I am flabbergasted and astounded: I have time to blog two days before Christmas! Actually, it's even better than that; except for minor meal-preparation tasks, all the work is DONE. Presents wrapped, decorations done, food for various meals marinating or whatever. Oh, I need to hang the string on which we hang the stockings. I really miss our fireplace...
The pessimist part of me is almost afraid that my unwarranted preparedness means that "something will go wrong." Such things are not unknown; last year our water heater died the day before the whole family descended for the holiday. But I'm trying to regard this as a marvelous unmerited gift from God -- time to BE at Christmas, instead of my usual DOing.
My only brother and his wife are coming for Christmas, arriving this evening. We saw them regularly at Christmas when my parents were alive, since we traveled to my hometown at least every other year. But we haven't gone at Christmas since, and my brother and sister-in-law have only come once before. Having them here will be a special treat.
Maybe next year Roger and I will go to visit them for Christmas. This year is our first stab at letting each married child and their family establish their own Christmas traditions. Christmas eve and Christmas morning will be in three separate places. Christmas afternoon we will travel to their town, and on Monday, the second day of Christmas, we will have brunch, presents and dinner all over again. Only Brandon will be missing, and we'll probably video-chat with him in Alaska. (We've been incredibly blessed to have him with us the past several years; this is his sixth Christmas in the Coast Guard, and the first one where he hasn't been able to get leave.) Next year, when Christmas Day isn't on Sunday, we may need to put "whole family Christmas" on the following weekend, which would allow for travel around the day itself. We'll see.
One of the advantages of this multi-site Christmas schedule is that those of us here will be able to go to Midnight Mass! We've never gone to one since Roger and I were newly-weds. We did make a point of going to the earliest possible Christmas morning mass with the kids -- which often meant going to a neighboring parish -- and for a number of years midnight wasn't even an option in our area, since the latest masses tended to be at 10 PM. I'm glad our diocese is pushing for more "Christmas Christmas" masses and fewer vigils. And (whisper, whisper) I'm glad there will be no small children waking up at 6AM. I'm not as young as I used to be, and four hours of sleep doesn't cut it anymore...
Apparently Roger also has all his "gottas" done. While I was typing the previous take, he came into the kitchen and announced that he was going to make sugar cookies. Over the last (probably quite a) few years, our Christmas baking has been done between Christmas and New Year's Day, the better to be devoured at our New Year's Eve party. (Note to local people: if you've ever been invited, you are again! The more the merrier!) Baking on Christmas Eve eve is a sure sign of pleasant preparedness. Yum!
I just glanced out the window and heaved a sigh. The one thing it would take to make this Christmas beyond perfect would be snow. There is a TINY bit here and there on the ground, but no real accumulation is predicted. Yet my father-in-law in New Mexico got a foot last night. What was that about moving to avoid Michigan winters?? But now I will stop complaining, go sit on the couch with my feet up, and try my hardest to just BE.
Wish me luck, as I wish all of you
A Most Merry and Blessed Christmas!