Wrapping Up Christmas: Illness, Elvis, Sparkly Chests, Draco, Giant Hams, and Toothpaste in My Eye

The kids on Christmas morning.

The kids on Christmas morning.

Do you do pretty much the same thing every Christmas?  Do you throw caution to the wind and do something different EVERY YEAR?

At the rate we are going, we are easily going to become tradition rebels.  Last year we decided to change up tradition, due to my husband’s graduation from Engineering School the week before Christmas and the fact that every single Christmas my son starts throwing up (true story).  So instead of splitting it up over two days, we did some of Christmas that weekend, and then on Christmas Eve we went to my parent’s house.  It worked-there was no puking of any kind.  Isn’t that nice?

THIS year we had an almost twelve days of Christmas.  Eleven days is close enough, right? Actually it was just a few days all spread out, but it’s easier to say eleven days instead of one here and then one there… It started with a cold.  A really bad cold, and ended with a clogged sink and toothpaste in my eye.

I think I’ve already beat the early Christmas story to death, so I’ll be brief.  The first day of Christmas my two kids and  me saw Elvis and my family (keep twisting the syllables and eventually you’ll get it to fit.  Trust me.)  Really, I have a relative who does a pretty great Elvis, and was the entertainment at my aunt and uncle’s 50th wedding anniversary.  The cold was the one I had (and still have a little bit) and the one that Evil Genius was dying from and ended up staying home with nice warm animals.  I can’t say that I blamed him, I had been at that same point two days prior and if I thought I had the chance to stay in bed and veg I gladly would have.  But I’m the Mom, that doesn’t happen.

While we were there we obviously got the much needed family time, ate some great food, and exchanged gifts.   I received a wonderfully warm soft purple Old Navy hoodie that unfortunately was covered with sequins (apparently this was not mentioned in the online item description).  Sequins and I do not agree-especially where they were located.  That area is big enough, let’s not turn it into a “Look at my Chest” billboard.  My Mom spent quite a long time removing them.  I don’t know if “de-sequin” is a word, but it definitely applied to what had to be done!  It is now sequin free and quite nice.  Princess Christmas got to keep the pretty sparklies.  As long as she doesn’t use them to adorn her own chest I am good with that.

Later on in the week:  Behold, A blizzard!  A blizzard lovingly dubbed “Draco” by the weather community made its way to our neck of the woods midweek.  We left for our church choir Christmas party with a little snow on the ground and a couple of hours later were sliding around in tons of snow coming home.  It was definitely worth venturing out for the chicken sandwiches and apple cider.  By morning our state was pretty much at a standstill, and continued to be for the next days.  It turned out that “Draco” (being a Harry Potter fan, I really loved the name) was the worst blizzard in more than a decade.

This obviously shut down my son’s school for the last two days before Christmas break, as well as my husband’s work for one of those days.  A lot of Christmas goodies got eaten that probably shouldn’t have.  Oh yes, I finally got the pretzels tried again and while they weren’t pretty, they were very good.  It didn’t make a very big batch, so we put a few in the teacher gifts, and we ate the rest.  If you missed the tales of the Christmas baking wins and fails read The ADD Kitchen Chapter 2: Cooking Calamities and Delicious Evil Lurks in the Downstairs Freezer

White chocolate peppermint pretzels

White chocolate peppermint pretzels

Christmas Eve Eve Eve (Saturday):  I was nearly done cleaning the house when the announcement came that my in-laws would in fact not be joining us due to the roads.  So we quit cleaning and we went to spend the day in town.  Then that evening we got the call that they WERE going to come after all.  At seven at night.  At least my house was already clean.

They brought both kids a set of lego type blocks called “Laser Pegs”, which are basically clear legos that light up.  They are REALLY neat, but chew on this for a minute- legos hurt pretty bad when you step on them.  At least if the lego is visible you have a fighting chance to avoid them.  Ouch, ouch, OUCH!  However, despite the ouchiness they have kept the kids very entertained.

Christmas Eve:  I spent an inordinate amount of time wandering through stores buying socks and ingredients to make a buffalo chicken dip.  We missed the church service.  We almost forgot cream cheese in our dip.  The potato soup was cooked too long.  But we DID have some yummy hot chocolate, and I tried hot chocolate with peppermint schnapps for the first time.  Fantastic!  I was toasty warm.

Christmas Day:  It was good.  Quiet, but good.  The kids opened the remainder of their presents, which wasn’t much.  I am very satisfied that a used Lite Brite that cost around a dollar has given them many hours of entertainment.  Princess Christmas was more than thrilled with her box of many princesses, the Professor has been ecstatic about the fact that we found him almost all of the Avengers action figures. All of the presents they have received over the course of the 11 Day Christmas are still being played with an appreciated. Even Evil Genius has been playing with the kids presents. The Professor was given a remote controlled helicopter by my in-laws, which was actually really a present for Evil Genius.  It has been flying around the house pretty frequently, even after the children were in bed for the night.  Both animals are absolutely terrified of it.  The cat stays hidden (more than usual) and if the dog could crawl in my pocket he would.

Unwrapping gifts on Christmas Day.

Unwrapping gifts on Christmas Day.

Christmas dinner was a ham.  A giant prepackaged precooked Farmland ham.  It’s not that we don’t have taste, it’s just that I didn’t want to do another turkey so soon, and the idea of paying anywhere between thirty and fifty dollars for a piece of meat made me physically ill.  So instead we paid $10.53 for that.  It was good.  I foresee us getting very sick of ham leftovers here in the near future.

And just like every year, when it’s all over and the kids go to bed, I have what I can only describe as “Post-Christmas Letdown”.  I’m not sure what exactly it is, but I just feel a little sad.  Maybe it was the fact that we didn’t get to spend a whole lot of time with family this year.  Maybe it was the cookies that got made but never frosted.  Or the Christmas dinner that didn’t have a whole lot to it other than one giant ham and green bean casserole.  Or that my husband had to return to work the next day and go back to being grumpy and semi conscious.  Or perhaps this time it was the fact that we rented an Adam Sandler movie.  Every time we rent one, I’m just disappointed. Why I put as much faith as I do in Mr Sandler, I’ll never know.  You think I’d learn, after all we have a “No Kevin James Movie” rule now at our house.  If he has anything to do with a movie, it goes to the “No Watch” list.  Which is sad, because I love Kevin James and his standup.  I just hate his movies.  Except I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, that movie was actually ok.  Now that I think about it, Adam Sandler was in that one too.  Maybe it’s a sign.

After the movie, my Christmas ended with me trying to brush my teeth and someone managing to flick minty toothpaste into my left eye.  By the way, that hurts like crazy, not to mention the burning makes it very difficult to sleep.  At least it was mint toothpaste, kind of a sign that the holiday was OVER.  Back to reality.

The reality, pets that dislike each other.  At least they're on the same piece of furniture!

The reality, pets that dislike each other. At least they’re on the same piece of furniture!

Thanks for being patient with me.  I was almost in tears over not having good internet access for almost a week.  My browser would run fine for a few minutes, and then lock up for 15 minutes or so.  Often it would end up in my just either restarting or saying to hell with it and shutting down the computer.  I uninstalled a million things and messed with a million more, only to find out that I had the wrong version of Java.  Due to this pretty much everything has been real short and sweet, and not up to my usual overdone and edited a few hundred times before publishing.  This being said, I hope to get back to the good stuff here…

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Who Gives A Hoot About the Inn? This Manger Has A Hot Tub!

My daughter would think this is cute.  Awwww Mommy look at the little baby beer!

My daughter would think this is cute. Awwww Mommy look at the little baby beer!

The story of Christmas is a pretty amazing story anyway.  Put it in the hands of a preschooler and you’ve got a whole new spin on things.

It all started with a plaster nativity set.  You know the ones they sell at Wal-Mart?  Grandma had sent one up a while back for Princess Creative to do her magic.  Of course, Mommy doesn’t always look very closely at things, and I failed to realize what it actually was (I thought it was a bunch of farm animals, honestly.)  We had been trying to figure out what exactly we could make nativity people out of, and had been hoping we’d find some old fashioned clothespins or something.

Upon the realization of that hey, we had the goods, the creating commenced.  She painted the figurines.  They look like they either had a day at the mud spa or are really lacking in personal hygiene.  Once this important part was completed, I offered to help her build a manger out of cardboard.  She refused.  She told me she had something in mind, and disappeared upstairs.

Who could say no to this budding artist?  I have a hard time with it!

Who could say no to this budding artist? I have a hard time with it!

She returned with a box from her room.  She hoards this stuff upstairs, you know.  Then she began collecting recyclable items from all over the house.  What resulted was an amazing manger with all of the state of the art stuff.  Because nothing is too good for the messiah, you know.  It includes:

Skylights, lamps,  and adjustable windows-Because mangers are notorious for poor lighting.

Room Service-Because room service played a very important role in the divine moment.

Hot Tub-This must be where the animals party.

Hot tub ie taco holder.  Looks like the shepherd chose to take it easy!

Hot tub ie taco holder. Looks like the shepherd chose to take it easy!

Then she sets everything up in the living room.  She confesses that she can’t find baby Jesus.  What I SHOULD have said was that baby Jesus is born on Christmas. What I said instead:  Go find it.  When she couldn’t find it, I told her to think of something else she could use.  So she compromised.  Now we have two wise men, joseph, a lamb, a Sonshine Family baby with crib and teddy bear, three Barbie dolls… and the list goes on.  The manger is the place to be, complete with lots of Barbie baby toys.  I understand the Hello Kitties came by to hang for a spell already.

The manger... the partying is happening early...

The manger… the partying is happening early…

Its probably good that we do not own an Elf on the Shelf.  I’m sure if he came by there would be all kinds of bad things happening.

So people with the cool mangers you bought at Target, don’t judge!  It may not be pretty, but it came from a very beautiful  imagination.  I still think she believes a manger is like a motel, just with animals, but we’ll go with that.

We had a neat one as kids.  It was one mom had made from a stained glass kit.  Very pretty.  I can remember being obsessed with the whole idea of the nativity.  And angels.  I always wanted to play the angel in the pageant but never did.  I’m not sure why I wanted to do that.  I must have wanted the Jelly Toast.  You know, from Hark the Herald Angels Sing-“With the jelly toast proclaim…”

Did you have a nativity scene as a kid?  Was it homemade or store bought?

My favorite nontraditional manger.  couldn't resist this one-I saw this on Facebook.

I think this has to be my favorite nontraditional manger. I couldn’t resist sharing-I saw this on Facebook.