Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas Favorites

Christmas didn't really rock this year. I know that sounds awful, because my heart fully knows that Christmas is about Christ among us, Christ living with us, Christ living in us. But I am girl who loves tradition and family and festivity, literally looks forward to it for months and savors every piece of every moment, and spending Christmas sick as a dog hasn't exactly been awesome.

When I got the chills and aches and sore throat the Friday before Christmas, my first thought was, "...not AGAIN." (Seriously, why am I ALWAYS sick? This one marked #8 heavy-duty upper respiratory in one year...and that's out of what I can remember. Sometimes they all fade together.) My second was, "Well, at least this will be over and done in time for Christmas." Ha!

Today finishes day eight of doing nothing but laying around sleeping and feeling awful. I did still love Christmas Eve and Day, just being with family. (Especially a certain little could be healing from having your leg blown off and still have the sweetest time in the world watching a baby tear wrapping paper for the first time!) My family is just fun to be around. I do wish though that I didn't have to miss church. I also missed listening to my favorite hymns in the dark with just the tree lit after everyone is in bed on Christmas Eve. By the time bedtime rolled around that night, I was more than ready to sleep. I just felt very Charlie-Brownish this year, I needed a Linus to remind me that Christmas isn't about how you FEEL (even if it's fevery and achy and barfy) but about what you BELIEVE.

But in light of all that, I've been thinking about some of my favorite Christmastime things, and it makes me feel better to think about how many wonderful years there have been, how many wonderful more will come, and how this one really wasn't so bad after all. I still got to be with my family, and I will never forget the sweet sounds of the newest family member having a first Christmas.

Movie - This needs a list:
1. It's a Wonderful Life
2. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (ANIMATED ORIGINAL ONLY!!!)
3. Charlie Brown Christmas
4. all of the old claymations; but I think I love Rudolph best
...and I refuse to say "A Christmas Story" because I swear I will gouge my eyes out if I have to watch that movie one more time. (Every year, TNT plays it on repeat all day. Every year, someone in my family goes, "Ooo! 'A Christmas Story'!" and turns it on in the middle. Every year, that same person will insist on watching it the next time through because she didn't see the beginning. Every year, another person will have walked into the room at the beginning of round two and say in the middle, "Oh no don't turn it off! I want to see the whole thing!" Every year, this happens 3-4 times. Every year, my grandmother says, "I've seen the beginning of that movie so many times but never the end...let's watch it till the end" then walks out of the room to check the turkey and never returns. Every year. And if you happen to be sick on the couch- which usually happens to be me- you want to just die of your illness rather than see Ralphie shoot his eye out one more time.)

Sweet - Christmas wreath rice crispy treats made from gluten free rice crispies or corn flakes or rice Chex. Oh or gluten free Christmas sugar cookies!

Song - "Oh Holy Night"

Tradition - I love them all; presents on Christmas Eve, driving to look at lights, reading from Luke, going to church, stockings, making cookies, going shopping the day after Christmas, sleeping on the couch the first time the tree goes up...I think I only did two of these this year

Gift Received - One of my favorites was probably my beautiful wool riding jacket. If you go waaay back, it was probably my Kirsten American Girl doll, or my hampster, or my quint dolls. Or maybe it was the toothpaste in my stocking this year from my husband.

Gift Given - This is hard too. I love giving the hubby terps tickets one year; he loved receiving them! One year I gave a boyfriend one of those dancing hampster things that made me laugh so hard I cried for like an hour with my friend in the store. (The bf didn't really find it that funny.)

Meal- I love ALL of our holiday meals. My mom usually makes really fun Christmas Eve food, sort of snacky things all night. Just my style. But, oh, Christmas breakfast; I wish for Christmas breakfast almost every day of the year. My students even know about Christmas breakfast! (I usually start starving to death around 10:30 am and tell my kids I want Christmas breakfast.) Again, mom goes all out. And don't forget the major Christmas day meal, the one she cooks for two days. We all gain like 10 pounds in those two days. Although I guess ginger ale and Sudafed works too.

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