Tuesday, December 20, 2011

True Traditions Tuesday...Christmases Yet to Come

Can you believe that we've reached the final Tuesday before Christmas?  Only a few more days, and Jolly Ol' St. Nick will be sliding down the chimneys of children all across the world.  Santa's in luck, this year, Hubby cleaned out the chimney - so it's nice and clean, ready for his arrival.

For the past couple of weeks, I've ditched my usual True Confessions Tuesday and replaced it with True Traditions Tuesday - in the spirit of the holidays.  The picture that is usually at the top of the screen is a bull...I found this cupcake reindeer to be so much more fitting.  It kinda looks like the bull - but a much happier, festive version.  I started off telling you about the traditions of my Christmases Past, then last week I told you about my Christmases of the Present.  This year, you guessed it, I'm jumping in to a time machine and dishing out my hopes and dreams for Traditions of Christmases Yet to Come.

One of my biggest fears about my kids growing up is that I will no longer have any children at my house for Christmas.  It scares me.  Big time.  My whole life - all 29 years - I've been in a house with children for Christmas.  Whether it be siblings or my own children - there has always been the magic in which children bring to the occasion.  Thankfully, being that my kids are only 11, 10, and 4, I've still got several years before I have to worry about that.  Today, I'm jumping forward to the Christmas of 2031.  That's 20 years from now.  Wow...20 years...that is a long way to jump.  Peanut is 31, Butter is 30, and Jelly is 24.  I am 49...

Peanut - She's married to a wonderful man.  They have four children. (She'll flip if she reads this)  She met her Hubby in college - Harvard Law, of course.  She graduated, and her and her hubby are lawyers.  Good ones.  They have a nice house in Boston (she accepted a position there after graduating) - and she's doing very well for herself.  The day before Christmas Eve, her whole family will fly down to spend Christmas with me. 

Butter - He's also married to a very nice woman.  They have 2 children.  Butter went to college at my Alma Mata the University of Arkansas, and is a therapist - specializing in child psychology.  His wife is a teacher.... love her!!  His family live close by, and he works for the counseling agency that works with kids in the school that I teach (that's how he met his wife).  They like to spend Christmas Eve at his wife's parents house, and then they come to me for Christmas.

Jelly - Three for three, Jelly is also married - but no kids, yet.  She has been married for a year.  She is a teacher, teaching in the same school district as me.  This is her 2nd year teaching - and she's GREAT at it.  She teaches kindergarten.  She has remained a Mommy & Daddy's girl through and through, and she spends a great amount of time with us.  Her Hubby is very much like her dad was when I first met him, and doesn't really do a whole lot for Christmas - so we'll be welcoming him to the family by giving him the experience of a Christmas at our house.  She'll spend Christmas Eve at my house, so that she can spend some time with Peanut's kids - and doing the fun Christmas Eve stuff she loves.

Christmas Eve - In the afternoon, we'll load up the cars and head to my pseudo mother-in-law's house.  It's been a Christmas tradition for 25 years that we have Christmas Eve dinner at her house.  PMIL loves it when Peanut visits with the kids.  We have a lovely dinner, open gifts, and then it's back to my house for Christmas Eve stuff. 

Grandma - that's me - gets all the stuff out to make Christmas cookies for Santa.  Jelly loves this part - always has.  This time she drags her Hubby in to the fun, and her and her hubby help Peanut's kids cut and decorate the cookies, while Peanut and I observe from a close distance with a glass of Bailey's in hand.  Peanut's Hubby hangs out with my Hubby - talking manly stuff like work and projects on the house.  After the cookies, we all snuggle on the couch with a cup of hot chocolate, a couple of cookies, and a Christmas movie.  We then get out the kids' stockings and get them in their Christmas PJ's, ready for bed.  Once the kids are fast asleep, Peanut, Jelly, and I get all the gifts under the tree.  Peanut fills the stockings, and then us three girls sit down and have a reminiscent discussion of Christmases when they were growing up.  Then, it's off to bed for us cause we know it's going to be an early morning wake-up.

Christmas Morning - Jelly is up and has already made the coffee.  Her hubby is a little disheveled by what's taking place before his eyes.  She's trying to help Peanut keep the kids in the bedroom - opening their stockings.  I get Hubby out of bed, pour a couple cups of coffee, get out the Christmas cookies, and get ready in the living room.  Then the stampede commences, and the kids come rushing in.  Jelly designates herself as the person to hand out gifts, while her hubby is wrapped up around her, and Peanut and I sit with the cameras ready to capture all of the excitement about to take place.  Peanut's Hubby has designated himself as the flying trash catcher.  My Hubby has Youngest Grandchild curled up on his lap, cause she's just not sure about all of this craziness just yet...and has to be eased in to it.

Jelly hands out one gift at a time, just like it's always been done.  Each parent and grandparent gets to see the present, and then it's quickly on to the next.  Once all the gifts are open, the Hubbies go to work opening all of the toys from their packaging....that are still horrible to get out of the boxes.  You'd figure after 20 years, they'd have eased up on the Fort Knox style of boxing toys...but nope, not yet.  The girls all grab their cups of coffee and a couple of cookies and ooohhh and ahhh over all the new toys.

Early Christmas Afternoon - Butter arrives!  He's got his family and more gifts in tow.  We have another round of Christmas craziness.  His kids and Peanut's kids then show off to each other what Santa brought for them - and there are a few fights to extinguish.  This is where I get to remind my oldest two children of what it was like for me when they were growing up and always fighting.  It's so great when your children have children just like they were as kids!  We spend a little while talking - and then it's time to load up to Grandmother's house we go.  That would be my mother, the kids' grandmother, and their kids' great-grandmother.

Christmas Afternoon - Jesus, Mary and Bart the craziness that takes place at my mother's house for Christmas.  My mom has six of her own children that show up, about half a dozen grandchildren that show up (which is only about half of them) and then another dozen great-grandchildren that have shown up.  It is Christmas Pandemonium at it's finest.  My sister takes the job of handing out gifts to everyone, but there is no waiting patiently as one gift is opened at a time....no, that takes too long.  It's a mad, crazy, frenzy of wrapping paper and gifts bags flying everywhere. 

After the gift opening, the girls all make their way to the kitchen to help my mom with the feast that will be taking place in a couple of hours.  The men are all designated the job of playing with the kids - which really means they put on their coats and take the kids outside to run wild...while they stand around talking with beers in hand.  Then, it's time for Christmas Dinner.  The kids all eat in one room, and the adults are all seated in another room....just because there's not enough room to sit 500 people in the same room.  It's loud, crazy, but my mom wouldn't have it any other way.  She loves it just as much as I do.

Christmas Night - As it's always been, everyone spends the night at my mother's house.  It's like a sea of sleeping bags and blow up mattresses as far as the eye can see.  The kids are all put to bed in a room, somewhere, and then the adults take some time to catch up - without kids flying around every which way.  There's a little drinking happening, a lot of talking about the good ol' days, and that's when Jelly takes the opportunity to announce to everyone that she's expecting her first child!!  My mother and I cry...me because I'm ecstatic that I'm going to be a grandma again, and my mother because she realizes that there will be yet another place at the dinner table she needs to make room for next Christmas. 

Boxing Day - The day after Christmas is celebrated the way it always is.  Lots of playing with toys, eating, and just having a great time.  We don't spend the night again, however.  This time, it's back to my house for some quality time with my kids and grandchildren.  Butter stays for a while, but soon leaves to get the kids home.  Jelly and her Hubby decide to spend another night with me.  Peanut, and her family are staying with me until New Year's.  Her kids are all exhausted, so they hit the sack early - and the rest of the evening, the adults have a few drinks (minus Jelly who is drinking apple juice) and play some of the kids' games.  It's the wee hours of the morning before we crash....and before I go to sleep, I count my blessings that I have such a perfect family and that Christmas was, yet again, another hit. 

This, my friends, is how I hope my Christmases will be spent 20 years from now.  Could there be a more perfect Christmas when your kids are all grown with kids of their own?  I don't think so.  

Alright - now back to this year.  Got to take the kids Christmas shopping today for gifts for family members.  They then get to wrap the gifts.  I'm sure they'll argue about it - and it will be another note to write in my list of things to remember to remind them about when they're older with fighting kids of their own.  

Everyone have a great Tuesday!!

Till next time. ;)

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