The Richmond Register

Lifestyles & Community

December 22, 2013

Christmas just happens at our house

RICHMOND — Our neighbors had their outdoor Christmas lights up Thanksgiving weekend. At that same time, we noticed beautifully decorated trees planted in picture windows in homes throughout Richmond. With perfectly wrapped gifts under the trees.

I used to marvel over such precision. Wondered what it would be like to kick off the season so early. To enjoy all that holiday spirit for a whole month or more.

But, we’re not that family. At our house, Christmas just “happens.” Over time. It’s a process.

The most pre-planning I do is get the cloth Advent Calendar out so the kids can Velcro the stuffed figures — camels, cows, Three Kings, Mary, Joseph, Baby Jesus and other key characters — to the manger scene through Christmas Day.

I also supply the younger ones with a cardboard version. They open a new door every day with a Bible verse about Jesus’ birth — and a piece of chocolate with an imprinted design of angels, stars, wreaths and the like.

But, for the past 22 years, we don’t even think about sprucing up the house until after Mitchell’s birthday on Dec. 10. When he was younger, he stretched his birthday observance over an entire week — school party, family party, party with friends. So until that was sufficiently celebrated, the Christmas decorations remained boxed in the basement.

Other obstacles generally delay our trip to the tree farm, which is our official start of the season. Like Mason being buried under a pile of English 101 composition notebooks that he has to grade before he feels any tidings of comfort and joy. Enough, anyway, to drive us to Baldwin Farm.

I also have final grades to tally for my own classes plus writing projects to complete. And the kids are usually working hard to wrap up their nine weeks of school — writing papers, studying for tests and producing plays. So there’s not much time for Fa-la-la-la-la-ing until that’s under control.

Traditionally, once we find free time in that hectic schedule, our trek to the tree farm is often on the frostiest, windiest, muddiest day of December.

Depending on the temperature, wind chill, and concern about the van getting stuck in the mud, we might wander awhile in search of the perfect tree, or choose the first one we see. It’s still a highlight of our family traditions.

As the song goes: “How often has the Christmas tree, afforded me the greatest glee.” It’s worth the time, hassle and effort — even fending off Jack Frost nipping at our toes, nose and other extremities

Back home, the scavenger hunt begins for the twinkly Christmas lights, sturdy tree stand, homemade ornaments, individually designed stockings and other things we packed away the previous year.

Our house has very little storage space so not everything is neatly stacked together. Still, we manage to find the bits and pieces that are meaningful to the kids and start decking the halls.

Now, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at our house. And we have about 12 days of Christmas preparations ahead.

We haven’t taken a family photo for our Christmas cards yet. I’m waiting for the right time when things aren’t so hustley. And bustley. Where we can actually laugh all the way through the experience.

At this late date, I might try something entirely new for us. Wish our friends a Merry Christmas — digitally. That will spare me from tracking down addresses for people we only contact once a year.

I actually tried Black Friday shopping for the first time this year. It was rather anti-climactic considering many of the Thursday night sales were available on Wednesday.

Fortunately I’ve collected a few evergreen presents throughout the year. Mostly gag gifts. Stocking stuffers. Unisex items for all ages for those times when you need an emergency gift on the spur of the moment.

But another flaw of our house is not having many hiding spots. So I’ve had to scatter the gifts out of sight in numerous places. And leave myself a map for finding them later, when I need them.

There have been times when I’ve forgotten some hidden gifts until well after Christmas. It’s a good thing two of the kids were born in January and February. I just change holiday wrapping paper for something less seasonal, and they become birthday presents.

My favorite part of the holiday build-up is Christmas Eve: the church service. Then home for snacks. Movies. And opening one gift in front of the fire.

Feeling joyful. And triumphant. By letting Christmas just happen.

Text Only
Lifestyles & Community
  • Brandon-Sears-c.jpg Beef Cattle Association field day is Thursday

    Make plans to attend the Madison County Beef Cattle Association field day on Thursday from 5 to 7:30 p.m. The event will take place at the farm of Dr. Eugene Bowling, 1437 Barnes Mill Road in Richmond. Signs will be posted.
    This meeting qualifies as a CAIP educational component.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • 04.23 JessaTurner1.jpg Eat local and eat with the seasons

    This week marks the 44th anniversary of Earth Day, and what could be more important to our survival than clean air, clean water and clean food?

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Amanda-Sears-c.jpg Proper care enables planting of Easter lilies

    Did you receive or purchase an Easter lily? If so, be sure to treat it right and you will be able to plant it outside this spring.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lisa Adams.jpg 4-H Camping Season Nears

    Hopefully, we have seen the last of the snow for the year, so now is the time for young people and their parents to begin making plans for an annual summer ritual, 4-H Camp.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dick-Ham.jpg These things cause me concern for the future

    I was just thinking the other day about things that are happening in this country that do not bode well for the future.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • WP_20140419_001.jpg Cruisin’ with the Oldies

    With the sound of classic songs wafting through the air Saturday, hundreds of people took advantage of the summer-like temperatures and turned out for the Kirksville Community Center car show.

    April 21, 2014 9 Photos

  • 04.18 Food .jpg It’s egg party time

    I love this time of the year because eggs really do go down in price during the Easter season. I have some new recipes on how to fix eggs besides the coloring part.

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • 04.18 Steaks.jpg Where’s the beef?

    Today, the American consumer has more money to spend on the widest variety of foods than at any other time in our history.

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • 4.15 Eggstravaganza 1.jpg Easter bunny's ‛eggbeater’ will fly eggs to Richmond

    Who knew the Easter bunny could fly?

    Skeptics can come to the Easter Eggstravaganza in Richmond’s Irvine-McDowell Park on Saturday to see for themselves. However, the bunny still doesn’t fly in bad weather. But on Monday, temperatures in the 60s with partly cloudy skies were predicted for Saturday.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dick-Ham.jpg We old folks have unique experiences

    A friend sent this to me by e-mail, and I thought my readers would enjoy it.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

AP Video
US Proposes Pay-for-priority Internet Standards Wife Mourns Chicago Doctor Killed in Afghanistan FDA Proposes Regulations on E-cigarettes Kerry Warns Russia of Expensive New Sanctions Mideast Peace Talks Stall on Hamas Deal Cody Walker Remembers His Late Brother Paul Grieving South Korea Puts Up Yellow Ribbons Raw: Kerry Brings His Dog to Work Raw: Girls Survive Car Crash Into Their Bedroom Three U.S. Doctors Killed by Afghan Security Yankees' Pineda Suspended 10 Games for Pine Tar Colleagues Mourn Death of Doctors in Afghanistan Ukraine Launches Operation Against Insurgents Obama Reassures Japan on China Raw: Car Crashes Into San Antonio Pool Time Magazine Announces Top Influencers List Raw: Angry Relatives Confront SKorea Officials Bigger Riders Means Bigger Horses Out West Yankees Pineda Ejected for Pine Tar Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide

Should Richmond rezone the southwest corner of Main Street and Tates Creek Avenue to B-1 (Neighborhood Business) with restrictions to allow construction of a financial services office?

     View Results