… on readying


Forecast: snow.

Every year, for decades, the Christmas season has hosted an event so special…

So festive.

And anticipated.

And magical.

And loud.

Family Christmas.

And it’s two days away.

I am, of course, ‘Christmas Counting’, which is legal this time of year. Can’t count today because it’s already here… can’t count the day of the event, because we’ll already be in it. So Saturday is but two days away. And Christmas Eve… pretty much just after that.

Family Christmas was a result of the way life happens.  It’s hard to get everyone together right on Christmas Day. There are families and extended families and other citied families and and and….

But we (all thirty or so of us!) want to see each other this time of year, and we’re not worried that we do that on a very specific day, we just need the reason (why not the season (don’t make me rhyme again because all I can think of is ‘brain lesion’))…

So…. Family Christmas!

So we’re readying and decorating and cleaning up a storm, and I’m laughing at myself because there is so much to do but I’m just so dang excited to do it, which makes me think that I could write a book about Christmas called “Mania meets Magic”.

And with each twinkle light and each decoration that reveals itself, as I unpack boxes of them, I am reminded that I have been given the gift of family, and that creating a little bit of  magic for the other people in our lives is kind of … delightful.

To deck the halls with boughs of pine and spruce and holly.

And twinkle lights and shine-y orbs of red and green and silver and gold.

To light the candles and set out the cookies and cakes, but slap hands away with a laugh as babies and toddlers and teens and grown-ups are herded toward the soups and breads that fill the air with yummy smells.

To make sure the Christmas playlist has the music ready (an extra Do You See What I Sees, Little Drummer Boys and O Holy Nights sprinkled in for good measure (who’s gonna notice with all that noise? (me, that’s who))).

And someone will tip something over.

Someone will drink too much.

Someone will get emotional.

And someone will manage to irritate the frack out of someone else.

These things I guarantee.

And all of that will be diluted in a concoction of noise and smiles and laughter and a disastrous storm of wrapping paper.  It will disappear in fierce games of ‘spoons’, and then cards.  If the weather holds, maybe some football and basketball.

We will eat too much, take a break and eat again.  And we will each open the single gift that we receive, from a Secret Santa who chose our name on Thanksgiving.

Granny will get multiple gifts.

Because she’s Granny, that’s why.

And it will be messy and people will chip in and help clean.

And, at some late hour in the December darkness, oodles of people will hug and say ‘love you’ and ‘Merry Christmas’ and walk into the night.  And the house will become quiet again.

And the ‘kids’ and we will settle in and maybe choose a movie for the late night (probably Die Hard, a Dingle Christmas classic).  And I swear to you the twinkle lights will become just a little brighter and more twinkle-y, the tree just a little more beautiful.

And then, my favorite part.

The stories.

Who talked to who?

What did we each miss?

Funniest moment?

One funnier than that?

Is someone in love?

If someone brought someone new, what do we think? (This is always a group judgement. Don’t worry, the new person is warned in advance (and all during the day and night too (they usually survive…. usually))).

Those stories are magical nuggets in and of themselves, the seeds of which are planted and cultivated in the talking hours before we head to bed.  Some will take root and grow, and be shared via texts and phone calls in the days following.  A few will reach the lofty status of family lore, even before next Thanksgiving.

I’m smiling just thinking about it.

So today and tonight, I’m putting the final touches on the decorating, with the one element that must be ready.  The youngests expect it. And I can’t disappoint.



The skating rink was out of the box first, complete with the little skaters that chubby hands will be desperate to pluck from the ice on Saturday. Then came the pet shop and electric company and the North Pole Detective Agency, and then more.

Trees have been unpacked and the lights for the landing strip are standing by.

It’ll all be set up by tonight (I like to take my time, a little now, a little in a while).

And, in just a few more hours, I get to command the powers of winter wonder.

It will snow in this magical Christmas village, at the foot of Santa’s North Pole castle.

100 percent chance.

I’ll be sure to post a photo.

Thanks for readin’.


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