Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The best Christmas, EVER!

Another Christmas has come and gone.  There is so much hype and anticipation leading up to this holiday of Holidays... and then it is over.  Good.  Christmas is over.  I can breath a sigh of relief and say I've completed another Christmas.  I remember way back in November I thought about doing Christmas differently this year.  I think I was fairly successful at accomplishing this goal.  I remember I didn't even feel like putting up the tree.  There is something about the unattainable joy of the holiday surrounded by a seemingly effortless abundance of Christmas accoutrement that I always find myself falling short.  You know what I'm talking about.  Right?

You see the Christmas movies with the mom coming out and carrying the golden brown turkey to the beautifully set table.  You see the platters of assorted Christmas cookies and the wasp-waisted mom in an starched and lacy apron.  You see the fire blazing in the fireplace and hear the Christmas music wafting throughout the house.  You see children smiling and playing with their toys.  You see adults smiling and engaged in conversations about happy Christmas memories or hopes and dreams for the future.

If you were at my house, very little of this was evident.  (we did have a fire in the fireplace.

I did Christmas differently this year.  I am pleased I was able to make this Christmas a real season of giving.  I'm happy my time spent shopping and wrapping were mostly for children I would never meet and they would never know who I am.  This was a very happy part of my Christmas.  The only drawback, if you can call it a drawback, was the fact this charitable part of my Christmas had to be accomplished so early in the season.  By Christmas Day, these actions were distant memories.  I thought we might spend time thinking and talking about the children on the receiving end of our Christmas, but we didn't.  What we did was open one or two gifts given to each other with love.  (and the underwear and socks I gave to my son.  these are not necessarily a love gift, but a gift of practicality.)

However, this Christmas was one of the best, at the Happy Girl house, EVER!

This year we had unexpected guests join us for Christmas dinner.  We had agreed to care for our neighbor's dog while they traveled for the holiday.  They called on the Friday before Christmas and informed us they had made a U-turn on their way to Ohio and were returning home.  Their son had started feeling ill.  My husband and I decided to invite them to join us for Christmas dinner.  He had purchased a HUGE beef rib roast.  It was so big.  Our neighbors were happy to be invited to join us for dinner and last minute plans were hatched.  (this may have been a happy accident or maybe... it was, meant to be.)

All I had to do was clean the kitchen, cook the meal, put away all the ornament boxes I had stashed in the dining room, set the table, dress and do my hair and give the impression this was all, effortless.

I wrestled the 12 lb. rib roast into the oven, smeared with a mustard and herb crust.  Chopped dozens of turnips, sweet potatoes, onions, carrots and parsnips.  Braised piles of greens and make a peach pie.  I was sweating like a pig.

The special joy I received at this Christmas came in the form of my husband and my son.  I don't know if you remember my long ago post titled Procrastination.  In that post I had a list of "to do" items.  One item on the list, wash all the mildew off the front door of my house, had not been completed.  I asked my husband and son if this would be something they would do for me.  They would and they did.  I think this was the best thing they could have done for me.  It made me so happy.  I love the way my front door looks now.  This was such an act of love.  I am so grateful.  It made cooking the dinner and cleaning the house a joy.

So, even though no Christmas music was playing in my house.  Even though no children were smiling and playing with toys.  Even though there was no wasp-waisted mom bearing platters of assorted Christmas cookies.  No golden brown turkey on a grape garnished platter.  No family members dressed in Sunday best.

My Christmas found a table full of lively conversation with good neighbors, plates full of good food and glasses full of cheer.

It was, maybe, the best Christmas, EVER. 


  1. It sounds like a wonderful Christmas!  I know just what you mean about the pressure to make everything perfect.  It gets me every year.

  2. Sounds like a lovely dinner and a lovely time.  I'm glad it was a good Christmas.

  3. nice...sounds like you had a great christmas! love me some unexpected guests at the table...that is christmas for sure eh? smiles.

  4. Love it! Real Christmas cheer!

  5. Thanks for sharing your positive energy once again. 

  6. It sounds like your Christmas was wonderful. I am glad you made it as stress free as possible! So thankful for the blessing of family you have : ) I love that you invited your neighbors also. Very kind!

  7. I love it when things turn out that way. So spontaneous!

  8. Fantastic friend!  So glad to hear you had a great Christmas.  :o)

  9. this blog post made me feel all warm inside. I inherited all my "Christmas" traditions after I left home and grew to be an adult.  I never had any warm fuzzy thoughts or experiences on Christmas as a child.  I'm grateful to my Christian family who invited me into their homes and shared their traditions with me and gave me back that "child like wonder" of Christmas.  As I have gotten older I have let go of the perfect "Hallmark" Christmas.  And tried to focus on the true meaning. i.e. if we hadn't had a savior born into this world, we couldn't give our way out of a paper bag. Because of His love and God's Gift of Jesus to us, we can celebrate this "holiday of holidays" and in turn give to others.  I get tired of the commercialism about it but quickly realize it's giving people jobs! As long as I keep it in perspective in God's perspective it will be wonderful. Thanks for posting this. 


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