December 23rd. Is it a busy day for you or a relaxing one? Are you ready for the big day? Are your stockings stuffed? Have you gotten your grocery shopping done for your Christmas dinner? I haven't.
Today I had my tooth extracted, but my temporary tooth wasn't ready, so I'll still have a gap in my mouth. I just don't even care anymore. It is what it is.
Jeff and I are going out grocery shopping later and then I'm gonna get my cooking started. I don't want to have a whole lot to do tomorrow. I'd like to start relaxing and enjoying my Christmas. I'm excited and ready for the fun. Can't wait to see all the kids' excitement. I know I used to be beside myself with excitement.
Christmas Eve when I was a little girl was so much fun. We'd go over to MaMa and PaPa Howell's and exchange gifts with all of our cousins. We have a very big family and every person was there. There was probably 25 people in that living room. It wasn't big either. And MaMa always had a tree. All the grownups brought finger foods and desserts. We'd eat, visit a little and then open the presents. I tell ya, it seems like that living room and really, the whole house just stretched to accommodate everyone. It never seemed crowded. It was just perfectly comfortable. The old gas heater kept everyone warm. Sometimes maybe a little too much. But it was wonderful.
After we left there, we'd just come home, exchange gifts between each other and get ready for bed. One year I remember that we went to visit our elderly neighbors, Mr. and Mrs. Roberts. My dad and Mr. Roberts had several glasses of egg nog, with extra nog. I vividly remember thinking that we weren't going to make it home before Santa would be coming down the chimney. Suz, Crystal and I were as anxious as a cat in a room full of rocking chairs. Oh, what a sweet memory of that night I have.
I can also remember as a little girl standing at my bedroom window looking for Santa's sleigh. I honestly thought there were a few times that I heard the sleigh bells. On Christmas Eve mama would let us sleep with the candles that you put in your window on. The bulbs were orange. That was so special to us to be able to sleep with those candles on.
On Christmas morning, we weren't allowed to go into the living room to see what Santa had brought until we got mama and daddy up. And we weren't really allowed to wake up as early as we would've liked. Our cousins used to wake up at like 3 in the morning. No way. We were more like 7:30 or 8:00.
Mama would always get up easy, but daddy was another story. It seemed to take him forever to get up. In reality, it was probably only a few minutes, but when you're an anxious little girl wanting to see what Santa left, it seemed forever.
The tree wouldn't be lit and the room would be sort of dark, but you could still make out the presents. Our gifts from Santa weren't wrapped, but we each had a section where our things were. Then Santa would leave a big box full of different candies, fruit and nuts. Clove sticks. Chocolate cream drops, chocolate covered cherries and peanuts. Oranges, apples and Brazil nuts.
Daddy would always ask us, "did he come"? And then just being silly, he'd say, "did he bring, brang, brung"? Just a little silly thing he'd always say. And he still does all these years later. If he didn't ask us that, I'd wonder what in the world was wrong. I think we'll always remember that. Then he'd go outside and shoot off his shotgun. And sometimes ring the big farm bell that was in the front yard.
Mama would be busy getting ready for Christmas dinner. That has to be without a doubt my favorite meal of the year. She still does it and it's still my favorite. She makes a red velvet cake and ambrosia.
So it's time for us to get ready for the day. Get plenty of batteries. Get your toolbox. You know how those darned toys are packaged these days. Make sure you camera is charged and ready to go. If you're OCD like me, get ready for the mess that seems to grow by the minute. Make sure you have plenty of trash bags. I tell myself over and over that it's only one day, but all the while I'm going crazy with all the trash everywhere. I'm really expecting Santa to bring me a great big box of patience this year.
Gotta get going. So much to do, so little time.
Till next time. Have a wonderful Christmas Eve's Eve.