This past weekend one of my good friends celebrated her 60th birthday. 60!!! One of my friends!!! Her son invited about 50 friends to meet for dinner as a surprise for her. And it was a surprise - I've never seen anyone more excited and wired to see her party guests. Sandy is one of those rare ones who, once she makes a friend of you, it's for life. She always keeps in touch, and is always concerned with how you're doing. She's one in a million. So there we all were, eating Armenian food (Sandy is Armenian) with kids running around and having a great time together. And Sandy in the middle of all of it enjoying the heck out of herself. I had L snap a quick picture with his phone. If she is 60, then yes, please. That's her ONE grand daughter on her lap - Ella. The other 4 (and one on the way) are all rowdy boys. Sandy loves them all, but Ella is her rose.
That has been the only social thing we've attended so far. We have our church Christmas dinner this Saturday. Different people are hosting groups at their home, and I'm helping a friend who has the big space to host several couples, but hates to cook. L and I have a teensy house but like to cook, so it all works out. But the menu has been stewing in my mind for the last week and wakes me up at night. I'll be glad when it's over.
L and I decked the halls this past Saturday and Sunday. It actually went up faster than I thought it would, and I finally finally found the box out in the garage that had my Hummel figurines in it. They're not Christmas per se, but this year it was like Christmas to find them and bring them out. I nestled them for now in amongst the greenery on the mantle. I've always loved them because they remind me of my kids when they were small and chubby cheeked. They've been hidden out in the garage for about 18 years, so it's high time I found them and brought them in. They're so lovely and old fashioned and sweet.
The first thing I did, though was put up the small tree in the kitchen. This is the tree where I hang all of the old decorations from when my kids were small. All of the decorations made at school, all of the ones received when they were babies, all handmade ones, all of the ones from Grandma over the years. And it's topped with the "Naughty Naked Angel" - this is Scott's ornament and I suppose I'll have to give it to him one of these years.
Next, I set out the Advent Calendar box that we'd bought in the after Christmas sales last year. I still need to find some special things to put in the drawers, but it will come in time. No little ones to open the drawers this year anyway.
Next, out came the Grinch ornament (L's), the Rudolph ornament (mine) and the little bakery shop and snowy trees, for our little Christmas tableau. They all sit next to a wooden plate that I painted many years ago on a credenza in the living room.
Now the tree. L strung the lights. We'd toyed with getting a pre-lit one this year, but decided that this tree could go at least one more year. And really - he puts so many lights on, it always looks beautiful.
First we put on the purple glass bulbs that have snowflakes etched into them.
Next come the gold bulbs, followed by some smaller ones, followed by lots of sparkly garlands and gold netting.
The purple bulbs take on a special glow once everything else is added on. The lights make everything twinkle and shine.
Last, because we won't have any small children here for Christmas, and because most of our gifts are being shipped to family far and wide, we decided to set up L's toy train around the tree.
The tree is beautiful when the lights are off. The room takes on a magical mood that makes me remember Christmases as a child, laying under the tree, basking in the glow of the lights.
I got some new pictures of Mia and Hayden that made me wish for Christmas in Massachusetts. How I wish I could see Hayden wondering what Santa Claus is all about.
I wish I could see Mia throwing Buddy - their Elf on the Shelf - a cautious look to make sure he doesn't report any naughtiness back to the North Pole.
The joy of the season is infectious. As over whelmed as I feel, I still get that tingly little bit of excitement in my toes just thinking about special times with family and friends. But the best times of all are when we view Christmas, with all of it's seasonal wonders and spiritual awe, through the eyes of a child.
Joy To The World...