|Picture Perfect Christmas Morning|
My stocking. This is my stocking. For the past twenty-five Christmas mornings, I have excitedly dumped this stocking out on the living room floor. It usually contains candy, walnuts, an orange, scented chapsticks, nail polishes, gift cards, and various other little trinkets. It also always contains a special gift from Bruce: canned peaches or pineapples. Bruce always puts a strange cured meat product in the stockings-- sardines, vienna sausages, deviled ham, etc. But since my first vegetarian Christmas, he has given me a canned fruit instead. He pretends he's tough, but little gestures like this are a subtle hint that he secretly thinks I'm the coolest person on the planet. ;) Bruce is always the first to get his stocking from the mantle on Christmas morning, and he impatiently waits for everyone else to settle down so he can look inside. So in case you were wondering, that's where I get my child-like love of Christmas!
This teddy-bear-in-a-stocking package-topper. For the past twenty-five Christmas mornings, he has adorned one of my presents. Until I was about fifteen or so, he even always appeared on matching teddy-bears-in-stockings wrapping paper. Pam only wrapped the one present in that paper every year so that it would last as long as possible! Since I was little, I can recall the excitement of seeing the bear on a present, because I knew that meant it was for me! It seems like such a little thing, but I cried when I saw him in that package today. He is such a traditional symbol of Christmas at Home. And Pam said she cried when she packed him, but she just couldn't stand the idea of leaving him in the "bow box" this year. It certainly can't be Christmas without him!!
A wrapped present from Blaze. For the past twenty-five Christmas mornings, I have excitedly busted into Blaze's room to wake him up to open presents. Some of you may not know that my brother is the most thoughtful and giving human on God's Green Earth. I got a beautiful card from him, echoing my sentiments that Christmas apart would be weird. (Blaze missed one Christmas while he was in the Marines in Iraq, and I had a really hard time with that. Christmas has always been a time that the two of us ooze the Christmas spirit, conspire together to surprise my parents, and stay up late on Christmas Eve because I'm too excited to sleep!) He wrote a note on the package that now we both had one of these items (I didn't know what it was yet) so it would be like we were all spending Christmas together. Such a sweet notion. I opened the package to find a large, loud, garish Elvis ornament that plays "Santa Claus is Back in Town" while the word "ELVIS" blinks in red lights behind the King. I laughed through a few tears as I wondered how something could be so sentimental and ridiculous at the same time!
Today I also received a postcard from my Schmoopie. This will be the fifth Christmas I have spent in love with Jeremy. On the front of the card is Chip, the University of Colorado's ridiculous mascot that looks more like a chipmunk than a buffalo. I am certain he chose this card because he knows how silly I think Chip is. He wrote the entire note on the postcard in German (thanks to Google Translate, I'm sure) and drew a picture of himself, Eleanor, and Phoebe in the mountains, with a seagull flying in the clouds above. I have world's most supportive husband of all time. I won't be home for our first married Christmas, but he is rock solid in his support and love. My favorite Christmas present this year is that he booked a flight to come see me in March!!! I cannot wait to see his face and hug his neck and show him all around Germany!
Inspired by all the Christmas cheer I received from home today, I went out and bought a small Christmas tree. I hadn't put up a tree yet, because I kept thinking it would be short-lived, impractical, and unnecessary. But that goes against everything I, as a lover of Christmas, have ever believed in! So I got a little potted evergreen down the street, picked up a few ornaments and lights, and headed home with all my new Christmas Joy! Only bad news: no colored lights here. I decided I'd have to make white lights work for the first (and only, I promise) time in my life. As is tradition, I decorated the tree while listening to a variety of classic Christmas albums-- starting with Elvis, duh.
Christmas Eve will find me where the love light gleams.
I'll be home for Christmas
if only in my dreams...