Sunday, January 3, 2016

Christmas 2015

On December 19, Anna June said to me, "Can you believe that a week from now, we'll be recovering from Christmas?"

Recovering? I thought! What does a seven-year-old know about recovering? 

But first of all, she has been through several Christmases now and understands what an actual big deal it is in our family and, secondly, she is around a lot of grown-ups. The older we get, the more things we have to recover from.

She could not have been more literally correct.

Christmas was its usual flurry of madness, and, even though at that point school was already out and those parties and activities were complete, there was still much to do.

We still had to help my parents get ready for their legendary Christmas Eve Eve party. We still had gifts to buy and wrap. We still had things to bake and places to show up. We were already tired.

On Christmas day, though, my dad called just as I was getting out of the shower (why do my parents call only when I am in the shower?) and said that Mom had gotten a stomach virus and we were absolutely uninvited. The day's festivities were postponed. 

We used our creative problem solving skills to determine that, we could all "see" each other without seeing each other in person. While while we were still in the same town, we weren't sure if we were germ carriers or not, so it was best to stay (far) away. Through Apple's Face Time app on our iPad, we were able to see Drew and Granddaddy, and then Patrick, Liz, Wesley and Nathan. Through Skype, we were able to see Rusty, Beth, Thomas (and Beth's family in Georgia) and Grandpa, Grammy and Nonny in Wisconsin. They all got to see what Santa brought AJ.

What was on AJ's Christmas list? "Surprises" she said. I am to blame for this one, as I never could buy in to the latest Christmas toy craze, and told Santa each year that I just wanted surprises, trusting he could bring me something I would enjoy. Dear Santa, 38-year-old me is very specific in my wish lists now, to make up for all those years I sent you floundering. It balances out, right?

What did Santa bring AJ? Here's a partial list.
A Razor Scooter
A Spirograph
Diary of A Wimpy Kid book (the third one in the series, as she had read the first two)
Mad libs
XBox Kinect Disneyland game (you can sword fight with Peter Pan!)
Batting gloves (pink, so as not to be confused with boys)
A Thermos for her lunchbox (she was tired of only taking sandwiches)
BB-8 Sandwich container
BB-8 Magic Ink Pad
Crayola Twistables colored pencils
Glitter Markers
Puzz 3-D Paris buildings 1859 (3-D puzzle)

What did AJ get from us? I wanted to use this cute rhyme as a guide.
Something she would want: A cute puppy wall calendar, with dates marked on it (one each month) of fun family outings we are planning. Everything from dinner and a movie to the planetarium to Six Flags Over Georgia. These are of course, target dates, subject to change.
Something she needs:  Plain, white underwear. And some pink ones, too.
Something to wear: Workout clothes! A short sleeve shirt of easily drying material and some long workout pants (sort of parachute material). They match and will be appropriate for baseball practice throughout the season. Shorts don't work for baseball, and sweatpants are too hot toward the end of the season.
Something to read: A Captain Underpants book.

After all the gifts were exchanged and the naps were taken and the phone calls were made, we started talking about plans for dinner. We hadn't really planned anything for Christmas dinner, so to speak. For lunch, we had made the breakfast we were too tired to make when AJ woke us up at 4:55 AM to inspect her presents from Santa. We had bacon, grits, fruit and cinnamon rolls (from a can). I started thinking about going to the Waffle House for dinner and making a trip to see the Christmas light show, now that we had no obligations.

I was on the phone with my grandfather when the tornado sirens started going off. He asked if we had our helmets ready, and I said yes. I rejected his suggestion to quickly drive to Mom and Dad's house (because they have a basement), because they were sick and there's more glass there than anywhere else in Birmingham. We got in our "safe place" (our hallway) and tuned the iPad to the live stream of the local weather. The tornado itself did not come to our house, but it got the west side of Birmingham pretty solidly. No one was killed, but several homes and a church that had been designated as an area shelter was damaged.

After hearing the repeated warnings to stay off the potentially flooded roads, we changed courses again and I made dinner. Eventually, we had baked lemon chicken, roasted asparagus and oven roasted potatoes. For the potatoes, I had to end up making Italian Seasoning, as for some reason, I had none on hand. Thank goodness for the internet - here's the recipe I found for that.

After dinner, we played Pie Face. AJ had the best time playing this game! We have decided that next time, she should play with other kids instead of adults who only think about how much they don't like cleaning whipped cream off their entire kitchen.

Although Christmas day itself was less than ideal, we were glad that everyone was safe and we were all able to be together a few days later.

In retrospect, it may have been good that we had a couple of days to "recover."


Annie Gallitz said...

yeah;;; Sorry about the "Pie Face" game !! The original commercial for this game was HILLARIOUS! So, that's why !!!!! LOVE the idea of four gifts ! I sorta did that this year, YES ??? No? OK! Maybe I'll do that next winter! I am hoping that at least some of the things in your "Switch wish " box a-like , were wearable!!! Enjoyed hearing all of your activities , and of all AJ's gifts,.Especially loved the baking news!! ( I think home made cookies are the best!! ) Sugar cookies can be a little tricky baking, I Know. I also liked the other gift you made up; w. the Hot chocolate jars;(genius_)I am SO SORRY to hear and see the terrible news about that tornado on Christmas day>>>>>>> MY, GOD, some of those houses were GONE !!!How FRightening for you all!! I am sure those poor people who lost so much were left wondering where the mercy of God had gone on that terrible day.So SO SAD !!! I am SO grateful that you all were safe. ALTHO., I WISH YOU WOULD CONSIDER BUYING A HOUSE WITH A BASEMENT!!!!!! Especially, with the changing weather patterns., making your area especially vulnerable to worse storms than ever !!Hopefully. I/ll have a phone again soon, and talk with you soon ! LOVE YOU!

Laura Gallitz said...

I just wrote a long response to this and it got deleted because I was logged in to my other account. Long story short:

We have a phone we can send you. Please consider.

I don't want to move. I love my house and where it is. I think danger from tornados is minimal on top of the mountain.

I love all the clothes. You should be a stylist. You're way better than the "professional" ones because you know me.