Thursday, December 20, 2012

Pocket Change and Ugly Sweaters

The stockings are hung by the chimney with care, the gifts are all in the mail, the Christmas cards (with letters included) are in the mail and "most" of the shopping is done... because, really, what would Christmas be without some last minute gift buying?  Why be totally prepared when you can be scattered and do a little scrambling around for those last items a few days before Christmas?  I don't think I've ever been totally ready for Christmas, maybe I should give it a whirl one year and see how the other half lives....those perenially prepared people.  Nahhhh!

At least the tree is up and it is even decorated!

This year we will have two Christmases!  Our first Christmas will be in Houston and the second will be in Wisconsin.  The first will be the adult Christmas and the second will be the kiddie Christmas!  We plan to enjoy all aspects of both! 

We are all really looking forward to some of our Christmas traditions.  What traditions does your family have?  Ours are probably a bit bizarre!  One of my favorite traditions is a recent (last 5 years) addition.  It started when our kids were finally of legal age and in this case our youngest was of legal age when we lived in Canada, so she was only legal by Canadian standards at age 19 or 20.  It's the Eve of Christmas Eve pub crawl.  On December 23rd we have dinner at TJ's favorite little Italian restaurant, drive around and look at Christmas lights in the ritzy neighborhood of River Oaks and then hit a few pubs wearing our tackiest, ugliest Christmas sweaters.  We have quite the collection of them too because we were stylin' back in the '80s...and we never throw anything away!  I saved enough ugly Christmas sweaters to outfit several other family members too!  Another aspect of the pub crawl is that we spend all the pocket change we have been collecting over the year.  We used to just take the kids out for pizza with the money but now it has evolved to buying them beer.  The "change jar" took on a whole new meaning when we lived in Canada!  With Loonies and Toonies in the mix we had some serious money in the "change jar".  It almost covered dinner and the first pub.  This year we will be lucky to cover the bill in the first pub with the change jar money but it is fun to see all that spare change pay for something for everyone. 

TJ's favorite ugly sweater!  He has left the price tag on for over 15 years because.....
the original price, 15-20 years ago, was $175.00 and after 4 markdowns it was purchased for $9.99 by my Mother. 
 She probably used here employee discount on top of that so $7.00 is just about the right price for this gem!

The rest of our Christmas traditions are pretty....traditional.  There is Mass on Christmas Eve, then we all open one gift (usually matching pj's for everyone to be worn on Christmas morning).  In the morning there is a marathon of gift opening while we eat Monkey bread and listen to Christmas music, followed by brunch and then later in the day, a roast beast dinner.  Sometime over the holidays we watch Love Actually because...".if you look around love actually is all around us"! 

This year we may be fortunate enough to enjoy all of our traditions twice!  Once in Houston in our balmy Christmas weather and the second in Wisconsin in the cold and snow!  The snow and cold will be a real gift to me because everyone knows that I love the cold weather.  I am really looking forward to sliding down a hill on a sled with my grandsons!  Merry Christmas Lisa!

As if preparing for Christmas were not enough to do I decided to have a few upgrades done in the house.  Perfect timing!  It is always nice to have your house torn apart and covered with dust days before the biggest holiday of the year.  Maybe I wasn't thinking straight when I made this decision.  Having workers here for two days has forced me to stay home and get things done around the house.... things like wrapping all of our gifts, addressing Christmas cards and getting organized.  Hmmm, maybe I should do this every year!  Nahhh.

I hope all of you have a perfect Christmas with family and friends.  Enjoy your traditions and take a moment to thank God for sending his Son to earth in the form of an innocent child.  God Bless you all!

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