“Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat. Who’s got a penny for the old man’s hat? If you haven’t got a penny, a ha’penny will do. If you haven’t got a ha’penny, then God bless you!” I can hear Miss Piggy singing. There are several songs Daughter #2 and I would sing every Christmas. Our favorite was “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas”. Only a hippopotamus will do. Sung at the very top of our voices. <Heavy sigh>
I have spent the better part of the last few weeks wallowing in self-pity. You see, I love, Love, LOVE! Christmas!! Always have. Not really sure why, but there it is. I love it in it’s own time, of course. Can’t start before Thanksgiving. Can’t start on Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving deserves it’s own day. But the day after, out came all the boxes of decorations and ornaments. Boxes and boxes. And boxes. Yes, those too. Because you cannot have too much Christmas. Isn’t possible.
Then there are the Traditions. You know, the things you do every year; year in and year out; and if Mom tries to discontinue one or change it in any way total and absolute mutiny and mayhem ensues, loudly. Don’t ask how I know this. Just take my word for it. I don’t know how or when some of these traditions got started, but we can’t have Christmas without them. So, every Christmas eve, I make our special coffee cake. I do all the food preparation the day before. Which may explain why we’re always late for Christmas Eve Church Service.
Then there is the order that must be observed. The girls would get their stockings right away and sit on our bed while we all got to open the little silly gifts that are the Stocking Presents. Then we’d make our way to the living room. Christmas music would be played on the stereo. Candles would be lit. We open gifts one at a time. Of course, the girls got more than the parents, so they often opened two or three to our one. This process could take hours. We savored the whole process. This was Christmas and it only comes once a year.
But. Life goes on. Things change. Daughter #1 moved out and got married and has other family to see too, and we are only one of her stops in a very busy day. So, we make it work for a few more years. Then Daughter #2 goes away to college. And we move to a new town. For several Christmases we live in our itty-bitty 5th-wheel trailer. Daughter #2 gets married and lives on the other side of the country. We move into a smallish single-wide. There really is no room for even a Christmas tree, much less all those boxes and boxes of “Christmas”. I do a little decorating, but it just isn’t the same. And my girls want the coffee cake recipe so they can continue the tradition at their homes. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m a glass-is-half-full kind of person. Let’s look on the bright side. God has been good this year. We can enjoy what we have and not regret what we don’t. But still there are times sadness overtakes me. And this year it seems to have gotten the better of me more often than not. So, when I heard the song by Faith Hill, “Where Are you Christmas“, the other day, I just let the misery that had been building up wash over me and had a good cry.
This year we bought a tree. I guess this is the one year I really needed one. And though I’d kept my gloomy-gus attitude pretty much to myself, Mr. Clark made sure we got a tree. We’d always had a cut tree. A real one that smelled good and lost all it’s needles. (One year we even had to get two trees, but that’s a story for another day.) This year we got a live tree. That we have to plant in the yard. It’s a little scotch pine. And we’re thinking of planting it near the chicken coop so come summer it will provide a little shade for the girls in 10 or 20 years. It’s still sitting on the front porch. We’re supposed to “acclimate” it to being in a warm house. I don’t want to get out any of the boxes of ornaments and then have to pick a few that will fit on this little tree. I haven’t seen any of my ornaments in over 5 years and I don’t have the heart to look through them this year. So I’ve bought a few new ornaments. My pile looked rather small and pathetic. Mr. C brought me some pretty jingle-bell ornaments in red and gold. They will look nice.
I saw some pretty red mitten ornaments at Jo-Anns, but even on sale they were rather over-priced. But then I found some children’s mittens on sale for $1/pair. I picked up several in red, green and blue. Then I got some buttons and ribbon. And this is what I did with it all:
And now it’s starting to feel a little more like Christmas at my house. And in my heart.
I wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas. May the Lord bless you in every way. And bring peace and joy in the new year.