Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Christmas in review!

I've observed the phenomena of "Christmas Newsletters" for as long as I can remember and have always had a certain degree of fascination with them. See, it's a hobby of mine to anthropomorphize anything and everything. That said, it's ever so satisfying to me to personify these letters of news. You know what I mean... the classic "Type A" - the letter that arrives postmarked November 30th and relays the family happenings, alphabetizing each child and including the recent shot records of their matching pet poodles. These letters are a joy to me. Then we have the "We smile like we know each other in passing, yet have never had a meaningful moment" newsletters - these are the letters that are so vague, I feel like I know less about the family now than I did before I opened the envelope. Or there's always the letter that comes with a personal note, handwritten and full of gush and well wishes, hand signed by everyone in the family... and yet I've never met them. I love those... makes me feel like I know a celebrity or something.

But my personal favorite are the newsletters that arrive in January. The kind that begin with an apology for their tardiness and end with promises to do better next year; the kind that switch back and forth between third and first person and use the words "crazy", "non-stop" and "Last month Jackson discovered a new use for mayonnaise", or "The cat is finally looking like a sort of feline again." This letter is a personality of mismatched socks, late nights of laughter, mud wars, musical instruments made out of cheese graters and vacuum hoses, and adventures at unholy hours. I hold these letters and find sweet relief knowing that life can somehow just fly by and we can either resort to backpedaling and guilt-filled regrets that disappear into the wind, or we can embrace where we are at and choose to keep sharing ourselves. Regardless of what the calendar says.

That said, here it is. Our very tardy, very untraditional, and very wonderful Christmas of 2009.

First of all, Bethany became sick.

No, let me rephrase that: Bethany defined sick.

Our Christmas surprise: "The Oklahoma Blizzard of 2009"
- this was a rather exciting moment for me. After roasting in the sun for the majority of December, I (Amy) was beginning to fear that my Colorado ways may have worn off. However, Christmas Eve morning found me peeking out the window in my footsie pajamas, squealing like a 6 year old at the sight of fresh snow! It was in that moment that Christmas became a reality for me.

A reality that lasted for several days in fact since Oklahoma apparently does not own snow plows. Funny.

Christmas is all about tradition for me. This year being the first year I've ever been away from home, I let go of a lot of my dearly loved traditions. (which was actually a very freeing experience for me) However, I never have and never will budge on this one: sardines on Christmas Eve. This has been a personal tradition of mine since I was 5 years old. Thankful I am to Mike for hooking us up with such a fine selection of canned fish - especially being snowed in as we were!

Margarita, our PHENOMENAL hostess and dear dear friend, was daring enough to give my traditional meal a try, and in fact handled it with much grace. In fact, there was even mention of incorporating it into her Christmas traditions!!

We washed it all down with soy nog and some chocolate truffles. My opinion is that Christmas eve is not a success unless you go to bed feeling ever so queazy. (:

Christmas Morning Pancakes!
(In shapes of snowmen, baby Jesus, candy canes, O Holy Night, and wreathes)


Our dear little tree... boy has construction paper come in handy on this trip!

Margarita's first snow adventure! I was completely honored to introduce this adorable Californian to the wonders of SNOW. Marge is absolutely top notch in the snow... such a great student!

We covered all the basics: snowballs, snow angels, eating snow, walking in snow, skating in the parking lot, icicles, driving in snow...

... and of course snow men! Or in this case Snow Creature. We were all quite proud of our little fellow. And crushed when we found him without a head the next morning.

Oh simplicity ... like our rainbow candle... enriched by the conversations that went on around it.

My favorite memory of Christmas: Marge reading us the Christmas story and then describing Mary like I've never heard before. Absolutely beautiful.

Traditional and not-so-traditional Christmas carols filled the apartment complex that night! If I could remember our remixed version of "12 Days of Christmas", I would share... however, much like the original version, I can't recall one single line. Something about snow, sardines, and locked wireless internet. (:

Game night with Ben

- when in doubt and an Italian is coming to dinner, brusectta is always a winner!

For those of you who have never heard of the game "Stop Thief", allow me to introduce you to one thrilling game. Think "Dream Date" with cops and robbers. And a walkie-talkie! Seriously - it's a new favorite! Especially since becoming a detective has been a life long hope of mine. Oh dreams really can come true!

And thus concludes our snowy, non-traditional, joy-filled Christmas of 2009!

"For unto you a Savior..."


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