so today . . . was christmas at our house. early christmas.
i think diandra thinks this tradition started when she was born, because of course, on the day she was born the whole earth shifted on it's axis so that everything was now about her. (i'm not kidding--well, at least in our world this is true . . . ) but early christmas actually became our tradition the first year we were married . . .
you know . . . we were young and in love . . . and while we wanted to share christmas with our families, we also wanted to have our own christmas with our brand new family of two. and so, early christmas was created.
here's how it works. usually it is the friday or saturday (depending on everyone's schedules--and let me tell you, it is getting harder and harder to find a date as we try to coordinate the working schedules of three adults) before we leave to go visit our families for the real christmas. whatever date we choose becomes christmas for us, which means the night before is now christmas eve. our tradition is that on christmas eve we get in the car after it gets dark and drive around looking at christmas lights. then we come home and watch a christmas movie, we each open one present, and then we go to bed with visions of sugarplums dancing in our heads . . .
. . . at least, that has been our tradition. but in the last few years rollie has finally confessed that he hates driving around looking at christmas lights. so i let him off the hook, and instead i take little detours all month long when i am out after dark, enjoying the lights by myself.
. . . the movie tradition was a pretty good one, until the year that i picked "the 12 dogs of christmas" to watch. i don't quite understand it, but no one seemed really interested in it, and everyone but me fell asleep.
. . . opening a present on christmas eve seems to be alive and well in the tradition department, except for this year. but then again, we deviated from the plan in so many ways this year, that i am not sure you can say we even had a plan.
. . . and really, visions of electronics are what dance in our heads now.
this year was different in so many ways. first of all, i have been sick and just have not been up to decorating. usually my christmas boxes are lying in wait the week before thanksgiving, and while we are out shopping on black friday, rollie sets up the christmas trees. then decorating consumes the rest of thanksgiving weekend so that we can enjoy as many festive days as possible.
but this year, instead of decorating after thanksgiving, i went to urgent care . . . and yes, rollie and diandra could have done it . . . but no, really they couldn't. because it would have made me crazy! i'm sure they would have done a fine job of decorating, but it would have caused my eye to twitch . . .
and then there was the shopping. i only had that one day after thanksgiving to go out and shop--since then i have pretty much been confined to the house, except for doctor appointments. so this year, instead of piles of presents under the christmas tree, we each got one amazing gift. we've never done this before. every year i love watching rollie and diandra open gifts and seeing the surprise and delight on their faces, over and over again as the pile of wrapped gifts gets smaller and smaller. this year there was plenty of surprise and delight, but it only happened once!
and then there was the date. the logical day for early christmas was next saturday--the last saturday before we head north. but there was an issue with hiding one of the gifts, which was kind of large, and wouldn't be able to make the trip north with us. and how much fun would that be, to open something you've been wanting, and then have to leave it sitting in your room for a week before you get to enjoy it?!? so we agreed we would celebrate our early christmas really early--like tomorrow.
and then diandra came home for lunch, and i was just sitting here in front of the fire (because it sort of rained again today,) and rollie was kind of bummed because he wouldn't get to play basketball in the morning . . . and so we all decided today would be christmas!
so there were no christmas eve festivities, because christmas eve turned out to be last night. but we didn't know it then . . .
and there were no decorations, because even though i am feeling somewhat better, we changed the date TODAY, leaving me no time to put up anything . . .
but we did have a fire, and finally some cooler, gloomy-ish weather, and christmas music . . .
oh yes, the christmas music . . . every single year i play the carpenters christmas album while we open presents. every single year! and this year, diandra said, "what is that?!?!" and she did not say it like "ooo--that is so beautiful." she said it like, "why are you forcing me to listen to that horrible music! isn't it bad enough that there are no decorations?? now you have to mock us with terrible sounding christmas music??!?!" ok, maybe i am reading just a little bit into it, but she has never complained about it before. i blame the bose speakers--the sound was just so much better this year, that she actually heard what was being played. even if she didn't particularly like it . . .
so then diandra whipped out her cell phone and rollie started scrolling through his ipod touch and i was trying to find some other christmas music on my nano. really--the three of us were sitting there with our various electronic devices trying to find christmas music we could all enjoy, when diandra said, "why don't we just play a cd?" actually, i think what she said was "don't we have the beach boys christmas cd somewhere?"
this was actually a very good question, because we used to have a beach boys christmas cd. but it has disappeared. the jewel case still resides with all the other christmas cds, but it is empty. and apparently out of 'print' because i have tried to find it online, and that particular album cannot be found. and yet, i just can't quite part with that empty case. i keep thinking maybe the cd will turn up . . .
and then i had to tell her that we don't even have a cd player anymore. she looked at me like i had just told her that there was no tooth fairy. but when we all went digital and the cd player died, rollie and i just decided to use the bose speaker with our ipods and not replace the cd player.
somehow she missed that momentous decision . . .
anyway, we finally agreed on some christmas music, and the gifts were opened with surprised and delighted faces all around--even though there was teasing and trickery involved. and then new electronics were plugged in, charged up, connected, activated and finally ready to use. rollie (bless his little pink heart!) being the techiest one in the family, had to wait to play with his toy until he got diandra's set up and mine working--which kept him busy most of the rest of the day.
but the best part of early christmas, is that now the hoopla is over. no more shopping or wrapping or decorating has to be done. every time we play with our new toys, we will be reminded about how much thought and love went into choosing and purchasing our special gift. now we can just relax and enjoy the rest of the christmas season, remembering why and Who we celebrate.
early christmas--a most excellent tradition!
and since every blog is better with a picture--even though i don't do it very often--here is one that i took tonight with my new phone :)("mom, are you kidding me?!? you are really going to make me stand in front of this tree at the mall while you take a picture?!?!?! ok, well hurry up. really?? another one? ok, that's enough--people are looking!") we have so much fun at the mall :) and i guess if she didn't want her picture taken, she should have waited until we were home to show me how to use the camera on my new phone :)
i love you diandra--you are a good sport too!!