Wednesday, December 29, 2010

So Long, Christmas

I took down our Christmas decorations today.  Does that seem early?  Tyler thinks it's early.  I don't know.  I just got to the point where I could hardly stand it.  I mean, Christmas was over DAYS ago.  Normally I think I do wait until New Year's Day to dismantle it all.  I just couldn't wait that long this year.  I get very excited to put all of those things up at the beginning of the Christmas season and then this year I got very anxious about getting it all put away when the holiday was over.   I think I'm just trying to push time along...when you're waiting for a baby the passage of time is always a big deal.  I think I've been thinking in my head that once Christmas is over the due date will be in the foreseeable future, so I'm making Christmas be over. 

C.T. said he thinks the house seems strange without the Christmas things.  It does have a bit of a bareness compared to the Christmas finery, but it is nice to have change.  I like the idea of starting off the New Year without the project of taking down Christmas decorations ahead of me.  We'll see what other projects I can cross off of my end of year list before Saturday rolls around...

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Flash Mob

So I've seen a couple of these videos of different flash mobs singing the Hallelujah Chorus in malls and things.  I feel a little ridiculous admitting this, but they make me cry.  There is just something about it that I find really moving.  All of those people, just standing up and spontaneously bursting into song celebrating the Savior...I think to myself wouldn't it be great if all these people participating in these things lived their lives as joyously in celebration of the Savior?  If they unashamedly followed his teachings daily the way they so boldly sang his praises in the food court?  If we all could keep this much joy and gratitude and awe in our hearts about the Savior more often...that's what Christmas is about, isn't it?  Reminding us of things like this.  Thanks, flash mobs, for the reminder.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Comfort and Joy

Today is Day 1 of CT's Christmas Break from school.  I just finished making my first batch of cookies for today's Christmas baking.  All three kids are upstairs.  I have no idea what they are doing...I am hearing a lot of screaming, laughing, and loud banging.  A big part of me doesn't want to know what it is they are long as no one is crying and I don't hear glass breaking I like to tell myself that all is well. 

I was so looking forward to the holiday season this year.  I was ready for that special Christmas feeling and the cozy traditions and twinkling decorations.  Now that it is here I'm having a harder time than I anticipated.  For some reason this year I am feeling that it is very unfair that I don't live near anyone in my family, nor any really close friends.  I just feel the need to be around people who love me, and I feel sad that it just isn't possible.  One of the very best parts of Christmas for me has always been that feeling of togetherness, of gathering.  I loved it when my older brother and sister would arrive home for Christmas from college, or come with their families from their various cities as we got older. I loved coming home myself as a young adult and seeing old friends and being enveloped by that sense of belonging that a loving home provides.   I find myself wishing that I could just be at my parents house, hearing my mom in the kitchen while I sit at the piano playing songs out of our ancient Christmas songbook and glancing over to see snow falling outside.  The doorbell would ring and it would be yet another neighbor or friend bringing a little token of friendship for Christmas - sparkling cider or homemade jam or hand dipped chocolates. 

There's that saying "You can't go home again" or something like that...that's the reality of things, isn't it?  My parents aren't even at their house.  My siblings and I don't gather together for holidays. Dear friends are scattered across the country.  And I live here, by none of them.
It's not that I don't love being here with my own husband and children and making memories of our own.  It's just that this year I really wish I could revisit some of my Christmas memories and find some comfort and peace.   

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


So last night we went to the Ho-Ho-Ho-Down at CT's school.  There was a "sleigh ride" (being pulled on a flat bed by a John Deere tractor around the school parking lot), pictures with Santa (which we had to bribe our kids into doing at all - they each got to pick a book from the Book Fair if they would condescend to let Santa be in a picture with them.  Even so they wouldn't get near him and I had to sit on a bench holding them while Santa good-naturedly yet awkwardly stooped behind us.  Maybe some day I'll get around to posting that classic), a "Holiday Shop" where they were supposed to buy presents for their family members ($7.00 later they each bought something for their siblings that in actual value totals approximately 57 cents), sugar cookie decorating (where there were signs saying "Thank you State Farm Insurance and Northwast High School for providing the cookies".  That made me nervous.  I'm not sure I trust high school Home-Ec students to meet food safety standards.  I'm not assigning blame here, but I just want to point out that CT did end up throwing up three times during the night following this event...) and of course the Book Fair.

I don't really have much else to say about it, but I wanted to seize the opportunity to write Ho-Ho-Ho-Down.  His school is very creative about naming all of their events after a Western theme.  Back to School Night was the Parent Round-up.  Every six weeks they have an end-of-term awards ceremony and treat day that is called the Boot-Scootin' Celebration.  It amuses me to see the creativity of these school personnel.  It's quite impressive actually.

In unrelated news, I went to all the trouble of making my kids favorite pumpkin muffins for breakfast this morning...and forgot to put in the sugar entirely.  I thought they were still okay with a little honey on them.  Lily agreed.  CT and Amelia were not so easily swayed.  Anybody have any ingenious ideas for how to use up two dozen sugar-free pumpkin mini muffins?