Thursday, December 31, 2015

A Long Christmas Post ...Finally! :)

 nativity-scene

I can't believe I haven't written anything over the holidays ...my favorite time of the year. 

I want to wish everyone a quite belated Happy Thanksgiving, Happy Hanukkah and Merry Christmas.  I hope you all enjoyed the holiday season.

I told everyone that we were downsizing our Christmas tree this year and I fully intended to.  But a friend of our younger son, one of the family members that own the business, greeted us just as we walked to the trees and with a big smile said, "I have JUST the tree for you and I know you will like it."  Talk about timing ...she was standing right next to it and happily twirled it around for us.  She was just about to have it put on the tree stand.  It was a beautiful Frazier fir tree, the only kind we buy now.  Frazier trees retain their needles longer, have firm branches and a pretty scent.

It was a large tree.  I told her it was pretty and that I liked it, but that we were looking at smaller ones.  Then I told her to hold it just in case.

Mr. SeaSpray picked out a different one and so I felt that perhaps I should get that one, although it didn't have enough branches for all the ornaments on the top.  I kept going back and forth between the two trees until all of a sudden I realized my ring had come off somewhere.  It was an instant feeling of not having my ring on (If only I experienced that one other time some years back.) And I exclaimed, "Oh no!  I lost my ring!"  The workers on the lot and some customers began to help me look for it.  I went back and forth between the two trees and checked the ground along the way too.  I thought it was probably near the larger tree.  I was upset about it because I really like that ring.  It is a delicate gold cross with little diamonds on it.  The lot owners were looking with flashlights and I went back to the other tree and then came back to the large tree.  It was so dense inside and I thought that as I graced my hand across the top of some of the branches that maybe it had caught on one.  But we didn't see it.  :(   I asked for a flashlight to look one last time ...and there it was resting on a branch at the top, sparkling as the light shone on it.  It actually looked pretty on the branch.

"I found it!  And the way the cross is sitting on the branch it looks like a SIGN that we should take THIS tree!"

Decision made.

We've been very happy with this tree.  Everyone is amazed that it only cost 38.00 because it is about 9 feet tall.  All trees on that side of the lot were 38.00.  We have paid much more for trees not as tall.  And I love what they did with the trees this year.  Each tree was upright on a stand that could be twirled around.  Mr. SeaSpray didn't have to dance the trees around and it's a good thing because I didn't cook any kind of roast (like an opiate for him) to encourage him to be in the mood for tree shopping.  ;)

All but one set of Christmas lights worked this year and so outside decorating was easy.  :)
 
Christmas dinner was supposed to be somewhere else this year, but then at 6:40 pm ...just before son and I left for church, I got a call asking me if we could do it this year.  I just busted out laughing ...so hard ...that I bent over and was still laughing when I came back up.  Son was grinning and obviously wondering ...what was so funny.

I laughed because I had been very busy with the kids and I also began getting sick with a sore throat that I was sure was strep because it hurt so badly that I kept fantasizing about antibiotics.  But then I also thought about WhiteCoat and how he warns about inappropriate use of antibiotics and determined that I would try really hard not to go to the doctor to get that fix.  I had to shop feeling that bad.  I wasn't getting my basic housework done because I crashed every chance I got.  Then 2 nights before Christmas, I finally felt better, but still had to do a bit more shopping and go to Costco ...again.  Except it was an awful rainy, muggy ...too warm for December kind of night.  The rain was so heavy at times that I white knuckled the steering wheel on the way home.  I made the mistake of stopping at CVS pharmacy drive through to pick up medications.  I tried to tell the girl at the window that something was wrong with the pricing and also that it wasn't the right quantity.  Finally ...the pharmacist came over, checked it and said that we shouldn't have been charged at all because of a special coupon for one of the meds.  That meant we were overcharged by 68.00.  But then she asked me to drive around to the drive through again because other people had been waiting and so I said okay.  DUH!  It didn't occur to me until about 15 minutes into waiting behind the 2 cars that were behind me, that all she had to do was credit my card card.  Seriously.  I was also becoming increasingly concerned about the cold food in the trunk because of the ridiculously WARM, MUGGY weather in December, especially that night.  At the 20 minute mark of waiting I decided to call the pharmacy.  I was still on hold when I drove up to the window 10 minutes later ...again ...after a half hour in total of waiting.

I was was polite ...but internally apoplectic at this point because of the food in the trunk and the long wait and ...wait for it ...because even though I never LEFT the car ...I could-NOT-FIND-the-CREDIT-CARD that she needed to CREDIT the card.  I couldn't find it anywhere and concluded it must've dropped down somewhere when I called the pharmacy.  That was still ringing, BTW.  So I also didn't want to take the medication because I didn't want anymore mix ups with the cost or give them any other reason to hinder this process.  I was doing a good job of that myself at that point.  Controlling what I was really feeling, I stayed polite ...but then one tear ...then another ...then I just gave up, apologized for the tears and said I was worried about the food in the trunk and would be back after Christmas.  She apologized too.  Of course the card was only in the holder on the door.  I did check but apparently not well enough.  To my defense it is the same color as the car.  After finally getting everything put away, I had a mini meltdown over something the cat did.  My tears streamed down again and I ranted a bit.  But I think I needed that release because it felt really g-o-o-d.   I had just had it at that point.  I was just exhausted and frustrated and I also knew it would be better in the morning and it was.

I know there are worse things in life ...for sure, but have you ever had just one stupid thing after the other go wrong and then it's the simplest thing that makes you snap?  That was me that night.  Hey!  Can I blame it all on post menopausal hormones?  ;)  Someone once told me menopause is great because you can blame everything on your hormones.  Yeah ...that's it ...my hormones.  ;)

But I digress.  

Back to the phone call.

I had just commented that for as much as I love doing Christmas dinner, I was glad someone else was this year.  I was envisioning some leisurely present wrapping, sipping on eggnog and just doing fun Christmassy things after church and actually getting to bed earlier than my usual Christmas morning hours.  No matter how much I plan, it seems this SeaSpray always manages to go to bed in the wee hours of Christmas morning.  This year would be different.

I laughed so hard because it just seemed so apropos to have this thrust upon me at the last minute after the week I had just had.  Normally, I would be prepared to have Christmas dinner, housework done and well ...would be on track for doing whatever needed to be done.  

"Yes, we can have Christmas here.  But it will have to be Chinese!"

So much for a relaxing Christmas Eve.

After everyone left last yr, I did state that we were dong Chinese this Christmas and no one seemed happy about it. I was just frustrated because I didn't get to see the presents being opened and I was also really tired that night.  

 I was tempted to cook the spiral ham in the fridge but quickly decided against that.  Nope.  Chinese food it will be.  :)

As son and I are getting ready to turn into the church, he asks me if we missed the service.  "Oh no ...not at all.  Sometimes the people that helped with the kids or something else during the first service leave just before the 2nd service starts."  Then I was wondering what the hold up was with cars moving forward and then noticed more turning down the hill.  So I asked the parking lot attendant if another service was starting soon.  He said no  ...that he was sorry to tell us it was just ending and had begun at 6 pm.  "Perfect!," I thought to myself.  Son was grinning.  Then we just laughed.

I realized why I made that mistake.  It was because little Wrenna's favorite part of the Madrigal dinner,was when the lights were turned down and the performers left the stage, holding candles and singing silent night.  I had checked the times of the Presbyterian church because they give out a candle at the end, turn the lights down while everyone sings Silent Night.   I was considering going there if she could come with us and their service times were 7 and 11pm.  I mixed up the service times between the 2 churches. 

Suffice it to know that I went to bed at 7:10 in the morning.  And suffice it to know that it is not a good feeling when you are going to bed when the sun is coming up on Christmas morning and will only have a few hours sleep. I never did that before.  I could've gone to bed sooner if I hadn't taken so much time with wrapping and instead used bags.  I get that from my aunt.  And baking.  And taking pictures of the tree, etc.

It was a fun day for sure.  Christmas is always extra special when sharing with children.   Thanks to our younger son and my m-i-l, there was so much food it was like having a private Chinese buffet.

However, maybe I am a traditionalist ...but home cooked food is way better on Christmas.  Plus the left overs are better too.  That being said, it was neat trying this for a change.

Also, I am only telling you of these silly things because I find it all quite amusing now.  Except for the wicked sore throat, it really was a fun Christmas season.  And we are very happy for older son and his family because they've moved into a BEAUTIFUL new house that is just perfect for all of them.  There is so much that I like about their new home and neighborhood, but my favorite is their 3 fireplaces and wood stove.  Talk about cozy.  :)

And one last thing.  I know I must be coming across as very superficial with these little things I complained about.  Thankfully, I have the ability to see humor in most things.  But most importantly ...when it comes to Christmas, even though I too get caught up in the lights, presents and other things of Christmas ...for me ...it is ALWAYS about the birth of Jesus being born as God's gift to mankind.  John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."

That's what Christmas is really all about.

Thank you God for the best gift of all.  :)

We are blessed and have much to be grateful for.

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