This Christmas was quite a bit different from last year. After spending last Christmas in Florida with both sets of grandparents, I expected it would be.
We have been sick since Thanksgiving, so I really didn’t want to plan too much for Christmas anyway. The kids have been passing around a virus for about a month, I was sick for three weeks straight, and even Todd was sick for about a week.
We typically do not have a “big” Christmas celebration. After many years of Todd working on Christmas Day, we have sort of settled into our own quiet traditions. We usually put up a Christmas tree with a variety of decorations that we have accrued over the years. I don’t do much else in terms of decorating. We make sugar cookies and decorate them, and make other treats–some to eat, some to give away. We usually have our main Christmas meal on Christmas Eve and just have snacks and leftovers on Christmas Day. On Christmas Eve, we read the Christmas story from Luke chapter 2 and then open our stockings. Yes, the kids often eat all of their candy before going to bed. Then on Christmas Day we open our presents.
Two years ago our Christmas tree had declined to the point that I decided we needed a new one. Last year we had no need of a tree, and I just didn’t feel like going out and getting one this year with everyone not feeling well. Since we had no tree, we strung lights across the piano. It was actually quite pretty! We did make and decorate some cookies. I mixed up the cookie dough and left the kids in charge of the decorating and baking, because I just felt awful.
We had our Christmas Eve dinner and read the Christmas story. Then the kids opened their stockings, ate their candy, and went to bed. (Surprisingly, we’ve never had trouble getting our kids to bed on Christmas Eve or with making them wait until after breakfast to open their presents.) Then we went to bed looking forward to a quiet Christmas morning at home before we went to our friends’ house in the evening.
Christmas morning we had breakfast around seven (our normal time). Of course, Micah was too excited to eat much. Before we had finished eating there was a knock on the door. Our next-door neighbor was there. Normally I would not mind neighbors stopping by, even on Christmas morning. But this particular neighbor is crazy. After rambling on to Todd (who had gone outside when he answered the door) for a few minutes, he left. About ten or fifteen minutes later he came back and knocked on the door again. (I suppose I should mention that our dog starts barking like crazy every time she sees or hears him.) Todd went outside again and listened to him again and he left again. (This time he was talking about what the people who live in his attic were telling him to do–no, I’m not kidding.) The kids started opening their presents. And then there was another knock on the door. It was him again. At this point, although I’m annoyed with the interruptions, I’m starting to feel more and more apprehensive. (He has never come over repeatedly before this. He mostly yells things that don’t make sense. But he seemed to be getting more aggressive over the last few weeks.)
The kids finished opening their presents and were playing with their toys. Then he came back a fourth time and a fifth. After the sixth time, we called the police, just to let them know what was going on. (I’m not saying that he is dangerous, but I’m not convinced that he isn’t.) They came and talked to him (and some of the other neighbors who have had problems with him) and he hasn’t been back over here since.
We had a wonderful evening with our dear friends, laughed a lot, and ate too much. It was an interesting, but a merry Christmas!