Thursday, December 25, 2008

I Gotta Hippopotamus for Christmas!

Story and photos to follow. I just had to POST that line. It was my Hallmark surprise ornament from my dear Chuck. It's darling.

More later about our long and eventful (cooking and cooking) Christmas Day!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

'Twas the Day before Christmas

(With apologies to Clement Moore!)

It 'twas the day before Christmas,
and I was quite panic'd
nothing was wrapped
and not soul had gone manic'd.

The tree and the stockings
were in boxes (in the garage)
and my Dear darling
had hinted quite large!

Off to the wrapping paper
Likes elves I flew
With a twinkle I delt with it
Bows and a few.

Now everything is done
and even the cat is content
so I must stop
for good intent.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas Memories

Here are some of my random memories of Christmas growing up in the 60's and 70's... and a few of later years.
1. My grandmother's white flocked artificial tree and color wheel.
2. Putting up our silver artificial tree and color wheel. (My mother was allergic to pine trees.)
3. Red glass ornaments on the silver tree.
4. Antique German glass ornaments from my parents early days together in the 50's... I have several of them packed away as they are very fragile.
5. Bubble lights on Aunt Marge & Uncle Jack's tree... I have a few sets collected in the 80's when these lights made a come back. As they heat up, the liquid in a glass cyllinder bubbles. (They were the Aunt & Uncle of my college roommate Jane... I sort of adopted them as an extra Aunt & Uncle. Sadly they both passed away in 2007, but I have great memories of them.)
6. Silver tinsel tossed on a real tree.
7. Coming out on Christmas morning to find the presents from Santa (unwrapped of course) and the wrapped ones from Mom and Dad.
8. Having to wrestle my baby sister to keep her in bed so that Mom & Dad could have a cup of coffee before she attacked the presents under the tree.
9. Collecting special ornaments during my lifetime. These include those made by friends & relatives and special ones received as gifts or purchased to remember some place special.
10. The red felt stocking with sequined animals and tree made lovingly for me by my Great-Aunt Pallie. I also have several wonderful old ornaments made by her. She was the creative one in the family.
11. The small tree of my father's old age that I took him in the nursing home.
12. My hi-tech fiber optic lighted med. size tree... that I need to put up soon.
13. Getting real greenery wreaths from a local Boy Scout.
14. Christmas dinner with my entire childhood family: Mom, Dad, Granny, Pop pop and little sister Beckie. Complete with turkey, corn bread dressing (regular and a special bowl of oyster dressing for me), sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, relish trays, pecan pie made by Mom, canned chilled asparagus (I know... yuck!), bake & serve dinner rolls, Mrs. Smith's pies, giblet gravy made with lots of extra giblets.
15. Uncle Harley visiting and bringing me a few more presents. I think he had a silver tree too at one point.
16. Sometimes, we had Christmas at home in the morning, then went across town to my grandparent's house for Christmas dinner. Granny probably cooked more dishes than Mom did for the big dinner.
17. Watching "A Charlie Brown Christmas" on the color TV.
18. Playing my few Christmas records over and over. One favorite is The Christmas Cowboy with Gene Autry singing Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.
19. Having my washing machine pipe freeze on Christmas night... flooding the apartment below in 1983.
20. Special ornaments given to me by Florence & Dad after I moved to Plano.
21. Getting the flu and having my Dad drive me back to Plano from San Antonio in 1982! (My 1st month on my new job up here.)
22. Going to East Texas to a tree farm to cut down a live tree with Barbara while we were roommates.
23. Egg nog!
24. Hosting wonder Christmas dinners in our home now for friends and family.
The marriage proposal from Chuck to marry him on Christmas in 2000. A James Avery ring with Hebrew writing on it along with a "recipe" for love & marriage. He is SO romantic.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

At least on the next row over from my cube. They decorated and even had a block party today with lots of gooey treats, hot chocolate and hot cider. I've visited three times for chocolate goodies and assorted other sweets. So I've been enjoying this Christmas season.

Last weekend, I wrapped and wrapped like a mad woman to get packages ready for Chicago (Oak Park), Boston (Roslindale) and San Antonio. Chuck had his own set of packages ready to go to Oregon and California. THEN, my friend in Chicago sent me a card asking if we could scale back on Christmas this year!!!

AFTER I had wrapped about 10 gifts for her AND mailed them to her. You see, we both like opening gifts so we buy many assorted things for each other. I love shopping for odds and ends for her, as she's a bit eccentric and finding just the right things can be quite fun. The gifts must include mustard (her favorite spice), something for the kitchen and a quite odd present. The odd present this year was given to me and immediately I saw the regifting opportunity. My BFF would love it. I'll go into details in a post-Christmas blog in case she's reading this, but it does involve doing almost obscene things to a chicken. :-) Use your imagination!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Holiday Carols Sung By The Fire

Well not exactly! We drove to Houston (Porter specifically) and back home again on Saturday. It's a 4 hour trip each direction. And the music du jour was the new & old Christmas mix CDs created by Chuck from our extensive holiday music collection. We listened and sang our way across Texas. It helped us pass the hours, when we weren't talking. As my friends know, both my husband and I love to talk.
I got to hear a good number of my holiday favorites. I'll need to get out the full CD of some of my all-time favorites to hear the whole thing: A Charlie Brown Christmas, Gene Autry's Christmas Cowboy, The Christmas Song by Nat King Cole. And many more!!!
May the weeks leading up to Christmas, Hannukah and Winter Solstice be merry and bright for all!