The Christmas Eve party was a real homecoming at our house. Some came early so they had to dress for Christmas Mass here.
The girls used one bedroom as their dressing room. The boys used another one. Three of the little girls, aged 6 through 9, looking positively beautiful, as only little girls can, paraded for approval.
One had forgotten her necklace so we all agreed to go to Grandma’s jewelry box to find something. We found a sparkling little Christmas tree pin that would be just right. Then the other two decided they needed “some sparkle, too” since it was Christmas. So they also chose pins to wear.
I went to check on the boys. Both had on dress pants and new shirts with neckties. They were putting on the finishing touches — bobby pins for tie bars. Back to Grandma’s jewelry box where we found tie tacs that would “keep their ties out of their soup,” if they were still wearing the ties by the time we got to the soup.
At church, I sat behind our group to enjoy our family all together at church. Since we arrived early the children decided that a trip to the restroom was necessary to relieve their boredom. So, one after the other, they made the trip to the restroom at the back of the church.
As the organ began the first Christmas carol, we all stood for the entrance procession. One of the girls had not returned from the restroom yet. Not to worry. She walked down the aisle right behind the priest who is usually the last one in.
As she smiled her way into the pew, I noticed movement from one of the boys. As I looked closer, I realized he was raising both arms to the heavens, shaking them, then putting them down and looking solemnly from side to side.
I wondered where he had learned that trick and was grateful that none of the others had adopted it yet as he moved through his own ritual again and again, finally raising only one arm. Then I realized it wasn’t a religious ritual. His new shirt sleeves were a bit too long, and he was just shaking them down into place.
After Mass, it was time to return home for the feast, then exchange and open all the gifts. Have you taken a look at kid’s toys lately?
They showed me one game that involved pulling fluorescent green “boogers” out of a plastic nose until the head blew off and the brains blew out. That one was shipped in from out of town. The boys loved it. I couldn’t bring myself to try it.
On the girls’ side there was “Sweet Dreams Barbie.” She looked like “Boom Boom Barbie” to me. Instead of having a trim, plastic figure, she is over stuffed above and below a teeny-tiny waistline.
There was a mini crisis Christmas Day when we realized that the turkeys we planned to roast for dinner had been in the freezer too long. It looked like we were going to be serving all the trimmings without the turkey when we found one that wasn’t old enough to retire. Guess it’s time to clean out the freezer.
It’s also time to remove the Christmas lights and decorations and face the New Year. I think I’ll take on the New Year first, and part with the lights a little later. The sparkle of the lights helps warm the cold winter weather.
AUTHOR’S NOTE: This column was first published in the Greenville Advocate on Jan. 3, 1996.
P.S. If you didn’t get a Christmas card from me this year it’s because I didn’t send any. Maybe next year.
Meanwhile I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.