merry little christmas

Me, in my new hat from Kooka, thinking about how Christmas day will feel.
While Facebook was teeming with photos of everyone's perfectly coiffed kids making gingerbread houses, or Christmas jammie videos, or whatever it is they do on the 24th of December, for the first time in forever, I have been dreading Christmas Day.

There are several reasons for this:

1) Two of my kids leave on Christmas day. Their dad scoops them up (as he should) and takes them over the river and through the woods to grandmother's house (and yes, she does actually live over the river - Mississippi to be exact -and through various woods inhabited by many a timber rattler - you can see all three from her kitchen window).

2) My dad loved Christmas - more than anyone I've ever met. Knowing that he's missing out on this one - or rather, that we are missing out on him, is much harder than I thought it would be.

3) My brother moved to Florida. And while FaceTime opening Christmas gifts sounds all cool and Apple-commercial-ish, it's not the same - it's just not.

4) The past four Christmas Days have ended up with me crying over dinner in a Chinese restaurant, with Yoda poking at some unidentifiable flavored jello and Rico rubbing my arm between bites of cold lo-mein, saying. "It's OK, this is what we jews do every Christmas day."

5) Yoda sitting here, sibling-less, grandparent-less, cousin-less with two exhausted, mildly depressed parents, who can't even figure out what to make for lunch.


Gram beating Rico at Chinese Checkers.
So instead we go gangbusters on Christmas Eve. A trip to Gram's house in Wisconsin, spirited games of Chinese Checkers and Hungry Hippos, a visit to Uncle Ken's where Yoda gets to say hi to her cousin Josh and his dad "Doughnut Head", candlelight service at Church, appetizer dinner at home, presents, cookies for Santa, oats for the reindeer.

It's quite a wonderful day - and I am grateful for it. And that is all I have to say about that right now.

Hungry Hippos at Grams House

Christmas Morning Princess vs Villain battle