|Stefie dipping the pretzels in chocolate.|
And, she looks cute with the washable
tattoo that Shaye, her cousin, gave to her!
Washable. Whew! And, I also have one
that Shaye gave me, on my leg. Actually,
it is not as"washable" as I thought
it would be.
|I'm one tired Momma at this point, but still|
in mechanical mode, in the housecoat. Lovely.
|Deputy Dave making his delicious New Orleans Pralines.|
|I'm now bagging the treats in separate baggies and|
then we put them into Christmas gift bags with
a list of all goodies inside.
|I learned to make these peanut butter balls while in|
Junior High home-making class. Ever since then, it's
a requirement that I make these for my family at Christmas.
|Stefie is putting the finishing touches on|
her Peppermint Bark...a mixture of milk chocolate,
white chocolate and shattered candy canes. Yum!
|Stefie and her daddy, making the goodies|
that have become our signature items at
|The parties begin. Stefie and Brice|
are enjoying the young children in the
family opening their gifts.
|Of course, here is our Shaye, my niece, getting|
her raccoon hat.
|Stefie and Brice never missing a beat in the background.|
I am enjoying a bit of relaxed conversation with my husband's
sister-in-law, Susan. We are good at finding a spot and
hiding out! Bad girls!
Deputy Dave and I are very flexible with our celebration schedule and for those of you who have grown children, you know that this is a requirement of being a parent to adult children...Flexibility.
So, we are actually putting off our own intimate Christmas gathering until January. We've done this a few times before throughout the years and it is awesome. We call it, "Christmas in January."
The story behind this could be lengthy, but I will give you a synopsis and let you know that this tradition began after I had been in the hospital and not released until Christmas Eve...and I'd been so very sick, for so long, that Christmas shopping was the last thing on my list, nor on Deputy Dave's list because he was holding down the fort by himself.
However, I sat in that hospital room, with hospital tweezers the nurses had given me and I "blinged" out the cell phones we were giving to our daughters...I sat in my hospital bed for days and days and painstakingly put tiny jewels on their phones. Our daughters were rather young, but they were getting cell phones because I was in the hospital so often and the phones gave them added reassurance to be able to get in touch with me a bit easier. Since I could not be at home with them, at least they could call me. If I was not off for some kind of horrific test, then I was able to talk with them and it gave them power over our powerless situation.
And yes, they were allowed to take their cell phone to school...they never got into trouble over having a cell phone because they knew how to be respectful and discreet, usually calling me every day during their lunch break. Actually, the school's administration and teachers were aware of our situation; they knew I was critically ill, so no one ever made a big deal out of the phones and my daughters never took advantage of their privilege that came through hard circumstances.
Since I had two cardio-thoracic surgeries with extensive hospital stays, this time of communicating with my daughters meant the world to me.
|Me and my girls...picture taken just last week.|
These days, it works out to have "Christmas in January" for different reasons. But, the meaning of this off kilter time-frame has deep meaning to our family. Since my oldest daughter, Heather, will not have enough time off from work to make the arduous journey home from the Dallas area until January, we will be holding off on celebrating our own Christmas until January. This also lessens the pressure to spread her love around with Henry's family and ours at the same time...hard to do when the two families live five hours apart.
Trying to please everyone at Christmastime can be a miserable experience. I want Christmas in our house to be welcomed and relaxed and fun. Besides, where is the birth certificate that says Jesus was born on December 25th? He is in our heart year-round. And I promise that He is with us during the spirit of giving, even if we aren't calendar-oriented in our celebration.
It's a weird tradition, but it works for our family.
The best part is, we get to focus on our extended family and friends throughout the holidays and not feel so drained and exhausted during our own celebrations. Not to mention, we get to take advantage of awesome after Christmas sales for our "Christmas in January."
In the coming years, if our adult kids get too tied up during December to have a relaxed, enjoyable Christmas at home, we just might make this a permanent annual tradition. I can imagine our future grandkids now...the horrible, anxious, itchy fingers that can barely wait for "Christmas in January" might seem too agonizing to endure, but it would definitely be a unique and memorable family Christmas celebration.
Just when the celebrations are over...we ARE GETTING STARTED!!! Christmas AFTER Christmas is actually pretty cool.
Anyway, I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas, whether you celebrate today or next month...