Friday, December 26, 2014

What I Got For Christmas





Fudge, cookies, pumpkin bread, homemade candies, store bought candies from various friends and neighbors.  There isn't a munch-mouth in this world who could have appreciated it all more than I do.  Or did.  Our daughter and son-in-law and the grandkids were here and there isn't much left. Not that I didn't eat my share.

A T-shirt from my younger sister of the Kliban Cat (do we all remember him?) at the top of the Christmas tree, holding on for dear life as it begins to bend over under his weight.  Do you think there was a subtle message there?  Or maybe she heard about the fudge, cookies, pumpkin bread . . .

Cereal bowls and matching plates with Norman Rockwell figures on them.  They're adorable.

A gift certificate to our favorite coffee house.

A giant box of Hickory Farms sausage and cheese.  Ron is in pig heaven.

A bottle of White Zin, and one of Moscato.  I'm in pig heaven.

A tear-shaped amber pendant from Ron's cousin in Denmark.  Some tiny seed or particle of something is trapped in it.  I was so fascinated, I Googled amber.  Did you know it comes from fossilized ancient forests now underwater?  If I try to explain it, I'll get it wrong.  There's a lot of science involved and I still think of electricity as magic.  Bottom line is that it's millions of years old and finds its way to land in various ways.  In Denmark, it usually comes to shore in the seaweed.  Cool to hold something against your skin that was here long before man.

My washer and dryer are probably thirty years old and both fainted at the same time  (I refuse to think they're dead) and my neighbor did my laundry while packing to visit her children.  Good friends are the most precious gift.

Our church has three Masses for Christmas - the 'family mass' at 7:00 on Christmas Eve  so the children don't have to try to stay awake through Midnight Mass, and parents don't have to try to tear them away from their toys for the 10:00 Mass on Christmas Day.  Ron and I always went to Midnight Mass together, and in the old days, when all the kids were around, we celebrated Christmas Eve then went together to Midnight Mass.  Ron can't come with me anymore, so  while he watched EWTN, I went to the family Mass.  I could not have made a better decision.  It was packed to the rafters, riotously noisy until the service started, and the most joyous celebration I've enjoyed in a long time.

Our priest invited the children up to get a closer look at the Nativity Scene and told them they could touch the baby.  Soon, one little boy took Him out of the manger and they passed Him from hand to hand.  There was momentary panic on Father's face, but the kids were very respectful and a little awed and the baby finally was returned to the manger.

College kids returning home for the holiday were invited up front to the choir to sing carols.  It was fun to watch old friends who hadn't seen each other in a while hug and giggle in the case of the girls, and elbow and shove in the case of the boys.  They sounded particularly wonderful.

After Mass, all the Mexican ladies were exchanging baked goods and I came very close to jumping into the middle with a 'Feliz Navidad' to see if I could score some of that yummy looking stuff, but I remembered in time that I was in church, and not only Santa but GOD was watching.

That Mass was a gift.  My daughter and son-in-law and my grandchildren showing their grandfather photos on their phones of the new dog was gold.  I'm embarrassed to be so rich, but I just keep greedily gathering it around me.

What was your favorite Christmas gift?




16 comments:

  1. What a wonderful Christmas! I don't think I can pick a favorite gift, although watching grandkids open theirs comes pretty close to the top. We had a Christmas Eve service at 10:00, and there is something about the church at night, especially on that night. I always feel as though I really have been invited to the stable.

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    1. I know what you mean about that late service. Don't you find yourself listening for the animals to talk? Happy you had such a nice experience. Wishing you a Happy New Year and big sales in 2015.

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  2. My sister and I attended an early Christmas eve service. The pastor had a candle that he invited the children to blow out. But it was one that wouldn't blow out and the kids were in awe. Of course he told them that's the light of Jesus inside them. Love your stories. Glad some of your kids made it home. Mine called, but my youngest daughter made me some interesting yard art. She's so clever. And my older daughter bought me the kind of metal flowers to go in pots I have out back. They were attuned to what I said I wanted. Next up is the new year. Happy 2015 to all.

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    1. I love that about the candle! You'll have to post photos of your yard art now that you know how to do that. Happy New Year to you, too.

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  3. My favorite gift went to my husband. I bought him a grown-up scooter (not the kind that goes on the back of a car and whizzes through the mall, but an actual two wheeled, tall handle scooter). Now, he and my nine-year old can scooter together!

    I went around the block once. It was hard.

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    1. How perfect to find just the right gift for someone you love. Sounds like fun. And you're not writing this from the ER, so things are good. Happy New Year, Pam.

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  4. Sounds like you had a wonderful Christmas. I had some fun times which included taking my granddaughters to Bookman’s, a used book store, and told them they could pick out whatever they wanted. The fifteen year old had hers immediately with her nose stuck in it even before it was purchased. The 10 year old wanted three, and she showed me how well she could read the first few pages. Can’t wait for the chance to have her read them to me. Best wishes for a wonderful new year.

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  5. How wonderful to have 'bookish' grandchildren. Mine are all athletes. (Our kids are adopted, so I guess that's one area where environment doesn't win out over genetics.) Sounds like a good time, Marion. Happy New Year to you, too.

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  6. Loved you post, especially the children passing baby Jesus around. My favorite gift was out church's Christmas Eve Candle Light service. It was so sweet and special. Also enjoyed finding (for the first time I might add) the perfect gift for a friend--A Carol Burnett DVD. He was really excited about it. :-)

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    1. The service where everyone lights his neighbor's candle? I love that, too. A great metaphor for why we're here. I love Carol Burnett, too. It was always hilarious to see how long Tim Conway and what-was-his-name? could keep from bursting into laughter. It's nice to see her again on Hawaii Five O. Happy New Year, Patricia.

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    2. Harvey Korman! (sp?) The old brain is slow, but sometimes it comes through!

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  7. Thank you for sharing, Muriel. I have always loved your writing and it is a real treat to get to know you via the blog. I don't have a favorite present, but I do have a favorite story: my very rambunctious and outspoken grandson, barely four years old, woke his father very early on the morning of December 24th. "Dad," he whispered. "I have very bad news."
    My serious eldest son was on instant alert. Was the dog sick? Did the bed break?
    "No," John said. "Santa didn't come."
    His father explained that he had the wrong day, that Santa was coming tomorrow. John went back to bed and my son managed to wait a few hours before he called to tell us the latest "John story". I think those phone calls are the best gifts of all :)

    Happy New Year, Muriel. I'd love to hear more about Amber.

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    1. Thank you, Kristine! And the same goes for me. I love your John story. You're probably keeping a file of John stories for future books. (I suppose a grandmother doesn't have to keep a file.) He must have been very relieved when he realized he had the wrong day. My next blog - I guess that'll be February - will be about amber. Hopefully by then, I'll understand it better. Happy New Year, Kristine.

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  8. Ooooh, Muriel. I LOVE amber! Neat list! My favorite gift was getting the chance to relax with my kids and play games like Scrabble :).

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  9. I'd love to hear more about Amber, too! Hope your Christmas was beautiful and that 2015 will deliver only good things!

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