Friday, December 26, 2008

Exhaustion: A Christmas Tradition

The Christmas season is a time of tradition for our family. Each Christmas eve we have dinner at my moms house. That dinner consists of Ham, baked beans, rice pudding, lutefisk ,
herring, cheese and cracker tray and glug. We exchange gifts with grandma and grandpa, make plans for a fishing trip to Canada in the spring, and generally laugh and make fools of ourselves. (We are brutal teases in our family so if your thin skinned you might want to stay in the kitchen- of course, if you do we will never let you live it down!)

After Grandmas house we go home to let the dogs out and then head for our Christmas eve service. Some light weights can't handle midnight worship- but this has been a family tradition for so long that my kids are tough and sleep deprived already! Folks arrive at the church they see the luminarias that have been painstakingly set out in front of the sanctuary. I was always told that this illumined the way into the church so that (symbolically) Jesus would know that, though we humans missed his first coming- we are ready for the return ( at least some of us are). I have found that it also points to the way into the church building for those who have had too much glug! (not recommended!)

For decades I would return home to put the kids to sleep and assemble toys that that lazy Santa was too 'busy" to assembly before hand. Part A to part B, this sticker here, that one there, and so on. By now I am usually so exhausted that I am slightly delusional. I lay down for what seems like 10 minutes and suddenly the sun is up and I am busy running around making breakfast.

I make bacon and pancakes- swedish pancakes- you know- REAL pancakes. Made from scratch, these bad boys are filled with fruit and whipped creme and covered with syrup. (I could give you the recipe- but I would have to kill you...) Anywho... about the time the bacon is catching fire- the kids arrive from their various places of sleep. We exchange presents and oooohh and awe at the appropriate moments. About this time the dogs begin to eat the wrapping paper that has completely filled the living room (about waist deep). Wading through this mess I head for the kitchen to find a garbage bag to put this stuff in- after all the dogs can't be expected to eat all of it!

A sweater, a couple ties, etc., and it is now a bit behind schedule for the Sirloin roast or Tenderloin that we through in. Asparagus, mashed potatoes, and cherry pie. MMMmmm. good! That smell is biscuits burning because we always forget them! Cleaning up the mess and it is about 6 pm. I am now exhausted and ready for bed. But instead I put my PJ's back on and eat more. When my arm finally gives out from lifting that beef sandwich I turn off the John Wayne movie I am watching and head for bed. An amazing time! a Great family tradition! A wonderful day!

Or is it punishment for something????????

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