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Saturday, December 27, 2008

12/27/08 It's a Wonderful Life!

Like I said, Christmas was wonderful…so I’ll warn you what’s to follow is all that “It’s a Wonderful Life” stuff. I’d like to say everyday around here is like that, but you already know it’s not, so I’ll just dwell on this one very special day…actually, it wasn’t even an entire day of bliss as we all didn’t get enough sleep so we were all getting a little crabby by the time we went to bed, but let’s just pretend and say it was a whole wonderful day. We’d stayed up playing board games with the kids until almost midnight on Christmas Eve, so everyone slept in a little (not long enough, like I said). We got started with cutting the stair ribbon and finding the pickle ornament (see blog here). We opened the gifts one by one and took a break midway for breakfast. The kids had fun with our “Thanks for the Memories” gifts and we had a lot of laughs over them (although DS1 guessed he’d be getting a piece of the car). DD got lots of new work clothes, which she loved, since she’s graduating in Spring (and we’re all saying prayers that in this economy she’ll still be able to find her dream job, or at least A job). I spent about 2 weeks on eBay buying new items for her, so I was able to get a lot of great brands (it’s all about the brand names, especially when you’re 21) and stretch the budget. DS1 got a lot of college room gear and PennState apparel (so he can fully participate in the stadium ‘white outs') for his new home next fall; once again “WE ARE…”!! DS2 got some toys, clothes (since he informed us this year he’s tired of only hand-me-downs) and lots of guitar accessories. When they thought it was over and we’d cleaned up, I sent one of the kids to the basement fridge to get some milk. We had each of their big gifts, a Santa gift (like DS2 guitar amp…yes, we’re nuts…it’s SO loud), sitting out unwrapped in the basement that they happened upon as a surprise.

It wasn’t the “stuff” but the special moments I’ll remember most. It’s so nice just celebrating with our family now (we used to always travel to grandparents, which was great fun, but way more stressful for the parents) as you can really savor the experience (One of my neighbors came to borrow an ingredient for baking about mid-day and she looked as frazzled as I used to with her house full of company…she must have said three times how nice it was for me just to be celebrating with my family and how much she wanted to do just that. Poor thing, I gave her an extra hug as she left…I’ve been there). It’s nice to see my teens thanking and hugging each other. The kids really put a lot of thought into their gifts this year and I love to watch their faces as they gave their gifts and watched the person open them. My DD ordered some really unique items online that fit everyone’s interests perfectly. She said there’s online sites where you can put in people’s interests and it brings up gift suggestions from lots of shops. I guess she thinks my hobby is drinking LOL. She ordered a special frame for me that fits rows of wine corks that she glued in to make a cork board (I had a big bowl of them sitting on the bar in the basement…and it was 8 years worth of corks, I swear!).

Dinner was wonderful. Everyone pitched in and we had the whole turkey and stuffing dinner. The kids got into a whole discussion about how nice the dining room is, especially with all the decorations (Who ARE these kids?). I about fell out of my chair…it was enjoyable for me to listen to them go on and on, as we don’t eat in their often, but I really try to make it special at Christmas. My MIL gave me her old Christmas china last year (since I’m such a Christmas nut) and I received some serving pieces this year so it was all laid out on a shiny gold tablecloth. I painted above the wainscoting a deep red and we had the chandelier dimmed and candles going everywhere with gold and red ornaments and glass bead garlands sparkling everywhere. But again, WHO ARE THESE KIDS that they would even notice the dinner, let alone the room their eating it in?

As we finally fell into bed, even DH who isn’t sappy or sentimental in the least, commented on those special moments. Now that our youngest is 13 and officially a teen, I thought some of the ‘kid’ magic would go out of Christmas. But it’s a different kind of Christmas and a different magic now. Each of our ‘teens’ is transforming into their own person, an adult, and it’s a wonderful and magical thing to see that happen.

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