Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Christmas Part One and Two

Living in a step-family situation, Christmas tends to have multiple stages, both for Ben and for us. One time, a couple of years ago, I commented to Ben how lucky he was to get so many presents. He had opened gifts from us, Grammy and Grampy, Grammy Liz and Grampa Larry, and Grampa Howard and Debbie, not to mention his family and extended family from his mother's side. Ben did not hesitate to set me straight. He said, "I am lucky because so many people love me."

As I write this entry we are on Christmas part two. Christmas part one started a week ago when my mother arrived from Nebraska. Mum and I grocery shopped and got everything ready for Ben's arrival a couple days later. The weekend was filled with church services ~ and preparation for church services ~ although we did squeeze in a trip to Ikea. Gary, Ben and Mum hung out while I finished sermons and visited people in the hospital. On Saturday we went Christmas Caroling at a local nursing home. Here's a picture of me wearing my red scarf.

The Christmas Eve services were certainly a blessing. It was a joy to preach at the 11:00pm Candlelight Service. I must, say, though, that it was a relief to wrap-up the services and head home. I managed to get about four hours of sleep on Christmas Eve night!

Christmas morning was great fun! Since we have decided not to post any pictures of Ben on this blog, I can't show you him with all his 'loot.' However, I can show you the Christmas cookies he decorated....

As for gifts, he particularly enjoyed his giant flying bison (something from the Avatar series) and his voice changer. Gary and I made out pretty well too! 'Grammy Liz' provided the favorite pet gift again this year ~ a squeaky raccoon that Nicky just loves! After breakfast was done and presents were unwrapped, Ben and Gary settled down to a game of 'Life' and I went upstairs to take a 2 hour nap, which did me a world of good. Christmas dinner was lasagna, bread, salad and Nebraska wine!

The next morning, after shipping Nicky off to the kennel and putting two huge bowls of crunchies down for Zeke, we set off for Christmas part two in Maine. We stopped at Genie and Tom's to drop Mum off and they treated us to lunch. We arrived at Grammy and Grampy's house (Gary's parents) where we were greeted by Grammy, Auntie Sue and a very grown-up little Garret. We opened presents and had dinner of pork pie, chicken casserole and pretzel dessert! (Thanks Nadine!) Ben is looking forward to spending the day today playing with his cousin Andrew.

Christmas part three will take place on Friday when we meet my Dad and Debbie for lunch on our way home. After visiting and opening presents with them, we will head off again, pick up Mum and arrive back home sometime Friday evening. Mum returns to Nebraska and to Larry on Sunday. Ben goes back to his family in Michigan on Monday and will likely be treated to Christmas part four. Christmas part four for Gary and I will take place on a Cruise boat somewhere in the Caribbean in about a week and a half!

No comments: