GAYS MILLS - We all survived another Christmas extravaganza.
We snuck in our little Charley Brown tree at the last minute Christmas Eve, worried that poor Santa might not register us as potential gift recipients, if we didn’t have one.
True to our hillbilly fashion, we brought in this little potted pine that my friend had given me. It was covered in snow so Chasca took his trusty outside broom and gave it a few swats to knock off the small piles white stuff. I broke down a cardboard box to put it on, incase it leaked and plopped it down in the living room.
I dug out our few little ornaments from the loft and set to decorating. We already had the perfect string of tinsel. Some one had brought it over, and just left it. Thatcher occasionally drags it around the house, pretending it is some fabulous and beautiful snake. He will proceed to chase you with this monotone fake scream “ahhhhh!”
We wrapped that baby up all around our scrawny little evergreen and it looked as fancy as could be. When I was pregnant, my aunts bestowed a number of ornaments including a golden glitter boot, a little blue glass bootie and a Rudolf. I bought myself a festive Homer Simpson, wearing a Santa hat and waving a mug of beer. This year, we also added Thatcher’s newest ornament, a little glass hen sitting on a clutch of eggs. Or as they’re known at our house, a Buck Buck.
“That is the only thing he is going to want,” said Chasca tucking the hen safely in the back of the tree. Then, he hung Thatcher’s stocking from the beam in the living room with care-and finally went to bed.
We forgot the cookies, sorry Santa, we’ll do better next year.
When we awoke the next morning, for once before our son, we gently prodded him and tentatively said his name. Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore and squealed “MERRY CHRISTMAS! YA GOTTA WAKE UP, SANTA’S BEEN HERE!”
The little boy with the crazy hair peeled open his eyes and put his hands up.
“Papa?” he asked. In fact, Thatcher was more interested in the possibility that his Grandpa Tom did indeed spend the night.
“Yeah, Yeah Papa is here, but what about SANTA!?”
“Yuuup!” Thatcher responded.
We jumped out of bed with such excitement and shuffled down the hall and up the three steps to the living room. And there, in all of its glory was our little tree with a small mound of gifts below.
Thatcher proceeded to open a small box that contained a little blue truck. It was made by a company that uses recycled plastic milk jugs to produce its toys. Way to go Santa, keeping it eco friendly.
“Oh WOW!” Thatcher exclaimed followed by an excited garble of gibberish. He furiously began pointing at the truck and signing more, more, more. We thought he was indicating that he wanted more gifts, but actually, he just wanted the truck present opened the rest of the way. Upon presenting him with other wrapped parcels, he just swatted them down and took the box with the truck to Grandpa, who would surely understand his plea better than his simpleton parents.
The night before we had celebrated another Christmas with my family in Viola.
The first time Chasca witnessed one of these affairs he was a bit taken-a-back. His family usually has a sit-down meal and lots of visiting throughout the course of a day, while Christmas music plays in the background. It is a really pleasant, delicious fun time. This year was a little wilder with a house full of little boys running and screaming. My nephew even went as far as to announce. “LISTEN TO ME! I’M MAKING A LOT OF NOISE GUYS!” It made me feel right at home. For my family, well, we’re loud, occasionally crude, and kind of crazy.
So of course, the natural choice for getting this rowdy bunch together is a rather small home. My cousin took the duty this year for the rotating holiday and it went great.
Her stove is broken, so we lined up the Nescos with tater tot casserole, ham and cheesy potatoes. Miller Highlife or chocolate milk was the beverage of choice.
This party also had a number of little boys, causing some craziness, especially at present-opening time.
My favorite holiday quote from the present-opening moment included:
“Oh my God Mom!! Look at this GIANT JUG OF HAIR GEL! MY GIRLFRIEND WILL THINK I AM SO HANDSOME WITH THIS! I love it, oh God I love it so much!”- Kaiden, age 10, exclaiming while rolling on the floor and embracing an oversized bargain bottle of LA Styles Hair Gel he had just received. It may just be my favorite because it was the only one I could make out among the squeals and laughter.
During all of the craziness, I am happy to report that the two smaller boys survived. Thatcher, who can walk but chose to crawl, because his younger cousin only crawls, didn’t even get stepped on or stumbled over. I’d say that is a Christmas win overall.