I had no idea that I had not visited all of you in one month! My apologies! Those of you who know me, know how much I love the holidays, especially Thanksgiving and mostly Christmas! Our gang, well actually I decided that this year our family would celebrate Thanksgiving on Friday. It is very difficult for a group our size to navigate all of the "In Law" dinner times. So, the kids did Thanksgiving on Thursday with in-laws and Friday with us. It was a blessing and maybe a little curse (but not really!) For the first time, we had very few left overs because everyone actually ate our food instead of already being too full from other meals. It was successful with respect to our turnout also. We seated 21 people at the dinner table! We were only short two family members who had to work. Plenty of mouths to fill, plenty of help and a few spats among those we love. The perfect holiday!
I start decorating for Christmas the weekend of Thanksgiving and not a day before! It is a two week process at a minimum. I do a lot of it myself, which is okay. I don't argue with myself about where to put things or what to clean before I decorate. I don't argue that it is ridiculous to clean. I don't argue about whether or not I really need to put everything out. I just do it slowly and quietly, watching Christmas movies or listening to Christmas music. My own little world.
I also do not shop before Thanksgiving and definitely not on Black Friday. I tend to avoid the stores that choose to open on Thanksgiving. I really believe that we need that day with family and people should not have to work in a retail store for the greed of the businesses. So, the second weekend in December I travel to "Mommy's" house for a weekend of shopping, visiting with her family and attending a performance of the Nutcracker. The perfect holiday weekend! I used to spend a lot of time panicking over what to get everyone for Christmas. Ever since I started my trip to Mommy's a lot of my stress has been alleviated. She is my organized and in charge child. She keeps me on task and calms me down when I start to panic.
Every year before the Nutcracker, we drive around some of the neighborhoods by her to enjoy the lights. Last year one home connected their lights to a local radio station so that the lights blink and flash in time to Christmas Music. They did it again this year, but when we went past, it was not Christmas music. It was a yard party. So, sadly we watched lights blink to Uptown Funk. :(
The ultimate drive by never disappoints me though. She as one "neighbor" who lives in a duplex. On the left side of the duplex are a few tasteful decorations intermingled with some patriotism. Then . . . as your eyes move to the right, your brain immediately imagines an electric meter spinning out of control. And then you realize that Christmas has thrown up in the yard on the right side of the duplex. There is not one square foot of empty space. There are lights and decorations everywhere with no rhyme or reason to them! There is no theme. Santa is mixed in multiple times with candy canes, snowmen, stockings, lights and more lights! I am positive everyone on the block suffers brown outs at Christmas and has had to buy shades or special drapes to sleep at night! And this is not just in the front yard. The flow of activity wraps itself around the side of the house and into the back yard too. There is no escaping it!!!
I do enjoy Christmas and I get a kick out of those who are overly exuberant. With 13 days to go until Christmas Eve, I have a lot of wrapping to do! there are 23 people that are involved in Christmas at our house and that is just family! WE ARE TRULY BLESSED and today I am taking a minute to give thanks for those blessings. I hope you have a festive week. God Bless.
Wife, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Nurse, Grandmother, Friend...that's me in a nutshell!