‘Twas the Night Before Christmas

I just delighted myself by reading ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas aloud to myself. Many decades too late to delight my Granny, and my Mother, who read us poetry every night as bedtime stories.

When I was four my Granny and Mother helped me memorize this poem, to recite at a school Christmas Concert, at the one room school house that my Mother had attended as a child.

I was a shy child, very unused to the company of people other than my parents, grandparents, and siblings. The thought of standing up and reciting in front of an audience, most of whom were unknown to me, was terrifying.

I memorized most of the poem, and then balked, and insisted I could not remember the lines, deliberately making mistakes. I did not perform that poem at the Christmas Concert, nor any other poem. I think my Granny and Mother were disappointed.

The Christmas Concert was a magical event, with every child who attended school there performing some little thing, a poem, a song, and the audience sang along as the students all stood on the “stage” and sang Christmas Carols. Every child received a small gift, including me. It was the highlight of all social events in my life, so wonderful that someone once said of it, “heaven couldn’t be any better than this.” I measure all social activity by this experience, and have been lucky enough to experience similarly magical occasions… Mary’s Christmas open house… Fat Albert’s open stage… an evening with Michael Smith and musical friends at a small intimate cafe… my social life has had its sweet moments in time.

Yesterday we received a message from Terra, asking us if we could come and take care of Sunny and Sky for a few hours. Terra is working shift work, and Lares is on call on the weekends. Lares was on a call and couldn’t leave to come home in time for Terra to leave for work. Their regular babysitter could not take the babies, so Terra messaged us and asked if we were busy. Happily our plans for the day were flexible, so it was an immediate “we will be there” response.

We arrived well before Terra had to leave for work, so Sunny and Sky had lots of time to adjust to our presence before their Mom left. We had a wonderful time playing with them, for about three hours. They are very active little people, curious, good natured, and very rambunctious. The three hours flew by and before we knew it Lares was home. Their faces lit up when Lares came into the room. He had another job to go to, and was taking them with him. He bundled them up, and off we all went, they to the job site (a house with children to play with), us to the grocery store before it closed. I was surprised at how tired I was when we got home!

My Mom left for Florida early Sunday morning. I sure hope I inherited her genes, 86 and nothing slows her down for long. She arrived at her first stop along the way Sunday night, texted my sisters, and later messaged me. She will stop along the way again, for another night tonight, before she reaches her destination in Florida tomorrow. Mom has the same incredible independence, and force of character, that my Grandpa enjoyed.

And so another quiet day begins here at Mist Cottage. Christmas approaches and my shopping is done, what little of it there was. This year we have six Grandbabies. God willing, next year we will have seven Grandbabies. Our budget for gift giving is very limited, so we have opted for one Dollar Store toy for each child, candy, and a high quality book for each child. It was fun to search for just the right book for each child, attempting to match the reading material with the particular interests of each individual. Hopefully the exercise was successful!

My projects for the day have been crocheting, and making a large soup pot full of Vegetable Beef Soup, a on-the-fly variation of my Vegetable Soup recipe. My soups are “stone soup” affairs. I begin with either caramelized onions, or braised ground beef if I am getting extravagant, and build from there. Today’s soup has a bag of frozen Italian Vegetables, and a few cups of our pureed Hubbard Squash added to it. We will eat if for our dinner tonight, and then I will enjoy it for quick lunches for the rest of the week. Attila spent time on the weekend preparing his Pea Soup, a favourite of his.

Twice neighbours have arrived at our mailbox to deliver Christmas Cards. We will be delivering our cards to them very soon!

It has been snowing all day. The snow plow just rumbled past. I have about 40 minutes, to get myself bundled up and out there with my shovel, before Attila arrives home. I hope that snow bank isn’t too high! Mom, aren’t you glad your in the south!!!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

-10°C
Date: 7:00 AM EST Monday 18 December 2017
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.7 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: -10.2°C
Dew point: -14.0°C
Humidity: 74%
Wind: NE 16 km/h
Wind Chill: -17
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“I don’t own a cell phone or a pager. I just hang around everyone I know, all the time. If someone wants to get a hold of me, they just say ‘Mitch,’ and I say ‘what?’ and turn my head slightly.”
Mitch Hedberg
1968 – 2005

Memories!

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10 Responses to ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas

  1. I gave up on buying Christmas gifts — that is, gifts that aren’t … chocolates! I bought eight boxes at the local drugstore for loved ones I’ll see here over the holiday season, and ordered two giant boxes of Purdy’s dark chocolates to be delivered to my dad and my sister’s family in Kelowna. No stress whatsoever, and no worries that I’m giving something no one will want or use.

    I plan to start a tradition of giving new pyjamas to the wee granddaughter every Christmas, but at this point — three months old — she has more than enough of that sort of thing and there is no place in town to buy nice pyjamas. So this year I’ll just “love her up” real good as much as I can, and see how she likes to be read stories. My kids liked story-reading very early in their lives, and I hope “Little Eva” will too. I won’t be the kind of grandma who will attend school Christmas concerts, but I’ll be one who does lots of reading with her. It’ll have to do.

    -Kate

  2. Kate, your Christmas gift strategy sounds very practical, and delicious! I love chocolate, and if it is in the house I am after it until it is gone, so we don’t have it in the house, because I have to restrict my sugar intake to help keep my blood pressure and weight down.

    The pajamas and stories sound perfect for a Granddaughter! Reading to her will give her a lifetime of fond memories, and inner warmth, what better gift is there.

  3. Teri says:

    Glad to hear your mom delayed her trip a bit. When we left on Thursday the roads were iffy at first, though they got better as we went through southern New York.

    Sunday was the day we were in Florida and it was quite nice there.

  4. Bex Crowell says:

    When I was 3 or 4, I was made to memorize The Night Before Christmas, too! Isn’t that funny? And whenever friends dropped by our house (apartment), I was made to stand and recite the entire thing. I can vividly remember doing it, too! I can’t recite any more!

    Soup. I have been meaning to make broccoli soup and you have just spurred me on!. Thanks!

  5. Teri, it worked out very well for Mom. She is at her destination by now, and settling in to her apartment.. She watches the road conditions carefully as she makes her travel plans, it was fortunate that a window of good weather opened up for her.

  6. You too Bex! You were a braver child than I, there was no power on earth that was going to get me reciting poetry in front of people, lol. We were shy children. I remember Mom suggesed we be models in a fashion show, the three oldest of us, we would have nothing at all to do with that! Our perception of the outside world consisted of what we saw on television, and read in books, all imaginary, and the reaiity didn’t really compete with our imagination… so we waited for the good stuff to start. 🙂
    Still waiting for most of it, although I have bumped into some very special social situations which live/lived up to my imagination.

  7. Birdie says:

    Maggie, thank you for comment on my blog a few posts back. I kept thinking about it for several days. It helped so much.

    So much love to you.

  8. I’m glad your mother made it safely to Florida. I hope your grandchildren will enjoy their presents, it sounds like you chose them with great care.

  9. Birdie, love right back at you! Loved how you made the fellow laugh where you work, brought sunshine into someone elses life when the universe gave you the opportunity. Keep watching for those open windows when doors are closing.

  10. Joan, I chatted with Mom last night, she is settled in to her winter home, happy as a clam. She had already dipped her feet in the ocean. Choosing books for the grandchildren is so much fun. Because we don’t see them often we aren’t in tune with their tastes, which might b a good thing, because the books I chose may be “outside the box” for them, which can be an experience of discovery.