I don’t want to go into Christmas Day with tragedy being what you see when you visit my blog. It’s time to focus on the holy season again, and on the peculiar pleasures of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
I think I’ve finished shopping, although I never want to quit. I have a problem with stocking stuffers, in particular. For the first time ever, the Christmas cookies all disappeared before Christmas . So today I’m planning to make a second batch of oatmeal raisin cookies, some coconut chocolate chip oatmeal cookies for my raisin-hating daughter, and two recipes that didn’t make the first round of baking – holly cookies (you know the ones; corn flakes, marshmallows and food coloring) and Gunilla’s cookies. Those are Swedish, and have a raspberry, coconut & oatmeal filling. The coconut and oatmeal will be in heavy use today.
Last night we watched “The Muppet Christmas Carol”. Today, at some point, we’ll watch “Elf”. My classics still include “A Charlie Brown Christmas”, “It’s a Wonderful Life” and the 1951 version of “A Christmas Carol” – but my children haven’t embraced those with the same enthusiasm I have.
Yesterday was the last day of the “O Antiphons” readings, but I made our O Antiphons house to accommodate Christmas Eve and Christmas Day as well. Tonight we’ll place the star tile in the house after reading Luke 2. Tomorrow we’ll read my favorite Christmas poem, “Victory” and add the cross tile. Each day of the “O Antiphons” I’ve sung the corresponding verse of “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” and Cheesy and Bee have joined me on the chorus. Those sweet young voices singing a song of such longing get me every time.
My own little tradition is to wait until Christmas Eve, after the children have gone to bed, to wrap gifts. Now, we don’t shower our children will dozens of gifts each, but there are five of them (children, that is). The number of things to be wrapped adds up quickly. I’ve always enjoyed starting a movie (or two, since one doesn’t usually last long enough) and wrapping away into the wee hours of the morning. But I’m no spring chicken, and Mr. Right points out that we are sometimes zombies on Christmas Day. So I’m considering doing some wrapping earlier today, although the idea makes me a little sad. Maybe I’ll just do enough that my late night wrapping will last until 12:00, rather than 1:30. If I recall correctly, last year I wrapped while watching “The King of Kong”. Excellent choice. Another year it was “Be Kind Rewind”, which was a bit of a disappointment. The only other one that stands out in my memory is “A Better Tomorrow”, a Hong Kong action film directed by John Woo (pre-Hollywood) and starring Chow Yun-Fat. It was a good one! I haven’t made tonight’s selection yet.
Today I will clean the house, bake a couple of pies, prep the breakfast casserole, perhaps read some Christmas books with Bee. She’s the only one who will sit and read picture books with me these days. I will enjoy it while it lasts.
It has been a good year. Not an easy year – we don’t seem to get those in these parts – but a good one. Baph is home from England. Striker is on the mend from her concussions. B.Lake (excuse me, BOLT) continues to flourish in sports. Cheesy and Bee are my daily companions and bring me more laughter than I can measure. Mr. Right loves me and thinks I’m beautiful even though time is not treating my face kindly. I’m moving ahead, step by step, in the calling God has given me. I’m blessed, and thankful.
I think I’ll give the last word to a reformed Scrooge. This song makes me cry every time we watch the movie, and I hope you are able to share Scrooge’s spirit as we leave Advent and enter Christmas. Happy Christmas, friends!