Saturday, December 26, 2009

Saving Christmas

My great grandmother died when I was five. She was a cool lady. She used to make all kinds of stuff. She knit baby blankets, hats, and mittens. She also was known to make a lot of things in ceramics class at the senior center.

She had 5 daughters. Those 5 daughters went on to have a total of 17 children of their own. And those 17 children went on to have a shit ton more. I have a ton of cousins. So you see, there are a large number of people between me and Grammy.

So, when she passed away I didn't get anything of hers.

I have a blanket she made for me when I was born, and a mug she made for me when I was a little girl. But I don't have anything of hers.

The coolest thing Grammy used to make was nativity sets. She handpainted a set for each of her 5 daughters. She also glazed a set for my mom right before her death. My mother's nativity set has been a cherished memory of mine all of my life. It is just so special.

Every year my brother and I would trade off on who got to set up the manger. We would run to put baby Jesus in his "spot" every Christmas morning. It is one of my fondest childhood memories of Christmas.

Since moving out and making a home of my own, I have longed for my own nativity set. I have literally looked at hundreds. And none of them ever fit the bill.

They just didn't seem special.

In fact, last year one of my aunts bought me a few peices of the Precious Moments nativity scene. And as I set them on my table this year I thought, these are cute but they just aren't Grammy's.

Apparently, in 1981 Grammy made herself a nativity set. She handpainted each figurine and my Great Grandfather built a manger for the set. And when she passed away in 1990, my Great Aunt Lee inherited the set.

Fast forward to Christmas Eve 2009.

After dinner, my grandmother instructed Mr. Rootbeer to follow her out to her car because she had something for me in the trunk. They returned with a large box. My grandmother explained that Aunt Lee asked her to give this to me this Christmas. I opened the box and inside was the most wonderful Christmas gift I have ever received.

Grammy's nativity.

Complete with the manger that Grampy has made.

I cannot put into words the joy I felt setting up the nativity on Christmas morning. I am certain I will treasure this gift for the rest of my life. And I can only hope that my children, that I WILL have, will treasure this Christmas tradition as much as I have.

So, thank you Aunt Lee. Thank you for saving Christmas.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Bah Humbug

I would first like to say that I am a Christmas whore.

I loooooove Christmas.

I am one of those people that starts listening to the ever-corny Christmas music the very day after Thanksgiving. I will even admit that my obsession with this overly commercial holiday goes as far as I start planning how I will decorate our house as early as Halloween.

Because shortly after Christmas comes New Years, and who doesn't love New Year's Eve?

And right after New Year's Eve comes my birthday. Which is obviously the highlight of my year.

I usually spend the week leading up to Christmas singing songs, wearing red and green, cheerfully wrapping gifts and baking yummy treats. And I love to shop, so Christmas shopping has never been an annoyance. I gladly brave the packed parking lots and long lines because I truly love to buy gifts for my loved ones.

This year just feels so different. Don't get me wrong here, I am still enjoying seeing family and giving the gifts I have purchased. Except everything else was such a pain in the ass this year.

My heart just isn't in it. And I can't help but wonder if that pesky date conviently sandwiched between New Year's and my birthday is to blame...

Jan 5th.

Fuck that day. I have been dreading it for almost 9 months now. And here it is, just in time to ruin the holidays.

Christmas cards make me wanna barf, yet I sent them anyway. Complete with a picture of my two dogs, because face it people I have no kids.

Shopping this year ranked slightly above sticking a fork into my eyeball.

Work Secret Santa...I got the poor chick a bottle of vodka and a redbull.
I kid you not.
And I will share my thought process on picking this gift out. I said to myself, "Self, what would you want from the work secret santa?"
Bottle of vodka was the first thing that came to mind.

Christmas cookies...I made them but only because stuffing my face is a priority these days. I am working to ensure that none of the clothes I get for Christmas fit.

And don't even get me started on wrapping all those fucking gifts. OMG pain in the ass.

So, faithful blog readers, I am officially over Christmas.

The only positive thing I can come up with is that it is in fact a indication that this suck ass year is almost over.

also I hate that CBEFM.

I don't even think I ovulated this cycle. Which is just fan-fucking-tastic.

I am right on schedule to get my period on Jan 1st.