards we had displayed.
He made a big stink about not wanting to count a stuffed bear dressed as Santa, but the rules state that if it has a hat and a beard, it qualified as a Santa and, of course, the judge prevailed. For extra points they had to tell me where the smallest Santa was and which one was in the highest spot. John, who wasn't playing but was kibbutzing, challenged that one, but the measuring tape proved that the judge was correct.
He lost the challenge, too. It was a lot of fun and while Bob spent a lot of time asking questions, the kids just kept on counting until we had a winner. For the second year running, Arabella won. Zeppelin came in 2nd, Indigo and Susan came in 3rd.
Their count wasn't very close but because they drew a picture of Santa on the back of the page, we gave them extra points. All of the kids got prizes... Except for Bob. I think he challenged the judge one time too many! By the way, the total number of Santas was 59!
Then we all had pie and dessert and played a game we gave to Arabella for Christmas called 'Left Center Right'. That was fun until Arabella and Indigo got a little bored and ended up under the table between turns.
So, it was time to leave and they packed things up. Zeppelin tried hard but wasn't totally successful in avoiding the mistletoe that was strategically placed by the front door.
And the girls kept standing under it then running away.
With all that commotion at the door, the curtain was pulled down and as dear old Grandma tried to fix it while still under the mistletoe, Bob, not Grampa, came over and put a liplock on me that I was not expecting! Maybe if he had done that before the Santa count he might have gotten a prize, too!
John and the grandkids finally made it out the door about 7:30 last night. The grownups cleaned up and then sat down for a few minutes staring at some TV show; what it was, I don't remember. We were exhausted and we all hit the hay by 8:30!
This morning, Ed went off to work. Bob and Susan left right after he did, giving me a chance to reflect and write this blog. The Eaton clan made it a special time and lots of fun for me in spite of the fact that I missed my family, and especially my kids, something awful. And I love them for that. I hope all of you had some wonderful moments this Christmas, too. You all deserve it! Have a Happy New Year everyone! And do your rabbits next Thursday! Love, Suz
Monday, December 01, 2008
at 12:01 AM
I want to know, did you all remember
To say your rabbits, this first of December?
Say rabbit three times, or at least say a couple,
First thing in the morning when you wake up, you'll
Have great, good luck all the month through
I hope you remembered, really I do!
"How did it get so late so soon?
It's night before it's afternoon.
December is here before it's June.
My goodness how the time has flewn.
How did it get so late so soon?"
"I heard a bird sing
In the dark of December
A magical thing
And sweet to remember.
'We are nearer to Spring
'We are nearer to Spring
Than we were in September,
'I heard a bird sing
In the dark of December."
- Oliver Herford
"God gave us memory so that we might have roses in December. "
James M. Barrie
Happy December Everyone!