Another Christmas has come and gone leaving us with more great memories for the scrapbooks in our minds.
My sister-in-law kidnapped my mom from her new home and Christmas Eve was spent standing in a sub-zero temperature to watch Santa Claus go by on the fire truck. This has been a tradition in our family since we moved to our small town in 1976. This year, however, was the first year that a Command Post vehicle followed behind the fire truck in case Santa became thermally challenged. I’m sure somewhere in his mind the Ho-Ho-Ho evolved into Ho-Ho-Holy S*&t it’s cold up here.
Once again we went, as a family, to church but this year there was no fear of having to don a Shepherd costume and stand in front of a crowd. Roles had been pre-assigned and we were able to sit in our pews and enjoy the performance. The three Wise Men this year were comprised of an older gentleman, a seven-ish year old and a stand up comedian, turning their show into a couple of wise guys and a very confused child! Hilarity ensued and our hearts were definitely light allowing us to forget the frigid temperature outside and the fact that the heating system inside the church couldn’t fight off the cold.
Christmas morning welcomed us with a beautiful sunrise and a temperature of -30C but nothing could slow the pace of gifts being exchanged and paper flying. Although we had decided a few years ago not to exchange Christmas gifts, my brother surprised me with a CD of my grandfathers dialect stories that had been converted from a vinyl album. It was an amazing gift and one that I will treasure. My nephews ventured off in their own directions, one wearing his new blue tooth headphones and the other jumping into a new book and devouring the words. My brother headed for the kitchen and, even after five cups of coffee, I still managed to squeeze in an hour and a half nap before enjoying the turkey dinner my brother and family created.
After pushing our chairs back to let the turkey settle, we listened to some of my grandfather’s stories as a family. My youngest nephew had listened to the recording so many times he could recite bits of the stories and my oldest nephew punctuated the end of a conversation with one of the best endings to one of the stories – “so long, fat ass”. His timing was impeccable and there may or may not have been some cheesecake remnants sprayed onto the tablecloth.
It was agreed that my mom would have another sleepover and, one by one, we began to assume something reminiscent of a reclining pose. My 13-year old nephew was a sitting duck on the couch when the tickling began. The musical sound of his laughter filled the living room and, after exhausting all my efforts, I finally heard the three words that every Aunt longs to hear – “Stop, I’m peeing.”
I hope you all had a Christmas celebration that will leave you with stories of your own to pass down over the years. May our hearts continue to be light and may we feel this same Christmas spirit throughout 2014.