Since I'm up at the crack of 'lunar eclipse' this morning, I'm sending out 'HAPPY HOLIDAYS!' to you a little early as it's going to be a hectic few days before Christmas and I'm not sure I'll be back here. First, a few updates, and then (you can skip down) an uplifting Christmas Story.
The weekend was crazy busy; got DS1 home and his gigantic pile of laundry done. Shopped both days, mainly for DD's new apartment (FYI- There's a buttload of ugly bedding out there peeps!).
Yesterday was another blur; first we had the specialist visit for DS1 (thanks for all your prayers and good vibes); two tests to schedule, and it was wonderful for all of us to hear that the future prognosis, even though the testing may likely show issues, is good and that there is a lot they can do to help. An unexpected silver lining as well (or at least that's how I see it); they found a problem (unrelated, just something he was born with) that had a good probability of adding to the issues in the future, which will require minor surgery to solve (we'll probably schedule this summer).
I took DS1 to the Dentist in the afternoon and then we were off back downtown in the evening to see DD's apartment and to measure it. The apartment location wasn't as bad as I was expecting...just a short walk to a main street of shops, restaurants, and bars, so a good location for two young gals. The apartment was bigger than I expected, had a lot of character (some brick walls, beams, cathedral ceilings, etc.), and needs some work (I'll need to get some of those shrink wraps for the single paned windows, and maybe a stick in each as they don't look very secure...glad they're not on the first floor!).
OK, on to the feel-good Christmas Story...
I've received two Christmas Miracles this year. First (and I'll have to remember to delete this soon to protect the guilty)...I got 'the call' from Mom, but with a new twist this year...instead of the usual "She's done it again!", I got "It's a Christmas Miracle! I got the card from your in-laws and you actually look great!" If you haven't been following, I swear my MIL picks the worst possible pic of me (with our family) she can find every year...and it's gotten worse the fatter I became (and NO, I'm not saying that because I hated all my pics when I was fat, trust me, she takes a million pics of our family 'for the Christmas Card' every year and I know for a fact there were better ones...Now tell me why, now that I'm skinny, they (a nurse and doctor) finally put in a better pic of me than the kids?...You knew there was going to be an weighty lesson in here somewhere!). It's gotten to the point that my Mom (who never says a bad word about anyone) was calling me yearly in disbelief that she couldn't find a better pic, and to laugh with me about it.
So come with me for a short walk through history and a laugh...Some of my favorites:
2003...you couldn't have picked one where I wasn't talking (probably telling the kids to smile...while I'm not)?
2004...I swear I had no armpit hair sticking out (that lint was on every copy...you know I checked with all my family)...
...2007...she insisted we sit on the stairs...so...my disembodied head, looking up my nose (DS2 and I look like a totem pole)...
...2008 was one of my favorites (grab me, lean me over, and give my triple chin some babies, thanks hon)...
...although last year was precious...if you're into shadow monsters....and if you like women without any eyes...
and this year's:
My second miracle...
My family held a mutiny this year...or maybe it was an intervention. They decided that they didn't like how I decorate the fresh tree in our foyer. Apparently, my 'Christmas over-decoritis' is not always appreciated by all. After I called them all Scrooge and lectured them on the proven theory that there's no such thing as 'too much decorating' when it comes to Christmas, I let them voice their complaint...They wanted a change...they were 'sick of it'.
I've been decorating our tree the same way since our second year of marriage. The first year I bought the giant colored bulbs, like my parents had. That first Christmas we also attended one of those 'Festival of Trees' charity things, and I saw 'my tree' there...the angels sang, the light came down from the stars to shine upon it. It had beautiful clear small lights (not very popular then), bundles of dried baby's breath tucked into the branches that looked like snow, and best of all...small bows on the ends of every branch and a gigantic bow at the top with floor to ceiling ribbons cascading down all aroung the tree (very unique back then)...it spoke to me...of Christmas. So much to DH's dismay, our second year I gave our colored bulbs to my parents (as their's were now a complete fire hazard with ancient fabric wrapped cords that had been ducted taped back together one too many times...yes Dad, you worked hard on those lights every year), and I created 'our tree'.
So this year after trying, unsuccessfully, to lobby (bribe) each member of my family to vote with me on keeping things the same (I'm usually the 'change agent', but my senimentality made it hard for me to get behind this one), I had them narrow down their complaints. The main offender seemed to be the ribbons/bows, so that was my concession...no more little plaid bows at the end of every branch, and no more gigantic bow as the tree topper with top to floor ribbons cascading down all around the tree *sigh* (I did tuck in that baby's breath while everyone was out of the house).
2008 Tree with bows:
That night we finished putting the ornaments on and we all stood admiring our tree. It is a beautiful almost 11' fir tree, but it just wasn't the same *double sigh*. I stomped my foot and grumbled 'Fine, if that's the way you want it, but you guys can find a new tree topper, because it just lookes totally bare without one!' (Ha! That'll be their problem, those Scrooge's!).
Every day I looked at our tree...and something (the bows) was missing.
As with you, boxes have been arriving at our home almost daily bringing Christmas gifts. The other day a small one arrived from an unknown sender...probably another insulator for DH's collection (they arrive at least weekly), so I called him and left a message as usual. He messaged me back and told me to open it.
It was a light-up star tree topper! But not just ANY star...it was the SAME metal red and white one (with glitter on the metal), that graced my parent's tree (with all those colored lights) since I was a baby. OMG...as I burst into tears, I tried to puzzle this out. When my parents moved out of our childhood home this summer they had downsized their things and given each of us some ornaments from their tree. I knew my youngest sister had received their star and I knew it was on her tree this year, as she'd emailed me a photo of it.
DH, with his eBay skills, had found an identical 50-something year old star. With the emotionally tough year of moving my parent's out of their 44 year old home and saying goodbye to my childhood home, it is a wonderful reminder of all the warm Christmas memories I had there with them and I will always look at it with love in my heart.
The only thing better than my lovely bow topper...the Christmas star!
Now tell me you don't believe in the magic of Christmas miracles (and I think that deserves some over-decoritis, don't you?)!