Christmas Day 2016

The day is almost done which means it’s only 364 more shopping days until next Christmas. So, you better get out there and rake in all those after Christmas bargains so you’ll be ready. Don’t, however, hide them in places like we do that turn out to be the best place ever to hide things because they seem to just disappear.

Last night our church conducted its traditional 11 pm Christmas Eve service for the first time in many years. Our previous Pastor moved the service to 9 pm the last few years because he had a long commute. It was good to get back to tradition and many folks participated. It was a good evening, led by our Council President, Angela. She was nervous, but did a great job, and the order of service that she and Nancy authored was excellent. Very meaningful, filled with songs. It was all about the Christmas story. Very nice.

Staying up so late is something we’re not used to and getting things ready for the family crowd today didn’t leave much room to sleep in for long. I did, anyway, because the dogs still got me up at 6-ish. Diane got up pretty early, too, but she left me sleeping in my normal morning napping spot on the couch while she went down to her girl room and wrapped presents. Lots, and lots of presents. I was oblivious.

All of our children and grand children were here as well as Jennie & Dan’s ‘adopted’ exchange student, Ahmed who is from Pakistan. This was the first time he’s ever participated in a family Christmas gathering so it was quite an experience for him. Lots of happy noise, good food, and a very slow process of opening presents. This year we alternated from the youngest, Jerrie Anne, to the oldest, Diane’s Mom, Jean. Then came Baylee, Me, Gilligan, Diane, Ahmed, Jeff, Jeran, Heather, Lydia, Daniel, Cedric, and Jennifer, in that order until everyone had opened all their presents. It’s a slow process but it’s one of our traditions that allows everyone to experience the joy of watching each person open their gifts instead of having paper flying everywhere like it’s a free for all. That’s just not fun for us.

On family days like this Diane always wears herself out with cooking and making sure everyone is properly fed, just like a super star mom should. This year she made her world-famous Black Bean Vegetable Soup for everyone, and her most excellent Clam Chowder (for Lydia). I cut up all the vegetables for the soups and for the vegetable tray. Sounds simple, but I managed to slice a bit from the side of a finger while cutting up tomatoes. I finally had to quit and put on a rubber glove when I started getting blood all over the carrots. Thankfully the carrots cleaned up OK and I don’t think I’m still contagious so everyone should be OK.

Diane’s Mom always comments on what a lot of work it is for Diane to host events like this forgetting, I think, that I actually participate in lots of the work. My part is to do exactly what I’m told to do and to not volunteer to step in to take over a task that Diane is already working on. I used to get in trouble for that all the time. It took me about 47 years to figure out that she was actually serious about asking for my help when she needed it. So now I just sit around doing other stuff, ready to jump up and help whenever she calls me. I have to admit that I’m still not very good about doing things that are scheduled a day or two out. I’m much better at helping when it’s needed right now.

I always to it cheerfully, too, because I’m the best husband in the entire world.

What else could I be for the best wife in the entire world?

Now the day is done and I must call it quits. Both Diane and I hope everyone had a terrific Christmas and that when the celebrating was done you made it safely home.

Joy and Peace to you all.

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