Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Cracked Angel

Every December, my mom would go to town decorating for Christmas. She made ornaments. She actually cut and sewed little ornaments. I would sit by her side and stuff the cotton in them for her. She decorated the house and baked loads of peanut brittle to use as a peace offering to the teachers who had the joy, honor and privilege of teaching her little angels for 8 hours a day five days a week. She wrote out and addressed zillions of Christmas cards with the mandatory picture of all 6 of us lined up like little minions dressed in matching moon boots or ski sweaters. She decorated the tree with a mix of handmade ornaments, store bought ones and ones created by us in school. My favorite part of Christmas decorating was watching her pull out the creche. It's been in her family for years. Amazingly, she let us play with it, even rearranging the figurines in it. That would explain the animals' missing horns, the chips in the wise men's crowns and the crack in the angel that watches over Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus. When I felt my kids were old enough to have it around, I started pulling it out at Christmas. Unlike my mother, I have a strict "look but don't even think about touching" policy. I am hoping it will survive long enough to be passed down to another generation. Every year, I look forward to setting it up, just like my mother did for all those years. I smile when I see the cracked angel and chipped figurines. That angel watched over my family for years and has the scars to prove it. I like to think, like the angel, my mom is watching over my family.

Santa, Spies and the Holidays

God is always watching. Santa is always watching. Mom and Dad are always watching. The Elf on the Shelf is always watching. Poor Christian just cannot catch a break. There are spies everywhere. 'Tis the season for spying and repenting. And defending one's behavior. During this holiday season, Christian needs some back up. This morning, we were talking about what it means to be "naughty" or "nice". He asked if he had been "mostly good" this year. We talked about what behavior he could change or improve. I told him that he needs to work on listening, not fighting or whining, doing chores, cleaning up toys, and saying nice things. God, Mom, Dad, Santa and everyone would be happier if he fought less, whined less, and listened more. But, overall, yes, he is a nice and good boy who makes Mom and Dad proud. After thinking (plotting) for a couple minutes, he came up with a solution that works for him. "I have an idea, Mom. Santa can just ask Grumpy (grandpa) about my behavior. Then I'll get lots of presents." Christian learned a long time ago that Grumpy is his all-time defender. Well played, Christian. Merry Christmas.