When my daughter was three years old, I was a single and broke mom. I was going to college, working an overnight job and sleeping during the day while my daughter was in pre-school.
This first picture is our Christmas tree. Last year was my first year to have a real Christmas tree since my children were very little. We’d always used an artificial tree. Being a broke single mom, I scavenged every year to find ‘new’ ornaments and such and we used a lot of tinsel and garland on our artificial tree in order to keep it looking full and not sickly.
Last year, we paid about $50 bucks and got a 9′ real tree, I think it was a Douglas Fir. I loved it. It was beautiful and real and sweet smelling and just lush and gorgeous…
… for about three days. After that, it was a pine needle avalanche and a mess for the vacuum cleaner that I don’t think has recovered yet.
It’s funny, though. For 12 years, I felt gratitude for what we had, but longed for a lush, beautiful real Christmas tree. Once I finally had one, I realized… they’re not all they’re cracked up to be, and they are a whole lot of things that the television Christmas shows and ads and stories about trees don’t tell you about. Come to think of it, I think we’re still finding pine needles on the back porch a year after the tree disaster.
But oh, what a beautiful tree it was. This year, we went with an artificial replica of Doug Fir, Doug Firless. It was a steal at about $300 bucks. Funny how perspectives change. My old self would never have spent that much on a tree. My new self appreciates that I have people who love me and spend that much on trees for me so I don’t have to.
The way my old self figures, we only need to use this Christmas tree for 30 years, and it will have paid for itself.
This picture below is of my son. He’s sixteen and a half this year. We’re taking him to get his license after the New Year so if you live anywhere near the Britney Bay subdivision in the Galveston/Houston suburbs, watch out. I have good insurance, but I really don’t want to test it.
The boy cannot walk down the stairs from his bedroom to the living room without going head first, or sometimes butt first. He can’t remember to close the refrigerator door when he’s done or to flush the damned toilet, but let’s hand him the keys to a 2000 pound weapon and turn him loose on the mean streets.
I wonder: Did the people in government who made 16 the legal driving age actually have any children of their own? I mean, I realize that people used to be able to get married at 13 and 14 centuries ago, but have you SEEN today’s youth? I mean…
That’s the dog there with the boy, trying to walk off with his present. Now, see… this is how this went. The dog, behaving himself and sitting on the floor watching everyone open presents, gets called, “Here Jackey, want a present?” and then has this gift shoved in his mouth by the boy. But then when Jake actually tries to TAKE the present, it’s, “No, Jake, bad dog.”
Smack that boy on the head, “No, no, Aleck, bad brat.”
Remember, a dog is only as well behaved as his master…
Speaking of masters, in the picture below, we see little ‘Lista running out of the shot and away from (check the right-hand corner), the D. O. G.
The cats aren’t really into the D. O. G. They think he’s loud, he moves way too fast, and let’s face it, he’s just too darned big.
Plus, he smells!
Our computer router name is AnimalHouse, and it’s not named after the movie, I assure you. Besides the primary pet, my son, we also have a dog, Jake, and twin sister kitties, ‘Lista and Kassie, and their bratty little snot of a step-brother, Dusty. They do not claim Dusty. They aren’t even sure he’s really a cat.
They are a handful. One of them likes to climb inside the Christmas tree. One of them likes to play with the strings on the Christmas tree. And the other one seems to think that it’s fun to swat all the ornaments off the tree and bat them around on the floor, when he’s dragging the velvet jingle bell lined tree skirt across the floor and up the stairs. Yes, the 9 pound cat dragged a tree skirt with jingle bells all the way across the room. Twice.
And what are those on the presents? Surely they must be cat toys! Ohhh, shiny…. preeettttty. Mine.
This last picture is of my mother on her yacht. Instead of visiting with her family this Christmas and enjoying love and companionship and fellowship and good cheer, and of course, presents…
… she decided to take their yacht out on its inaugural run and spent the entire Christmas week out on the water, with her husband and their dog, Alfred.
I missed her this year and she missed so much. While she was out on the boat eating all the shrimp and crab she cared to eat and sunning herself in balmy 70 degree weather, we were here at home, cleaning up wrapping paper and washing dishes from Christmas dinner and sweeping and mopping the floors, and redecorating the tree for the umpteenth time…
She really missed out on the Christmas spirit, I tell you.
I don’t have pictures of gifts yet, but I probably will in the next day or two. I took some video of my son as well, and if he looks at it and it passes the ‘Selena-Gomez-might-see-me-do-I-have-any-zits?’ inspection, I might share it with you all.
I did, however, get a nice haul this year. I got a gorgeous diamond and ruby heart necklace, with one pink stone in it for my daughter’s birthday… and the names of my family etched into the rings of the heart. It’s simply gorgeous. I got a new ceramic crock/pot slow cooker and a gorgeous stainless steal baking toaster oven – omg, they amazing. I know you’re thinking they are practical ‘work’ gifts, but not for me. I love to dabble in gourmet cooking and they are exactly what I wanted. They also had a special meaning to them that I might share in another blog – but not today. Right now, tonight, that meaning is just for me and the one person who understands without me having to explain.
I got an almost 5′ long copper pipe chime with a hummingbird weight – I’ve wanted one of these for a long, long time, and it sounds so amazing and is so very pretty. Got a big plush body pillow and some other stuff.
My son really raked it in too, getting a PSIII and Band Hero as his big gifts. He’s happy. We haven’t seen him since about five minutes after the present were opened, except once to try to get permission to take food upstairs to his bedroom–sorry, buddy. Even Christmas won’t break that rule. One moldy pop-tart under the bed and an ex-bowl of cereal with glue in the bottom so the spoon stands straight up are enough to keep the no-food-in-the-bedroom rule alive. Even for Christmas.
He’s FINALLY asleep after all the sugar he ate. We had Ferrero Rocher in white, regular and dark… I think I died and went to heaven and came back a bit when I bit into them. The white ones/silver ones are my favorite. We had chocolate covered pretzels, a favorite of mine, and my Buffy made a Christmas lasagna that is to die for.. I mean, goopey with all this flavor and green in it with the red for Christmasy… I ate so much I thought I’d burst. Lasagna is her family’s tradition. Then hot buttered rums, Disarrono w/pumpkin spice cream and chocolate cake and black forest cheesecake… and more.
It was a good day.
It was a very good day.
I hope each and every one of you had a wonderful Christmas day, whether you celebrate it or not… everyone deserves at least one good day per year, no?
Share with me in the comments what you did this Christmas and what gifts you received. Share with me your gratitude and your joy. If you’re having a hard time finding gratitude and joy this year, let us help lift you up, and you can borrow a little of ours.
To everyone, thank you for bringing this year closed in style. I love all my online friends, my online family and my fellow writers.
Write your way into the new year the write way! Keep writing!
Love and stuff,