Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Flipping Christmas

No, your eyes are not deceiving you.  The picture is a mirror image.  It also has a wrinkle in it along the "I" in LIFE.  There's a good reason for that.

As part of our annual "dress in pajamas that match" tradition, Beanie (aka me) has an additional responsibility -- to reduce the guys' outfits down to the 3 year old size for Carter.  

So, a pair of mens' XL pajama pants was cut down and reassembled -- this time with a 13 1/2 inch inseam and a 22 inch waist, and the image to the right was printed and ironed on to a grey t shirt, so that Carter will match Daddy, Uncle Trent, Uncle Ben, Pops and Grand Dude.

Quite frankly, this Christmas is providing a lot of opportunity for flipping things.

Flipping Christmas.

A week ago, son #2, the recently-engaged Ben, called and asked if there was any chance he could convince me to serve the traditional Christmas spaghetti dinner at noon instead of five.  I had abandoned the full turkey dinner style Christmas dinner seven years ago when Jennie and Scott got married -- it was just easier to serve something that didn't require precise timing.  The sauce goes in the crockpot in the morning, and we boil water whenever it's time to eat, making enough pasta for whomever is hungry at the time.

But spaghetti at noon sounded like a recipe for a long afternoon nap to me.

A week ago, I was leaving options open, ready to roll with the punches.  (Similar strategies have existed in my classroom, as students attempted to meet final deadlines for finishing various presentations, projects, and papers before the break.  Recent interruptions to the high school schedule have included Keystone exams for sophomores, Rhythm Singers performances, illnesses, and a variety of other reasons for student absences, and the catching up was at full tilt Friday and Monday!)

So a week ago, it was gifts with Kristin and Bruce in the morning, gifts with Ben, Scott, Jennie, Carter and Bailey at noon, followed by gifts with my mother, and topped off with spaghetti, all covered with cheese -- hoping that no meatballs would be lost to the inevitable sneeze.

But that was all before the failed attempt to deliver Christmas cookies by my mother on Monday.  

At this point, it is unlikely that she will be home for Christmas -- she will probably be discharged on Friday.  She's learning to walk with a walker steered by the elbow of her broken arm, as she nurses the newly-strung patella that was put back together yesterday.  We'll be eating spaghetti at noon, and taking leftovers to Abington.  I might even break out my festive red wagon to carry her gifts!

Yes, Christmas will be different.  We don't have ten kinds of cookies -- at this point we don't even have a single cookie baked.  I still have gifts to wrap, and meatballs to make.  I'm awaiting the arrival of Madi, a former student, who texted me today to say she'd like to see me before she heads back to school, and we'll head to church later.  And whatever happens, happens.  I'm living in the moment, and handling things a minute at a time.

It's a different kind of Christmas,  but it's a very, very blessed Christmas, when I consider the many possible alternatives.