And just like that - it's over.
Clint and Max left for Sun Peaks this morning.
And I went to work.
Christmas. Should really be a week-long event.
Let's write someone. And make it be so.
Speaking of Christmas, mine was surprisingly awesome.
Surprisingly because I didn't start preparing for it until midnight on the 22nd. (Walmart is open 24 hours.) There was no baking in the house. No 'big, always-what-I-wanted' gifts for the kids (they mostly got toiletries and a whack of cash) and even though I 'had' the kids on the 25th this year, I didn't even make a Christmas meal. We ate at Denny's.
Yes, Denny's. (Who ran out of turkey dinners by the time we arrived at 5:30 pm.)
Nothing says white trash like Walmart and Denny's.
And Christmas evening? We went to a movie.
AND WE DIDN'T EVEN SIT IN THE SAME THEATRE.
The kids went to one movie, and I went to another.
And the whole thing?
Was pretty perfect.
You want details?
Just a sec. I'm playing Scrabble on facebook and it's my turn.
I'll be right back.
I am SO winning that game.
Christmas Eve, as you know, (from a previous post) I visited my dad, while my kids were with their dad.
He was in bed, (his favorite place to be.) (The other option he has is his wheelchair. Which has a seatbelt. He and that seatbelt have not made peace with each other yet. He is an angry man when he is belted in. "I'm fed up!")
So it was good that he was in his happy place, wearing his favorite clothes. Yeah, Mr. Opinionated now only wants to wear red sweatshirts and blue jeans. All day and all night. He will only let the aides take off his clothes if he has another pair of blue jeans and another red shirt to put on right away. Yes. For real. And yes, for Christmas he got a whole lot of red shirts and blue jeans.
Anyway, there he was, in his room. Happy. Or at least content. I brought him a small, acrylic, battery-operated Christmas tree that glows and sparkles in a variety of colors and along with the twinkle lights on his window sill, his room felt magical. I also brought in the gift he had chosen for mom, wrapped, and ready for him to give her the next day. (He used to love buying her jewellery, so I had bought three watches for him to look at, and choose which one he wanted to give her. He was so intent when inspecting the ones I laid out for him. It was awesome. He ended up choosing a Fossil watch with a pink face, surrounded by 'diamonds'. He always had excellent taste. I think this is it:
So yeah, after we 'hid' the gift for mom, and after I assured him I had enough money, he talked about whatever was in his head (long list of people who have died already, including friends, relatives and movie stars, people who have visited him, people he remembers from his distant past, jobs he's had, pastors he's known, cars he's driven), and he continues to confirm who I am ... "you're my oldest. You have three boys. None of them live with you. Clint lives in a basement in Vancouver. We brought him zuppa from Olive Garden. Max lives in a penthouse. Drew has a pretty girlfriend. You are divorced. Mark left you for a younger woman. Johnny Kuebler installed a garburator in your house." That's what my dad knows about me. My life summed up in 9 sentences.
He repeats those sentences every single time I see him. Nothing added. Nothing left out. I am his oldest. I have three sons. I am divorced. I have a garburator.
(Sure hope he doesn't outlive me and end up being the person who writes my eulogy.)
After a few hours of listening to music and reminiscing, he was tired and told me he was going to sleep, so I left for home. And cleaned like a mad woman.
By the time the kids arrived, the house sparkled and glowed.
I was just finishing up the sweeping when they walked in. Clint and Drew wanted to know what I had to eat. And Max, precious Max, asked, "So mom, how was your evening? What'd you do tonight?"
We BBQed steak and salmon at 2:30 am, then settled in to watch that holiday classic, the best Christmas movie ever made, the first Die Hard. The one where Bruce Willis still has a head of hair. By 5 am, we were all in bed, most of us sleeping.
As you might expect, we slept through Christmas morning, and started getting up 'round noon. The kids opened their stockings and gift bags and assured me they had gotten me a great gift but Clint had forgotten it in Vancouver, so I'd be getting it on Boxing Day.
We sat around, most of the afternoon, watching TV, eating snacks,
including a pomegranate for the very first time:
It was a hit.
A huge hit.
We tossed around the idea of going to see a movie, but the only one they were interested in was
but I didn't think a shoot-em up movie would be good for my soul.
So I suggested that they go see Quentin Tarantino's latest violent flick, and I'd invite my mom to join me see something gentler:
And Clint said, "Let's go out for dinner, then too. Call Nan and see if she wants to come. Maybe Chinese food?"
And just like that, I was off the hook for having to cook a Christmas dinner. I did have a ham, and was totally prepared to make scalloped potatoes too - but heck, fried rice and sweet n sour spareribs worked for me just fine.
Unfortunately there were very limited options available to us re: dinner out. In fact, in all of Walnut Grove, there was only ONE restaurant open. Denny's. So Drew, mom and I all ordered breakfast, while Clint and Max took a chance on country fried steak meals. It was cheezy and different and easy and fun and totally OK. And had us all looking forward to my mom's turkey dinner planned for the following night.
The kids' movie started at 7 and was three hours long, so they left mom and I at the restaurant where we relaxed and chatted under fluorescent light in a room smelling like grease. Ours started at 7:30 and was two and a half hours long, so we all met up again at 10.
By the way?
I totally and completely loved our movie.
And the kids?
Totally and completely loved their movie.
Mom went back to her place and the boys and I came back to mine.
Where we snacked on cheese and crackers, chocolate bars, chips and dip, hotdogs, quesadillas, and cream soda. And our video choice at 1 am? Disney's Sword in the Stone (1962 version) followed by the animated The Hobbit (from 1977). I went to bed around 3; the guys decided to stay awake all night and be first in line at Future Shop's Boxing Day sale at 6 am.
OBros Christmas = No sleep during the night-time hours.
After I spent some time in the afternoon with my dad, we (me and my sibs and our families) met at my mom's house (weird, I'm referring to their place as 'my mom's house' now) for turkey and ham and laughter and love.
Oh, and by the way?
I took these photos with my NEW CAMERA.
The kids bought me a Canon T3i:
and it's most important feature? Is that BIG SCREEN on the back to review your pics in.
I have no clue how to use it.
Clint set it on automatic for me, and when I get some free time, I'll read the manual. Yes, I will.
And with that, Christmas was pretty much over.
Everyone went home to their respective homes after dinner at mom's.
And this morning two of my boys left for Sun Peaks, and I went to work ...
Short but sweet and totally perfect.
Three things I'm thankful for:
1. The weekend is just about here.
2. Kids got to Sun Peaks safely.
3. My kids. They bought me a camera. I am totally spoilt.
4. I am slowly but surely getting better. Not a single panic this week.
5. Christmas. I am thankful that it means more than just food and gifts and family gatherings. I am thankful that God sent his Son. And I am thankful that the Life of Pi directed my thoughts towards Him. And how He does things bigger and better and in ways we don't expect and can't explain. I am thankful He loves me. And I am thankful that I love Him.