What do we do on Christmas?

The partial answer is that I get really, really, really, really bored about halfway through the afternoon. What I really need to do is get outside but if I am sort of semi under the weather (like I was today) and the weather is even too crappy for me (like it was today), it’s even hard for *me* to get outside. In this heathen/lapsed Catholic household, we celebrate Christmas in a cultural way. Sometimes we do have area family members over but a lot of times (this year) we just hang out. Presents? Yes. Too many. I’ve been trying to downsize that whole thing. And then a lot of hanging out until it’s time for dinner. And that is simple. Duck and mashed potatoes (rice would work too) and salad. And teensy tinesy little prepared desserts from the Plum Market.

When I was a kid up in Sault Ste. Siberia, there was a definite agenda. We got up on Christmas morning at our own little house on Superior Street and opened our presents. We got to play with them for just a while until the next thing on the agenda, which was to have breakfast at Grandma and Grandaddy’s house, oh I dunno, maybe eight blocks away or so, on John Street. It was close enough that my parents and grandaddy were always driving a big long ladder back and forth between our houses — somebody (The Commander) would drive and two others would hold the ladder outside the passenger-side windows. Anyway. We would have more presents at our grandparents’ house, from our grandparents and cousins, and when we were finished with that, there was a big breakfast in the dining room. After all that, we usually went home again for a while and that’s when boredom would hit and so we would be whining and crying and fighting and whatever else and our parents would probably be wishing we’d just go outside already. Eventually, it would be time to go to our aunt and uncle’s house for a big turkey dinner with just about every relative within 50 miles or whatever. Usually by the end of that affair, we would be ready for bed, at least I’m sure my parents wanted us to be. Of course, my most vivid memory of Christmas dinner is the year that I had just not been feeling right all day. My mom finally asked my doctor uncle to take a look at me. He took one look and said, “She has the MUMPS!” Yes, I did. I was six. They didn’t vaccinate for the mumps in those days (and maybe that was a good thing but that’s a whole ‘nother entry). Mumps! Merry Christmas to me!!!

I call myself a heathen but we did go to church when I was a kid. The Central United Methodist Church, that is. Christmas Eve was magical there with choir and organ music and pageantry and the last song (Silent Night) sung by candelight. Us kids always went home that night with our heads in the stars, opened one gift and headed to bed with sugarplums dancing in our heads.

This year? We did about the usual thing here at the Landfill. I tried really hard to downsize. Not sure I did the best job. Anyone want a remote control helicopter? Don’t ask why we have two…

What did y’all do? Are you downsizing? How successful were you at doing that? Er, I mean if you celebrate Christmas, that is.

6 Responses to “What do we do on Christmas?”

  1. Pooh Says:

    What is it about Xmas and the mumps? My sisters and I flew to the Soo for Xmas once by ourselves when Bubs and Harry went to Mexico City. It was the puddle jumper flight with 3 stops between Detroit and the Soo. Jane wasn’t feeling well, and I assumed it was b/c she didn’t like flying. Don took one look at her and said “mumps!”. Jane wanted a pickle, and refused to listen to everyone who told her that a pickle wouldn’t be a good thing with an inflamed throat. Yowwch!

  2. Margaret Says:

    I had the mumps too, but not at Xmas. They HURT! We are trying to downsize; it felt more manageable this year and next year will be better. (in my husband’s family–no adult gifts, just stockings) I got a funny new hat this year for running. It has a LIGHT. 🙂

  3. Jay Says:

    I think we did pretty well this year as far as being managable. A few too many treats are around, but more books, music, sweaters (as requested) and kitchen implements.

  4. Goose Says:

    I got the mumps vaccine when I was kid and STILL got the mumps!! Those darn things hurt.

    Also, I’m happy I was able to come to the Landfill this Christmas!!

  5. Dogmomster Says:

    Couldn’t tell ya if I ever had the mumps… think my little bro’ got them at one time, and I had been in close enough contact (hard NOT to be as a little kid inside a house) that I *may* have had a mild case. Think I was still given the MMR vaccine at some point, too. What I really recall is the chicken pox – insanely itchy, baking soda baths, calamine lotion, the whole bit. Ugh. Fortunately, none of it during Xmas!

    This year? We kept our material schtuff to a minimum. Especially since I want to unload the majority of the Schtuff from this house and look at downsizing (when the market “improves”).

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