We all managed to survive the craziness of the holidays and come out alive! I have to say, this was a wonderful Christmas.
On Christmas Eve we went to my Dad's side of the family for dinner. About three people were there who either had, or were getting over the flu... a gift I think they gave to me, and that I am currently fighting before it goes full force. My little cousin Kyle, who is in first grade, did his best to read aloud "Twas the Night Before Christmas", as is tradition. It took him quite a while to get through the poem with his mother's help, but he did quite well, and we were all proud of his accomplishment.
When it came time for presents, both Kyle and his little brother Gavin (my godson) ripped into their gifts, tossing aside sweatshirts and pants with a scoff. With the exception of a few boardgames, "all" they got were clothes. They were both so mad!! They started crying and complaining "I hate clothes". At that age, no one was offended, I think we all remember a time when getting clothes was a "bad" thing. I'm not sure when all that changed, maybe around 18 or so. I had to laugh at their frustration because I remember it well.. not that I ever vocalized it like that. What did I care, they weren't going home with me. Ha Ha!
I have developed a bad cough which really only flares up at night, so I had a hard time sleeping Christmas Eve. I laid in bed until about 1:30am watching one of my favorite films, The Bells of St. Mary's. After a lot of coughing, I finally managed to get some sleep before the 7:30am alarm.
It was a wonderfully calm drive downtown to Mass; not many people on the road. It was chilly, but not bitter cold, just the way I like it. We had a wonderful turn out for Mass, and the sanctuary looked fantastic all decked out in red poinsettias for the Christmas season. Much to my great happiness, the choir sang three verses of Adeste Fideles, my favorite Christmas carol during communion. It truly added to the celebration for me.
On the way home from Mass, my cell phone was going off every other minute with text messages from family and friends wishing me a Merry Christmas. A lot of people find text messages so impersonal, but on holidays I rather enjoy getting them. My friends and family keep in touch (for the most part) all year, so a text message on the actual day is just a nice little reminded that someone is thinking of you. I too sent out messages to everyone in my cell phone book.. though not all replied or sent a message of their own. You know who you are, and you suck! =-P
Everything went great with exchanging presents and dinner. I think everyone got what they wanted and more. My parents were very generous, and I now have a new professional wardrobe to help me look the part for my student teaching which begins January 7th. Jason came over for dinner, and we exchanged gifts, and much to my great surprise, bought me an awesome skeletal pocket watch (meaning you can see all the mechanical workings through the face of the watch). Though I would hesitate to wear it on an everyday basis, I look forward to wearing it the next time I'm dressed up with a vest on. I'll be proud to wear such a kind and thoughtful gift.
We all had a lot of fun laughing, eating, and telling stories around the table.. as it should be. A few glasses of vino before dinner really helped to put me in the mood.. again, thanks to Jason's generosity. We all enjoyed ourselves, and it truly was a wonderful Christmas, and one to remember for many years to come.