Good morning! I hope your Christmas was completely awesome. Mine was, except today I am realizing that a few days of not enough sleep + eating whatever looks good + sure, I’ll have another glass of wine + oh yes, more coffee, please = my body begging for mercy.
I wisely processed this confluence of circumstances as I woke up this morning, stretching and rising from the twin bed where Chickadee had slept the night before. (While the kids were here, they slept in twin beds in the spare bedroom while Otto and I slept on the pull-out couch in the living room. Now that the kids have gone to their dad’s, our hosts suggested we move to the spare bedroom to avoid the early morning stampede of nephews. Late last night I flung myself down on top of Otto, on his bed, gave him a hug and a kiss, and then got up and hopped into the bed catty corner from him, while calling “Good night, Ozzie!”) Anyway, as I walked down the stairs this morning, I vowed to set aside the holiday gluttony and get back to some sensible eating.
And then I said good morning to my sister-in-law and the nephews, and helped myself to a cookie from the plate sitting on the kitchen island.
(I am nothing if not predictable. Unfortunately.)
Anyway. The holiday madness is just about over, I think. We had a houseful of people here yesterday and four children just about OUT OF THEIR MINDS with all of the excitement. It all started the night before, you know, when we got home from church.
Here’s the thing: Santa’s elves have long had a tradition of sneaking into our house while we’re out at the Christmas Eve service. Personally, if I was being forced to work long hours in pointy shoes and a dorky little hat, if I was going to bother breaking into someone’s house while they’re out, I’d probably have a snack and maybe grab some electronics to fence so that I could quit my crummy job. But those elves, WHO KNOWS; for some reason when they come to our house on Christmas Eve, they leave the children new pajamas. New CHRISTMAS pajamas. New MATCHING Christmas pajamas.
So, my kids were VERY CONCERNED as we left for church. There were two issues, you know. First: Could the elves FIND them, here at their cousins’ house? And second: They weren’t coming to church with us… would that mean they’d be HOME all night? Because you know that ELVES DON’T COME IF YOU DON’T LEAVE.
Chickadee in particular was deeply concerned over the state of events. I kept telling her that I really didn’t know WHAT was going to happen, if anything, and that she really shouldn’t get her hopes up. She tried to put on a brave face.
We got home late on Christmas Eve (after a delicious dinner from the gas station, which is a whole ‘NOTHER story involving me being a moron), and their cousins had just gotten back from their other grandparents’ house. “Mom! MOM!” whispered Chickie, “They went out! That means maybe the elves came!”
I tried to look uncomfortable. “Honey, I just… look, I think you need to let this go. I’m sorry. Please just go up and you two get ready for bed, okay?”
Her face fell and she and Monkey went upstairs.
A moment later the whooping and hollering began.
The elves hadn’t just come. They’d brought matching pajamas for ALL THE COUSINS. All four of them were soon dressed in ice-skating penguins and tearing around the house with glee. IT WAS A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE, people. (All of the pajamas fit perfectly, too, which really WAS a Christmas miracle. Woo!)
I thought we’d have trouble getting them to bed, after that, but they were all surprisingly compliant. (Heck, Thing2 grabbed his binky and put himself to bed. I think he was All Done.)
We adults passed the remainder of the evening wrapping the remaining presents and helping Santa top off the stockings.
On Christmas morning, the kids got up at dawn and were eventually allowed to come open their Santa stuff. Then the three boys ran around in circles for a few hours, periodically stopping to bicker over their toys. For her part, Chickadee mostly sat next to me with her new dolly—a wood fairy with hair down to her knees and wings and shiny shoes an a spare outfit and FRECKLES, Mama, she’s SO PRETTY—and periodically paused from dressing and redressing her to hug me and say, “I really really really WANTED a new dolly, Mama, and Santa brought me one! I LOVE HER!” This is why I shall allow her to live through the next several episodes of eye-rolling and mouthing off and general rottenness, by the way, because it was SO ADORABLE.
Later, the rest of the family came over and we did presents and ate Christmas cake and other incredibly healthy foods like egg casseroles and french toast and bowls full of lard with sprinkles. (Mmmmmm… lard.) I have to tell you that Christmas is NOT ABOUT STUFF but all the same, it’s really nice to get something you love and I’m pretty sure that Jesus is okay with that. We “grown kids” pulled names for gifting, and Otto’s sister consulted him before buying for me. As I result I finally got the estrogen earrings I have been coveting FOREVER. I feel more feminine already. (Also, more geeky. Hooray!) And there were other gifts, of course, and I got a charm bracelet for the first time in my life, and Monkey got the new Hess truck and Chickadee got about a thousand headbands and silly socks and pretty paper and in general, everyone was very happy.
Later we took the kids to meet their dad, and then spent the rest of the day with family watching The Dog Whisperer and playing Scattergories and eating Chinese food, because LORD KNOWS we hadn’t had enough to eat that day.
I think that I should be able to recover from all of this excitement in time for NEXT Christmas, but I’m not making any promises. My sister-in-law made sausage this morning, and I don’t mean she fried up some frozen sausage, I mean she MADE SAUSAGE from meat and spices and pixie dust and her general knack for cooking things I cannot stop myself from eating, so although I had the best intentions of eating better starting today (right after that cookie, of course), it’s really not my fault that I am still eating like a 400-pound trucker.
Thank goodness I have these nice shiny earrings to distract you from the pants I can barely zip….