a christmas story, by hannah
cold and christmasy

let the festivities begin

(Our family, Christmas 1997. How do you like Gordon's Mr. Bean (or is that Gumby) stance?)

Scan20063I have to admit, I've been kind of blue this wonderful season. I usually get into the festivities; decorating, baking, guests, blah, blah, blah. But this year has been kind of bah hum bug. I kept trying to get excited, but I never quite accomplished it.

Tonight at the Christmas Eve Candlelight Service, the Christmas spirit awakened in my soul. I don't know why it waited so long, but I could hardly wait to share the joy with my family.

After the service we came home and did "the stocking thing" that we do every year on Christmas Eve. It was so fun, as usual, seeing the joy on everyone's face as they opened their stockings. I loved it.

I am the family stocking stuffer; I presume most moms are. It's the one time of year I absolutely love being the martyr. I feel so good when everyone realizes I didn't get anything in my stocking. It's such a special time. "Aaawwhh, poor Mom. I'm so sorry," the kids lament. 

Gordon does his annual speech: "Honey I am so sorry. I didn't grow up with stockings, so I didn't remember to put stuff in yours. It just didn't cross my mind."

(Christmas 1999)

Scan20030I reply as usual: "Really, don't worry about it. It's that sick martyrdom thing. I love it that you all feel sorry about forgetting me. It's worth far more than gifts in my stocking."

I know this means I'm one sick puppy, but I really love my empty stocking. For a few brief moments out of the year, I have them all eating out of my hands. It's such a powerful feeling.

Everyone is gathering downstairs to eat junk food and watch The Grinch. I must get down there.

Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas. -- Calvin Coolidge


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