Don’t Miss the Little Very Important Things This Christmas

We celebrated Christmas on December 16th this year due to a variety of reasons. It was wonderful for many different reasons including no pressure for anyone to have to be celebrating with anyone else on that particular day. You know how it is—go here—go there—go everywhere—and have a hard time enjoying any of it. We’ve all been there.

So, this year, no pressure. Just a day, albeit early, to enjoy Christmas.

We did all the usual things—ate too much, bustled about, and then settled down to open the ridiculous number of presents. We start out rather organized with each one opening a gift at a time, and then descend into a kind of anarchy where there ensues a bit of pell-mell opening of gifts. Chaos. Lovely.

After all the presents were opened and the adult children with our grandchildren were heading home, I hear a small voice.

“Aren’t you going to open this present?”

“What, Little Baby?”

“Are you going to open this one?”

She pointed to the one lone remaining gift.

GG#3 Gift

“Is this for me?”


Now, I had thought this gift just had candy that she had confiscated from a stash I had in the kitchen, so I didn’t think it was very important.

Boy, was I wrong.

Grandgirl #3 looked at me with her big brown eyes, and I could see that I had committed a grievous error.

I had overlooked her gift that she had made just for me.

This child had spent hours painstakingly sticking pins through sequins and beads making an Alabama ornament just for me.

GG#3 Ornament

And I had just left it sitting there.

When I opened it, tears sprang to my eyes. I’ve never received such a gift.

This child never ceases to amaze me. She will work hours on end on a project and then hand it to you like it took her two minutes to complete.

This one took the cake, and I almost missed it.

Please don’t miss the little important things coming your way this Christmas.


Finally Back To Normal

I didn’t think it would ever happen–the getting back to normal, that is. Thanks to an after Christmas trip, we didn’t get the Christmas decorations down until today. January 8th. The latest date we’ve ever delayed to.

Poor DH was so sick of looking at them. At least I was gone on a trip for seven days and didn’t have to look at them then. He, on the other hand, had to continue to view the merriment a week longer than I did.

I can always tell it’s way past time to take the decorations down when I don’t turn on any of the lights at night, much less during the day. I love Christmas lights, but a few days into January is as long as my love lasts.

The arduous task of removing the decor took over four hours. The most time-consuming was taking the ornaments off the tree. I did take great delight at chunking many of them that I decided I didn’t like anymore. I also had fun smashing the leftovers that didn’t make the cut. I figured if we didn’t like them enough to hang them, they might as well go away.

Except for a lone piece of tape still stuck above a doorway, and I’m sure some rogue decoration that I overlooked as I do every year, the Christmas decor is safely stored in the attic.

For the next 10 1/2 months anyway.

How To Cook a Big Ole Ham

Now I’ve cooked hams more or less successfully for years, but last year my sister hauled her leftover ham to the beach after Christmas, and DH loved it. We enjoyed this ham because we were staying together at a beach house just after Christmas.

Since he liked it so much, he had me ask her how she made it. Here is her professional recipe:

Rub the ham with a mixture of mustard and brown sugar.

Cover the ham with pineapple slices.

Put cherries in the pineapple slices.

Stick cloves in the ham.

I asked her how long to cook it.

Start it at 450 for an hour; then, turn it down to about 225.

“So, how long do I cook it?”

“Until it smells done.”

Until it smells done?

And that is how to cook a big ole ham.

Here is my overcooked version this year.

Almost Done

We are in the final stretch, heading for the the big day which for us is tomorrow. The presents are wrapped and bagged just waiting for the correct recipients to open them.

Elf Yourself is done, and now we are hoping the download comes through in time for the grandgirls.

Neighbor gifts have been delivered and received. I love them all.

Stockings need to be stuffed, food needs to be cooked, and then the cornucopia of fun, food, and gift opening can commence.

Even as I write, DH is working on his almost famous 7-layer yummy dip. We do not believe in a calorically-challenged food fest for this holiday.

Tomorrow’s food lineup will include meat wrapped cheese, aforementioned 7-layer dip, neighbor provided cream cheese and jalapeño raspberry mix served up on a Santa plate, deviled eggs, mashed potatoes, baked ham, English peas, green bean casserole, cheese ball, and the pièce de résistance–dressing.

Seriously, all the other menu items pale in comparison to the dressing. Oh. My. Gosh. Cornbread, biscuits, sausage, onions, sage, broth=awesomeness. What makes it even better? My daughter makes it now instead of me. Oh yeah.

Before the tearing into the presents, DH will read from Luke 2 about the birth of Jesus, the absolute reason for the season.

After the gift opening frenzy, the cleanup of the gift debris must take place. We are not neat present openers. We are rip-the-paper-off-and-throw-it-on-the-floor openers.

I always try to instigate some vestige of control in the opening of the gifts, but it always falls into a mêlée of paper ripping frenzy. *sigh* 😀

In the end, it really doesn’t matter how the day unfolds. Everyone is always happy and full.

Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas. We certainly will.



6 Christmas Must-Do’s

As we are so quickly closing in on the big day of Christmas, I’m finding a few things I simply must do before the big reveal which happens for us on Christmas Eve this year.

  1. Finish up the last-minute shopping. I thought I was pretty much done, but I keep hearing whisperings of items that I still need to buy. Dang. I really didn’t want to venture into the abyss yet again.
  2. Address Christmas cards–a task I always put off until the last minute. To be honest, I tend to wait and see who I get cards from and just send them to those people. Interestingly, the list gets shorter every year. I think that’s due to a combination of Facebook, rising postage costs, and lack of personal contact. In fact, I was wondering as I addressed my envelopes just how long it will be before I’m told I’ll have to print rather than use cursive because the workers can’t read it anymore.
  3. Look at lights because time is fast running out to do so. I’ve tried two times to see the must-see lights in the area only to find out that I haven’t been able to find that particular street. I will find it this week!
  4. Wrap presents. My daughter, the Christmas Queen, has been out of commission due to working and illness in her household. Consequently, I’ve had to *gasp* wrap my own presents! It’s actually been okay, though, and I’m going to put her to work tying fancy bows on the gifts since she has learned how to do that at her job. 😀
  5. Watch lots of movies, enhanced significantly with the gift to DH that I had him open tonight. As a result, we got to watch Christmas Vacation again in the Blu-Ray version. My two favorite lines? “Merry Christmas! The sh*tt*r was full!” & “Worse? Worse?! Look around you Ellen! We’re at the threshold of h*ll!” Oh, and the movie came in a cool tin with a hat, pin, coasters, and a tiny moose cup.
  6. Buy the ham. Done. It’s almost 20 pounds and ready to be baked.

Merry Christmas!

A Silver Lining on the Cloud of Shopping

I hate shopping. Generally, I find it to be a pain in the patootie. It makes my knees and feet hurt. Also, if I shop in stores, I’ve noticed I spend far more than when I shop online. When I see an item, particularly if it’s on sale, I’m much more likely to buy it. For me, online shopping is more targeted, and I’m less likely to impulse buy.

Funny thing I’ve noticed is that if I stay out of stores, I don’t spend money. That right there is one excellent reason to not shop.

Anyway, due to the Christmas last-minute shopping crush, I found myself out shopping today. I was pleasantly surprised when I ran into one of my former professors and his wife. He was a favorite of mine, and it delighted me to see him and talk to him.

One of the comments he made in class has always stuck with me. “Music is the universal language,” meaning that if you can read music, you can read it no matter what language you read. How very true.

We chatted and did some catching up, and he told me how he has recently delved into the Kindle world. I told his wife she should get one too so they wouldn’t fight over it.

Now as much as I love Amazon, and I do love Amazon and online shopping, I would never have run into this man online. That sort of chance meeting can only happen while out physically shopping rather than cyber shopping. I’m so glad I ventured out today!

Also, since I was talking to him, I hung my head in shame and told him how sorry I was for turning in that paper that I wrote in his Shakespeare class to him with the *ahem* creative margins. I would never let a student get away with that, and looking from the other side of the desk, I knew that paper was a crock. Heck, I knew it when I turned it in.

Being the gracious man he is, first he told me not to worry about it (I’m sure he didn’t remember it from the thousands he graded–or at least I hope he didn’t) and then he lifted his had to me and said, “You’re absolved. Don’t think about it any more.” Whew. Really, I’m glad to have that off my chest.

In case you don’t know, here’s the dictionary definition for absolve:

“set or declare (someone) free from blame, guilt, or responsibility : the pardon absolved them of any crimes.”

My silver lining in the cloud of shopping today is that I’ve been absolved of the creative margin crime that made a three-page paper look like a seven-page paper.

Now that’s a Christmas gift.