A Christmas Wrap-up


What takes several days, at least, to put together
and only takes a few hours to demolish?

I’d love to hear your answers to this question. I am sure there several different things that could fit the above description. However, in light of the holiday season, I am referring to Christmas Day. Just think about it. Christmas preparations often start some time before the actual day, yet seem to be finished in a few short hours.

Just getting the tree up and decorated, putting out the other decorations, including the nativity scene, takes quite some time. Who hasn’t wrestled with getting the strings of knotted lights onto the tree? (Thank heavens I have been able to turn this task over to my son. Though, honestly, when we take the lights off the tree we try not to jumble them up into one big ball.)

Then there is the holiday shopping, and not just for gifts. There’s the getting all the ingredients for Christmas breakfast and dinner. Turkey or ham? Grandma’s coffee cake or Mom’s quiche? And don’t forget all the spices for the pumpkin pie! Once the shopping is done, then comes the making of everything. When I was young, we had our tree up in early December that was the signal for my mom to start all of her Christmas baking. She made delicious fudge that was carefully cut into perfect squares (except when I did it) and layered on waxed paper and stored in Christmas tins. She made Congo Bars which were a sort of version of chocolate chip cookies. She made meringue cookies. Who would think that egg whites and sugar would taste so good? One of my jobs would be to take evil, nasty dates, cut them open, stick a walnut piece inside, roll them in powdered sugar, finally laying them to rest in another Christmas tin. (I would have dearly loved to lay them to rest somewhere else, like the compost heap, for example, but I would have been in deep doo-doo. My parents would probably have forced me to eat 1 as my punishment! YUCK – in capital letters!) I am trying to remember who of my family ate those things that looked like giant water bugs. Dad, of course, my sister (that is her only flaw), and her husband. Don’t know if my brothers ever gave the dates a chance.

Next comes wrapping all the presents. I know my parents stayed up into the wee hours, putting bicycles together, etc. I, myself, have been up ‘til 6 am on Christmas Eve wrapping gifts for my children, and I only had two. I guess that is a sign Santa went overboard with gifts. I’d just be filling the stockings and little feet would come out, wide awake and ready for their stockings. Let the festivities begin!

Now comes the demolishing part. When I was little and had 6 siblings sharing Christmas morning with me, opening the gifts and oohing and aahing took a long time. We’d even take a break to dive into breakfast and my mom’s tins of goodies before we went back to the Christmas tree. So I guess all my parents’ hard work didn’t go up in smoke in as short a time as say, it did 3 days ago at my home.

Truth be told, I didn’t have my 6 siblings around. Nor did I have my precious Dad impersonating St. Nick to hand out the gifts this year. He would not hand a gift out to another person, until the current person unwrapping her/his gift had stripped it of the paper and bow and shown it to everyone. Oh, and he had to snap a picture of everything.

This year my son who was St. Nick, minus the Christmas hat and vest, my daughter, and my two wonderful grandchildren, Kaitlynn and Jakob, and I sat around the Christmas tree in anticipation of surprises to come. My grandchildren had a hard time being patient waiting while the current giftee unwrapped a present. It seemed like less than an hour before all the gifts were laid bare, opened, being played with, while the wrapping paper was piled high in one place and scraps were all around the floor. I kept trying to get everyone to slow down so the fun would last a bit longer.

One year, it took so long for us to unwrap presents, and there were still many left under the tree, that I called a halt to unwrapping and served breakfast. Hey, the quiche was done, and the Angel Balls were ready. I didn’t want them to burn or get cold. Most of the grownups (Dad, Adam, and me) were fine with the break. Katie, Jake, and Daphne (who is an adult, but gets as excited as a little child when Christmas presents are around) were urging us to eat faster! Just as my dad didn’t rush handing out gifts, he didn’t rush through eating either. I thought the 3 of them were going to die waiting for breakfast to be finished. I can assure you they didn’t and were here for Christmas this year.

This is the Christmas that turned all the hours of preparation into an hour of destruction. Was all the preparation worth that hour? You bet. After seeing the glee on the face of the granddaughter who got the American Doll (made in China, by the way) she’d been hoping for and that of my grandson when he unwrapped the big Lego kit (1,173 pieces of Lego to be exact) to make the Star Wars AT-AT Walker he’d wanted, it was all worthwhile. Daphne and Adam were happy with their gifts as well, although they didn’t jump up and screech with joy. You can’t put a price tag on those moments of happiness. They are worth everything.

In closing I want to say that I hope you had a wonderful Christmas. I wish you a Very Happy, Healthy, and Prosperous New Year! God bless you! See you in the New Year. Who knows what exciting things we will do and learn.

Blog You Later!!

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