Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Time

Christmas as you can tell in my past blogs has always been one of my favorite times of the year. It is not my favorite holiday but it is up there. My favorite would be Valentine's Day. This year however I have had the toughest time trying to find the spirit. I had some angels at work that helped some. I think the confrontations lately and Todd's Mom just did me in this year. I feel more like scrooge this year. I have been reading other blogs I follow claim their excitement and thus inspired this blog...

Christmas Past...

Christmas became an entire different meaning when I started to have children. Oh, do not get me wrong I know what Christmas is, celebrating the birth of Jesus but having children makes even that more enjoyable. I used to dote on my younger sisters. I loved creating traditions with my own children. I know every year they expect an apple and tube candy of M&Ms in their stockings. I forgot the apple one year and I was so surprised hearing the boys being upset how Santa forgot the apples. A few years back when the boys were with their dad for Christmas, Noah told me how Santa forgot the tube candy of M&Ms.

After we had Ethan (our third) I was a little concerned how we were going to afford presents for the boys. Their dad always went over board since he worked at Toys R Us. We both knew it was much tighter after Ethan was born. We were teaching 2nd grade Sunday School at the time and the other teacher we team taught with explained her children only get 3 gifts from Santa because Jesus only received 3 gifts. We loved that idea it helped our needs in more then financial, it also helped us keep things in perspective why we celebrate Christmas. We explained it to the boys and they were fine with it.

One year when Noah was a baby we went north to their dad's side of the family. There was going to be no way we were going to be able to hide Santa gifts in our mini van, so I took pictures of the gifts under the tree and had them printed the day before we left. I typed up a letter from Santa and explained that he knew we were not going to have enough room so he took a picture of their gifts so they would know what is waiting for them under the tree. After everyone was loaded into the mini van, I all of a sudden remembered I forgot Noah's diaper bag (wink, wink) and hurriedly went into the house arranging the gifts under the tree exactly like the photos. Santa ended up bringing stocking stuffers only and then placed the letter and the photos in each child's stocking. This act bought a couple more years of my oldest believing. He thought that year Santa did not exist but he was totally surprised when he saw the photos and then went home to see the gifts in the same order. He thought there would be no way for his parents to be able to do that. (silly boy...he he he)

After moving to Iowa City, we celebrate Christmas with my family usually the week prior. I get the boys for Christmas every other year but have been lucky (not so lucky for the boys) to have had them 3 years in a row now since their dad canceled just a matter of days before Christmas 2 years ago. We told my step daughters as long as one of the boys believe they will get Santa gifts as well. They played along because they thought Noah was the cutest thing (then he grew up and stands up to them.) back then. He was in Kindergarten our first Christmas here. Christmas Eve is when Todd's family comes over to our house. We have everyone here and Connie brings everything to make oyster stew and chili. We usually get the deli meat, cheese, bread, and all the toppings. I will make a platter of the Christmas goodies I have baked and Connie will also bring deviled eggs. Michele will bring the chips and dip. We enjoy everyone presences. I love the feel of the house decorated, candles glowing, the fragrance through out the house, the roar of the fire going, and the laughter of everyone. The children will open their gifts from this side of the family. In the morning we get up and open gifts as soon as Todd comes home. I make a nice breakfast for everyone and the girls get ready to go to their mom's to spend Christmas.

Christmas Present...

This Christmas is different in so many ways, other then what I mentioned at the beginning of my blog. Relationships are different with one of my step daughters and one of my sons. Todd's mom being in the hospital and being touch and go earlier this week definitely made things different and scary. The first year where all of my children know the truth about Santa Claus or at least the first year the youngest admitted he does not believe any longer. Our Christmas tradition with Todd's family has been canceled or post-poned and with all good reasons. Three of my four boys will be with their dad for a week, a first in a long time me being away from them for an entire week. No Christmas morning with the boys except for Joshua. He was unable to go because he was unable to ask for the time off at work.

Christmas Eve I still plan to make the oyster stew and chili but no sandwiches. Who knows, I just may be in my pajamas still as well. I plan to sleep in as long as I am able to, or as long as Joshua lets me since he does need a ride to work at 9 am. We are suppose to have a good snow storm 2-5 inches tomorrow so staying in will be good. At this time we still plan to have a fire and maybe watch a movie downstairs with just the Christmas Tree lights, the village lights and the candles lit. No more Santa gifts but we still plan to have the stockings stuffed. Todd's mom will be released from the hospital on Christmas Eve.

Christmas morning I have no clue when we will get up. I am sure the girls and Joshua will still want to open gifts but they also like to sleep in, however with the girls going to their mom's sleeping in late will not do. I believe if the weather permits we will go to Davenport to see his mom. I usually make a ham dinner with all the fixings this year with it being just Todd, Joshua and I we thought we would have a non traditional dinner. We all three enjoy ribs so I am baking ribs in the oven. Something I have never done before, cooking ribs in my oven. Both Todd and Joshua requested my smashed potatoes. Everyone in the house enjoys my smashed potatoes. I plan to make some brownies as well for a dessert. Who knows what else will happen, Todd does need to get some sleep because he does work that night as well. A quiet weekend may good for Todd and I with everything that has been going on, I just do not want to ruin Joshua's Christmas though.

Christmas Future...

Next year hopefully Todd and I will be in better spirits. I will have the boys next Christmas. I want all of the decorations I have done this year but I also would like to add to it. I try to add every year here, next year will be the foyer's year for new decorations and a new wreath over the fireplace. Our living room will feel warm because it will be painted as well, hopefully the entire inside will be. Next year we will decorate the outside of our house again. This year it never happened.

Next year we will have our traditional Christmas Eve with Todd's family over and enjoy the laughter of everyone again. Our traditional oyster stew, chili, and deli sandwiches. As well as my baked goodies. Next year I will be able to celebrate the entire time with my family the day we go to visit. No cutting it short (like it needed to be) to hurry to the hospital.

Next Christmas I will be a Grandma! I will get to add new little hands to help decorate cookies. Yes, the baby will only be 5 or 6 months but I plan to let the baby help, something I want to do with all my grandchildren. A new little one to have Santa to deliver to. No tribulations that are going on now.

Next year's Christmas will definitely be more exciting then this years.

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