Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve

'Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house . . . Oh, wait! I think that’s already been used. This is a happy time of the year. If you are fortunate to have kiddies in your home, it’s even happier. For the very young, and even for the young at heart, the day before Christmas is full of anticipation and joy. For Mom, it’s an especially busy day making all the final preparations for tomorrow.

Here’s a little question to get your literary juices flowing: What famous literary character uttered the famous and oft used words, “Woe is me”?

Gator Wife has gotten home from her part time job. She doesn’t normally work on Tuesdays, nor does she normally work late at night; but the company where she works prepares, among other things, food platters for various parties, including Christmas office parties and even some home get-togethers. As she does a very good job at making platters, she, along with three others, began work last night at ten and worked through six this morning putting together this year’s orders.

Now she’s home and she doesn’t have to return to work until next Monday as she’s taking the days after Christmas as part of her vacation time. The overnight work also replaced her normal Wednesday schedule. She’ll spend this day preparing the house for our celebration tomorrow.

I love Christmas Eve and Christmas. I’m long past wondering and hoping what will be in my stocking tomorrow morning and I will have a stocking tomorrow morning. So will GW and Gator Daughter who will be spending the day with us. Are you ready for this? Gator Golden and her sister, GD’s dog, will also have stockings.

After the dogs’ stocking unloading, each dog gets to choose one item from her stash to have right then. It might be a doggy treat or a new toy, but they get to choose. Somehow, and I honestly don’t know how because it was never taught to them, they understand that this will be their only choice at opening time. They then will bide their time, enjoy their selection, and let the rest of us enjoy our Christmas morning.

One of my happiest memories of Christmas happened almost 35 years ago. Every Christmas Eve one of the “musts” was a ride around the area looking at Christmas lights. I still love that ride. My favorite one, though, was a Christmas Eve back in the 1970s when GW, our two children and I were riding through a nice Deering neighborhood. That’s in Portland.

As we drove down one particular little neighborhood street, Out of nowhere Santa Claus appeared. He saw the look on our son’s face, eyes taking up the whole face with his mouth resting on the floorboard. The lad was only about four years old, possibly a little younger. Santa motioned for the car to stop, which it did, and he came to the window to talk with the kids. He told the children he was out checking on which boys and girls were good and which were bad.

Because of his age, the boy was the most impressed. Santa told him he should be thinking about getting home, getting to bed and asleep before he got to his neighborhood. I’ve never seen a little boy get as excited as our son got. From that moment on, the ride was over and all we could do was get home so he could go to bed.

Before we drove off, Santa came to my window and very quietly while the kids were gibbering in the back explained there was a neighborhood party going on and he was doing the honors. Obviously he loved children, no matter whose they were or where they came from. I thanked him and we headed home. Our son wouldn’t admit it today, in fact I’m not even sure he even remembers it, but for that one Christmas Eve so many years ago, he was the most excited kid I’ve known.

And the car’s back seat remained dry.

I probably didn’t fool anyone with my Christmas Eve question. The character to which I’m referring on this seasonal day is The Ghost of Jacob Marley in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. That little seasonal story is a center piece of our annual Christmas Village.

Merry Christmas, Everyone. I hope Santa visits you tonight.



Unknown said...

Same to you and all your girls Gatorman.

GiM said...

Thank you. We all appreciate it.