Sunday, December 25, 2022

Don't tell anyone ...

 ... but I think my heart grew three sizes.

But, hey, the day isn't over yet....

Saturday, December 24, 2022

Do we have to do this every year?

As soon as Thanksgiving is over, I whip out my Grinch outfit and wear it until Christmas. At this point, Christmas Eve, it's stinks rather badly. I was going to wash it but I figured Grinch would rather like the stench so here I smell.

Hubby has gotten used to this annual ritual and greets me every morning with "Good morning, Grinchy." I try not to scowl in return as I know my heart will grow larger in inverse proportion to coffee intake. (It usually does anyway.)

It's somewhat ironic that as the temperatures drop outside during the holiday season, the Grinch keeps me warm inside; it's a rather cozy onesie. Although Christmas is tomorrow and I can officially put Grinch away, I might want to give it a wash and wear it for a few more weeks. Or at least until the weather turns a little warmer.

Another advantage of the Grinch suit is that I can get my husband to take out the trash rather easily or bring in the newspaper. The reason is I feel somewhat embarrassed to go outside wearing what amounts to furry green pajamas. I did go out once for the newspaper, however, in the first few days after Thanksgiving. I went out a side door and crept between my house and the neighbor's keeping an eye out for anyone who might pass by. When the coast was clear, I dashed around the corner, grabbed the paper from the driveway, and scurried back inside before anyone saw me.

Today might be different. I might intentionally wear it outside. It is, after all, Christmas Eve. If you see Grinch stomping around the neighborhood, don't be too alarmed. It could just be me on my morning walk. On the other hand, I might be just as willing to steal your Christmas cheer.

The spirit of Christmas tends to elude me during the Christmas season. I justify my grouchiness on stress: the stress of family gatherings and meal planning, meeting expectations (expressed or imagined); forced cheerfulness, if you will. After all, why does it all have to happen on December 25th? Couldn't we do it January 12th? Or July 15th when restaurants are open and I don't have to cook? After all, didn't we just all get together last weekend? Humbug!

But, in this quiet moment, on Christmas Eve while there's still hope and magic in the form of warm brown liquid in my cup (morning brown stuff, not evening brown stuff - although the latter generates it's own brand of hope come to think of it), I think of the people I love and the people who express love to me and I feel my outer crust start to melt and I feel grateful for all I have.

Ask me again in four hours and I may feel differently. There's a lot to do today . . . 

Before I finished that sentence, Hubby started talking about how we will cook the roast today. I looked up and saw the kitchen needs to get cleaned. I have cinnamon rolls to heat up but already Hubby is in the kitchen getting the roast tied and ready for the oven. And, I just remembered a couple of things I still need from the store.

Here we go. Let's just get through it, shall we?

(Guess whose cup is empty.)

Monday, December 19, 2022

Some Assembly Required

Christmas brings back memories of bleary-eyed Christmas Eve nights. Not from too much eggnog but from not enough sleep. They were nights of staying up long after all the little ones were tucked in bed with visions of inevitable sugar-coated bounty. There were presents to wrap, stockings to be stuffed, batteries to be installed, bites to be taken of what was left out for Santa (an important detail not to be missed). 

There are so many stories surrounding Christmas. Like the time our littlest was convinced he could see Santa flying high above the house. It was snowing that evening putting just the right amount of magic in the air.

Was that the same year Santa delivered bikes? The kids were so excited about Santa in the sky that they ran right past their brand new bikes to rush out the door and gaze at the stars (and the conveniently deceptive lights of a passing plane). When they returned, Ta Dah! There were bikes in their rooms. There was only one way this could happen because the bikes were not there just a moment ago: Santa was real.

Those are special memories but we will never forget the punchy late nights of putting together the Some-Assembly-Requireds. Tired and MacGyvery-ing solutions for toys with missing pieces or forcing parts that wouldn't fit together except through brute force, risking total destruction, we cobbled until we could cobble no more.

The kids are grown now and have their own Christmas Eve surprises to manufacture and it's been a long while since we've had to put together much of anything. But this year, we dusted off our Santa hats and bought something for ourselves with some of the best instructions I've ever seen.

Now that's the Christmas spirit!

Sans beverages, we put it together in the middle of an afternoon with the garage doors open: a work bench. All our prior Christmas Eve experience paid off. The parts were laid out and all accounted for and then the two of us assembled it in a mere two hours. One might say our skill level was quite high. No bickering, no skin was broken, and no extra trips to the hardware store were required. 

It's not a very sexy gift but it was needed. As this picture might suggest, we still have a little organizing to do. We have pegs for the peg board and tools to hang. We have hooks for the step stool and broom. 

Most of the clutter is out of the frame but you get the idea. We still have two sets of shelves to put together. This time, you can bet there will be a couple of beverages involved. But now, we have a work bench to put them on.