Saturday, December 27, 2008

On the third day after Christmas... true love reminded me..."Joy, you didn't do much blogging during the holidays." I'm not quite sure why that is, actually, since I had every intention of sharing favorite movies, music, and memories. I guess I just got caught up in the hustle and bustle of the 'busy sidewalks, city sidewalks, dressed in holiday style.' In the air is no longer the feeling of Christmas. So, for those of you who are is my version of the Twelve Days of Christmas...after the fact!

On the first day of Christmas...we put up the family tree...(See only December holiday blog). Now aforementioned tree is shedding dead pine needles all over the floor. It still looks lovely, but the scent is gone, and it's days are numbered. Oh, well, Christmas tree...oh, well!

On the second day of Christmas I sat down and made a list. And another one. And even another one. On the day BEFORE December 25th, I actually checked the last thing off of the least the last thing that was absolutely necessary. If we didn't have it by then, we didn't need it.

On the third day of Christmas, we attended Phillip's office party. The food was good, the company was good, the punch was GREAT, and it was the first year it wasn't at our house, which made it THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR for me, since I wasn't ready for all the 'parties' I should be hosting!

On the fourth day of Christmas, I watched a Christmas movie on the LIFETIME network. Usually LIFETIME movies involve women getting hurt by men, getting strong, killing those men, and then getting new lives. This particular movie, though, is one of my all time sappy holiday favorites. Borrowed Hearts stars the ever beautiful Roma Downey (She's an 'angel sent from God') and a bad hair day and non-gay Eric McCormack (Will and Grace). If you get a chance, take 1 1/2 hours and view it. It's worth your time, if nothing else for mindless entertainment purposes. Over the next few weeks I also watch other classics, "White Christmas", "I'll Be Home for Christmas", and "The Preacher's Wife". Whitney Houston sings a rockin' hot version of JOY TO THE WORLD and Denzel Washington is the most handsome angel in a gray suit I have ever encountered. He can flash those pearly whites at me anytime!

On the fifth day of Christmas, I did get to host one of those holiday parties...for 140 of my closest friends...the ThayerWood Ward Breakfast. This year's menu was a breakfast biscuit bar...I had my doubts at first, but it worked out fabulously...biscuits with canadian bacon and cheese, or the best country gravy ever! ($1.00 a package at Walmart) Fresh fruit, yogurt, juice, and milk...nothing left over except 4 pieces of Canadian bacon, and two dozen biscuits. (We started wtih 240!)

On the sixth day of Christmas, I watched the First Presidency's Christmas Program. The music by the tabernacle choir was wonderful, and the messages inspirational. I was especially touched by a story President Monson shared about visiting a nursing home. He asked the question, "Is there someone who is awaiting your visit?" I hope that I followed those promptings this season and made a visit to someone who was waiting for me. I know someone visited me who I was awaiting to see. Ahh...the blessings of being loved!

On the seventh day of Christmas, my son received a letter from Santa. It stated that he had been a good boy for MOST of the year, but needed to spend a little bit more time respecting his parents and sister, or there would only be COAL on Christmas morning. This is the day OPERATION COAL COLLECTION began. More on this later! The receipt of Eli's letter reminds me that I have yet to compose our family Christmas letter, so my mind is a jumble for the rest of the day. Around midnight it is completed, except of course for the stuffing, stamping, and mailing of the envelopes. Blogging kind of removes the need for a family letter, but it's something I love to do, so I do it anyway!

On the eighth day of Christmas my shopping marathon began...nothing too complicated this year, just a few items for each member of the family that were easy to acquire, and even easier to hide...until the aforementioned family member who needed to work on respect went seeking 'gifts from afar'. Thus began his first experience with 'keeping Christmas secrets from sisters'. I have to say, he passed this test with flying colors.

On the ninth day of Christmas, my musical gift arrived. Cassidy sang in her last high school Christmas concert ever. It was lovely and inspiring. Combined with the school orchestra, they sang favorite carols, and ended with selections from The Messiah. From the first strains of the overture, to declarations of "For Unto Us A Child Is Born", and the promise of "And the Glory of the Lord" my heart swelled with gratitude for the knowledge of the birth of that tiny babe in a manger. As we stood for the "Hallelujah Chorus" tears flowed freely down my face. I knew without a shadow of a doubt that He is "Wonderful. Marvelous. Counselor. The Mighty God. The Everlasting Father. The Prince of Peace." Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

On the tenth day of Christmas, my house was now decorated, the gifts were all bought, the radio was playing "Sleigh Ride", and I was still collecting coal, due to the fact that my son was testing Santa to see if he would come through with that promise. After his bath, he came into my room and pointed to his head, now missing a LARGE chunk of hair. "Look what happened? How did this happen?" I asked him if he cut his hair. "No." "Is there a man upstairs giving haircuts?" "No." "Is there a lady upstairs giving haircuts." "No." "How about a hair-cutting ghost?" "No! No! No! I don't know how it happened!" Mom now reminds aforementioned son that at our house, you get in a lot less trouble for telling the truth than for lying. Twenty minutes pass. The son now admits, "I guess I did cut my hair. I didn't mean to. It just happened." Honesty is the best policy...even when hair cutting is concerned. I just hope Santa understands.

The next day is our church Christmas program. I will be playing the piano for the choir to sing approximately 5 numbers. My son with the newly coiffed hair will be front and center when the Primary sings, "Said Samuel, within five years, the night will be as day, and baby Jesus will be born in a land far, far away." I hope his hair cut doesn't distract from the spirit. It's kind of hard not to start laughing when you see it. And yet, I will make him wear it for a few days as a reminder of why we DON'T cut our own hair. TOUGH LOVE PARENTING! I'm all for it!

On the eleventh day of Christmas the family is all home and happy. It's almost time for our annual Nukaya Christmas Eve party. The snow is still falling and the wind is still blowing, but inside all is warm and well. Our friends and their four sons (one is on a mission making an even five boys in that household) come to enjoy the night before Christmas. This is our 10th year of the tradition. We have coldcuts and sandwiches. Irene brings spinach dip. We drink pop and eggnog. Gifts are exchanged and puzzles (500 piece this year) are put together. Ben brings his stuffed squirrel collection. Dusty and Cassidy spend the night trying to beat each other at games. After the company leaves, it's time for the Christmas story, read by Eli. Then we open the obligatory Christmas jammies. This year, Eli gets a robe in his box, guessing it before he even opens it, proving the theory from Day #8 that his sisters gifts were not the only one's he discovered. Unfortunately for me, the only part of the season I was unprepared for involved wrapping and wrapping and stuffing and tagging until 2:00 a.m. Next year I WILL NOT procrastinate on this project!

On the twelth day of Christmas we awoke at 7:30. Each year we seem to get up later and later and later. Everyone comes down and looks for the gifts from Santa. All Eli has is a big blue Rubbermaid tub, full of various types of coal and a book entitled, FUN WITH MANNERS WITH DICK AND JANE. He takes one look at the can of coal, opens it, pulls out the coal and says, "A LUMP OF COAL?" and proceeds to throw it at Whitney! Can of coal...$1.98. Coal bubblegum...$1.98. Book about manners...$3.95. Reaction from Eli...priceless.

Luckily for Eli, Santa also left a note that his real presents were in the living room. It may have seemed a bit harsh for the 2 minutes that it lasted, but it was a memorable moment in our holiday that we will talk about for years to come. Santa was good to everyone...Whitney got a watch and movies and clothes and cd's...Cassidy got scriptures and a camera and clothes...Eli got Legos and DS games...I got a new camera, (which is way cool and way complicated, thus the lack of more photos in this blog :) Phillip got a new camping cot and cold weather gear for winter camping with the scouts. We had our festive buffet...shrimp, hot wings, meatballs, cherry jello, killer potato salad, my dad's famous clam dip, divine punch, and Kimberly's hot wassail and Black Forest Cake. We played Buzz Word and Catch Phrase--the Music Version. We relished in watching Max enjoy Christmas. It's never more magical than when you are two.

That's our holiday in a nutshell. Nothing spectacular. Nothing over the top. Just everything we love to do, with all the people we love to do it with. It really is, "The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!"


KJ said...

lumps of coal are making me laugh, as are mystery haircuts and stories about whales to which one MUST pay most sincere attention. Thanks for sharing with us. And next year, call me when you wrap gifts. We don't have that many to do and I actually love to do it.

Sandy said...

Yay! You are back! I loved hearing about your 12 days of Christmas! The coal... so priceless!

I loved your Christmas letter too! Thanks for making us smile!

Amy had her baby! Check out my blog... I am flying in New Years day! See you soon!!!