Thursday, December 23, 2010

CHRISTMAS: 3 days and counting

It's coming up fast. Do you have everything ready? Shopping all done? Packages all sent off in the mail? All packages wrapped? Do you have your Christmas meal all planned out? How about your Christmas tree? Have you kept it watered (if you have a real tree)? Have you checked all the lights for the tenth time to make sure that none are burned out? Are you sure that you have hidden the gifts from the little ones? (My Dad hid some one year, and the next year he found them from the year before!) Do you have all your travel plans in order? Is your auto all ready for that long road trip to Grandma's house?

If you have everything ready and in order --great! How about taking a little time for yourselves, if you can. Send the little ones off to bed a little early. Maybe have a little glass of wine or some hot cider. Maybe set in front of a nice fire, and kick back for a little bit. You have earned it.

Our parents use to say that they had some last minute shopping to do. It took us a year or two to figure that they went to a party. We finally figured that you do not put on your Sunday best to go elbow-to-elbow with all the last minute shoppers. They always came home much happier after those last minute shopping sprees.

'Course, while they were gone, the hunt was on for our gifts. We would listen to Christmas carols and each of us would take a part of the house and search like a mad man. If we found someone else's gift we would let out a holler. Maybe every once in a while we might check for some little corner of the wrapping paper that might not be taped down all that good and sneak a peek to see what it was.

The parents were on to that little trick. One year they bought me a Hot Wheels set and they put it all in a JC Penney sweater box. Boy, was I surprised on Christmas morning! Our folks did fun stuff like that over the years, and just not at Christmas time.

Dad would get up and play with all of us kids and our friends. One year we got a ping pong table for Christmas. Man! We had our friends over. Our Dad would teach everyone how to play. That Christmas, and through the new year, our house was the place to be. If parents were missing their kids, they called our house 'cause nine times out of ten they were at our place.

The ping pong table had other uses. My sisters used it to lay out patterns for dress making after Mom got a sewing machine for Christmas one year.

As Christmas comes on, take some time for yourself and maybe think back to some of the Christmases you have had over the years. Maybe be a little sneaky this year with the gifts. Put some gifts in different boxes. Or maybe wrap up a gift, put it in a bigger box, add some bricks to the bottom of the bigger box. Really makes them wonder. One of my best friends used almost a whole roll of duct tape on a gift for me one year. I thought I'd never get that puppy open! I was just glad that it was something that wouldn't spoil.

So, enjoy the holidays, hang some mistletoe, hug and smile at somebody. It makes them wonder what you're up to. Chug some hot chocolate. Keep warm and safe. Feed your face with good food and we will worry about our diets later. (I have my diet all picked out, just waiting for Santa to bring it to me.) It has beans on the menu. . .

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