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An “Almost” Christmas Baby

An “Almost” Christmas Baby

It was a about a week before Christmas, December 17,1977 and I was nine months pregnant. In the mist of moving into a new house, (not quite finished yet) while keeping three-year-old twins occupied and out of mischief, and finishing up my Christmas shopping, my doctor decided to inform me that we would be having a Christmas baby!

“OH NO! I can’t have a baby on Christmas Day. I have two little ones at home, I’m not through moving, and my shopping isn’t quite finished!” The baby was due on the twenty-seventh. Couldn’t she at least be on time? That would fit into my plan perfectly. But…as you know, baby’s have their own schedules. My doctor agreed to induce on Monday, December 20th if she had not made her appearance over the weekend.

Home we trudged, quickly finishing the move, wrapped more presents, and made plans for my younger sister, Tish, to stay with T  and K during my stay in the hospital.

As hard as I tried, their was no appearance from that baby over the weekend. We arrived at the hospital early Monday morning for the induction. And before noon we had another baby girl – Amie Suzanne.  I didn’t really need that boy after seeing her – black hair, pink chubby cheeks and very vocal! I always said I wouldn’t have anymore after her, but I did. She was a handful.

I was home before Christmas and Amie was snug in her crib in her own room waiting for Santa on Christmas Eve. That might have been the last time she was in her own bed for a while. Yes, I did it all wrong with a single baby. Twins were much easier. She said she was going to sleep with us until she was thirty-three! As my friend, Janice used to say, “She’s a pistol!” And she was.

The twins took to her immediately. She didn’t walk until fourteen months – she didn’t have too. The world – or family – was at her feet, honoring her every request. She didn’t take good naps and slept only when she felt like it.

Amie is thirty-seven today and she still makes her own schedule! (I do believe her four girls have paid her back a bit with the same actions!)

Hope you are having a wonderful birthday!

Mom

Tick…Tock…Tick…Tock – The Clock Is Ticking And The Day Is Drawing Near

Tick…Tock…Tick…Tock – The Clock Is Ticking And The Day Is Drawing Near

Got your tree up yet…the packages neatly wrapped with bright paper and ribbon clustered together under it? Is your menu planned for the festive day? Did you spend a whole day – or two, even three – baking Santa cookies and making fudge and Christmas candies? I know you have those Christmas crafts almost completed and the out-of-town gifts have been whisked over to the post office? And speaking of the post office – those cards were mailed out to all the family and friends ages ago, weren’t they?

boxes of ornaments

Well…if you’ve checked off everything on this list or even one thing, you are far ahead of me! I honestly say I have not checked one item off that list up there. My tree is still in storage and hopefully the decorations are packed in boxes along side it. Aunt Tishy’s stars are twinkling merrily somewhere in a plastic box in Beal Parkway Storage!

I can remember when my kids were little and Christmas seemed such a rush. There was a whirl of activity and planning, but I got it all done. In fact I got it all done ahead of time. I had my packages wrapped and under the tree early, enticing the kids to whine and fuss wanting to open something early. I just dealt with it.

wrapped packeges

What was the point of carefully wrapping a package only to have the thoughtfully chosen paper and ribbon torn off, flung across the room, and discarded the next day? I wanted my packages to take center stage and be noticed and oohed and awed over for a while by everyone. It was the season to shine. The house was decorated from top to toe glistening with tinsel when the lights were turned low, the handmade wreath proudly hung on the door, the stockings I stitched myself were waiting to be filled, and with that many young ones underfoot the tree was decorated and undecorated countless times before the big day arrived.

Christmas movies and specials were watched every night. The big night was eagerly anticipated. Parades were participated in dressed as elves or presents or in dancewear. If you’ve never watched your kids dressed as gaily wrapped Christmas presents riding on the back of a flatbed truck you’ve missed the boat!

Now that the kids are grown and the girls all living in different states with families of their own making memories to share in later years, I don’t seem to worry as much about getting it done. Oh, It will get done. Andrew will be home in a few days and he will see that the tree is up and decorated. I’ll have his help and when H gets in from work it will be done – bright and festive!

Yes, it would be nice to have the whole family spend Christmas together under one roof. We’re too big. There are too many of us and we are too spread out. How would I every split myself into so many pieces to spend a bit of Christmas with them all? We all have Skype and Facetime and cell phones. Laughter can be heard and seen from far away.

We all spent Thanksgiving together – all nineteen of us – in one town – in two houses. It was wonderful – kinda, sorta. ;) That’s a story soon to come! Stay tuned.

Sometimes I feel bad because I don’t have the house attired in its Christmas dressings before Andrew gets off for the break between semesters. Sometimes, not. Maybe I procrastinate because I like his help. I enjoy having kids around to join in the fun. (I guess being twenty-two he is not considered a kid anymore, but he’s still the baby.) I like the thought that I still have one at home to celebrate – if you believe – Santa will come – that’s our motto. Of course H and I could do this all ourselves, but what’s the fun in that?

When I was a kid it was unheard of to put your tree up any earlier than two weeks or more before Christmas. Now as soon as there is nothing left of the Thanksgiving turkey except bare bones the tree is up and the decorations whisked down from the attic!

By Christmas day the needles have fallen from the real tree making it almost bare if it weren’t for the decorations and lights. What was once full and green is now needle-less and brown. Plenty of needles fall from those fake trees too. After three years or so it’s also looking a little sparse, but still green.

Time to take down the tree.  It’s out the door and on the curb as quick as you can blink, decorations packed snuggly in their crates, snow globes placed carefully on a back shelf, and Christmas is over till next Thanksgiving.

Is it age that does this to me? I’m not a Scrooge. Christmas has always been a special time. I love to shop, and love to give. There just seems to be less and less time to do everything I once did as I get older. I think I’ll put my tree up next week and then leave it through the first of the year enjoying the lights and the glitter long after the rest of the world has gone back to everyday life.

Have you checked things off your list? Is your tree up and losing its needles fast?

Elle

 

 

 

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