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Friday, December 26, 2008

12/26/08 It's the Thought that Counts!

My Christmas was great and I hope yours was too (or whatever holiday you’ve been/are celebrating)! Today is our "Jammie Day" playing games and staying in jammies as late as you want. I’ve got so many wonderful new memories and more insights about the role of food in my life, but I thought today I’d share my Christmas Eve. That’s the night we exchanged ornaments with each other. Poor DH! I know he feels such pressure to get just the right ornament for me as he knows what a Christmas nut I am. I think he feels more pressure for this little gift each year than any other and I’ll admit I probably add to that pressure since I am so sentimental about my ornaments and put so much thought into this tradition. It’s the only gift we all exchange on Christmas Eve so all eyes are on the ornaments. I started the exchange by giving out the ones I’ve told you about already (see my 11/19/08 blog “Inspiration in Skinny Photos” here) …the snowglobes with photos and another photo ornament each. They had a laugh over the photos I chose…my DD even noticed that the photo of me was a great one and she commented on how nice I looked (skinny honey, the word is skinny)…and then I gave out several Disneyland Paris ones from our trip in May… I even had Mickey head glass ones that I personalized myself with their names/year and the DLP logo. I also gave DH some wooden German Steinbach ornaments (he grew up on an Army base in Germany so he has a small tree full of them). The kids gave me some beautiful ones they handmade that I’ll treasure. Then I opened mine from DH…it’s PERFECT…it relates to something I collect (old kitchen tools) and I have a little tree that sits on the end of my kitchen counter that it will be perfect on…he told me he spent months on eBay trying to get this one before he finally did.

The only problem? He gave me the same ornament two years ago. No, I didn’t tell him...and I thought I kept a poker face as I thanked him profusely, but he asked if I already had it…I think he guessed when he saw the kid's faces. It’s already hanging at the top of my kitchen tree and the kids see it every day as they sometimes eat at the counter. Poor guy, I felt so bad for him! I kept telling him how perfect it was and how much I appreciated the thought, but I couldn’t console him…I tried reminding him how stressed out we’ve both been and how many things I’ve forgotten lately, but he was sooooo disappointed. I then thought about my “ace in the hole” (my mistake) and was hoping that would make him feel better.

Remember my blog about my DD’s nativity set (see my 12/17/08 blog “I Believe in Santa” here)? Well, what I didn’t tell you then is that baby Jesus was the only thing missing from the set when she received it (who knows why). My Mom had bought her a lovely new replacement Jesus many years ago, but you could instantly tell it didn’t go with the original set (even with the pink light shining on him)…made of different materials and especially the scale. Baby Jesus was just a little bit too large for the rest of the set. This year I made it my mission to find the right replacement. The entire set, or individual pieces rarely comes up on eBay, but I kept my eyes peeled. I watched a few sets go by for over a hundred dollars (remember, this set was an antique). Then I finally found one in really bad shape with the stable and a few broken sheep, but low and behold…a baby Jesus I recognized him instantly from my Mom’s set. I sent emails back and forth with the seller several times making sure he was in good shape and explaining why I was so interested in just the baby Jesus. Well she wouldn’t sell or mail JUST him, fair enough, I’d have to pay for the whole stable, broken sheep and all. I won and paid way more than I wanted to, but I felt I’d never get another chance like this. It arrived and baby Jesus was in great shape. He was still wired down to a bundle of glued together straw under him for his cradle.

So, back to this point in our Christmas Eve…I now suggested we do our annual ceremonial placement of baby Jesus in the manger (see 12/6/08 "Traditions..." blog here). I asked whose turn it was to carry him in (hoping it was my DD), but DS1 said it was his turn, so I showed him where baby Jesus was hidden. We sang ‘Silent Night’ as DS1 placed him and at the end of the song my DD looks at him and says… “Hey, that’s not my baby Jesus?” “I know.” I said smiling. “I wanted to surprise you with the right replacement one and after a year of looking I finally found him on eBay.” Then the laughter begins… “He’s HUGE!” they all shout at once (my DD is crying with laughter at this point). Yep, I had to explain I bought him not even thinking that an antique set might have had different scaled sets so I asked the seller about everything but his size. Baby Jesus is as big as Mary...maybe bigger...he's HUGE! Even DH was laughing now…I hope he sees EVERYONE makes mistakes and it’s really the thought that counts.

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