Lesson 30: It Ain't Christmas Around Here Unless......
It just 'Ain't Around Here.........
.....unless the smoke alarm goes off: Yes, I set the smoke alarm off Christmas morning. I manage to do it somehow every year. I love to make the house smell all good in the morning, so I usually throw some cinnamon rolls into the oven before the kids wake up. As Ellen was retiring on Christmas Eve night, I asked her what she was looking forward to most about the next day. She replied, "I love to wake up to the smell of cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning." My responding thought: "Oh crap." I forgot. So I got up extra early to go through all my cookbooks to see if I had something delicious to bake with the ingredients on hand. I settled on a "Bisquick Banana Bread" and whipped it up really fast. Maybe it was too early for me to be baking (Eloise is not Cake Boss), the lack of sleep I've been getting, or lack of love for baking--but the bread turned out just how my breads, cakes, and cookies usually do--crispy on the outside and doughy in the middle. The recipe overflowed, causing the spillage to smolder and smoke, setting off the smoke alarm. Oh well, the kids had to get up sometime. So, they were a little traumatized at the thought of a possible fire in the house Christmas morning. But if you have read my previous blog about the LOST Complete Collection, then you know that they were expecting a blow torch. I got my presents, so that never had to happen. We opened presents that day to the smell of blackened bananas, but it was Christmas morning just the same.
........unless someone pukes: Christmas night at 9:00 pm, I realized that Sam wasn't just red faced because of all the rude things he said to everyone--he was cooking. And so spiked the fever, that caused the headache, that led to the upset stomach, that spewed the vomit--sort of like the Lady Who Swallowed a Fly. By the 28th we went from Urgent Care to the ER with a LaFuria record high fever of 105. It turned out to be a 9 hour day in germ filled waiting rooms for me. If I am lying in my hospital bed dying from a strange disease contracted from this occasion, please come and stop my husband from pulling the plug. LaFuria's tend to jump the gun a bit and you all know how slow we Overdorff's are. You all need your dose of Eloise and need to keep me around, even if you all haven't realized it yet. Trust me on this. Eloise can see into the future.
.......unless somebody cries: Good old Natalie. Every stinkin' year she asks Santa Claus to bring her "presents." On December 25th, he always comes through and she loves looking at her sizable pile of beautifully wrapped gifts--then doesn't like to open them. She likes the presents just as they are. She once carried around a wrapped birthday gift for three days before I couldn't stand it anymore and opened the package for her when she was sleeping. So she cried as she usually does. Gone are the days of gently desensitizing her, preparing her for Christmas with visual cues on the refrigerator, and no "social story" about how presents are things wrapped in paper and it is OK to rip them open. We all screamed, "Suck it up, Natalie!" and went about our business. If her teacher Mr. Fritts just read this he'll be calling Social Services on January 3rd.
.......unless something embarrassing happens at church: In years past, my children have been tough on Christmas church services. For this reason we seem to wind up in a different place for our Christmas worship service every year. Natalie does not like the crowds and gets ornery. Ellen is usually an angel, so God smiles on my family because of her. Keep up the good work, honey. Two years ago Sam stole the baby Jesus out of the church display at South Harborcreek United Methodist Church and ran with it like a football. Last year we went to Saint James with Karen's family, but Sam tore page 116 out of the hymnal. I mailed it to Jack with a note to give it back to Sister Colette, but I don't know if he ever did. (Catholic kids go to Hell for that Jack, so you better return it if you haven't yet). This year I decided to get nostalgic and asked Aunt Jeanne and Uncle Don if we could go to Saint Stephen's Lutheran Church with them. They kindly obliged, but little did they know what they were in for. When we sat down, Aunt Jeanne asked us if we got candles for Silent Night at the end of the service. I replied, "Are you sure about that? This is an old church and it looks pretty flammable. It could go up like a tinder box. There is no telling what we can do to the place." During the silent and reverent prayer, Sam pushed the button on his Buzz Light Year toy and Buzz announced, "To infinity and beyond!" Buzz was speaking out about his love for the Lord, so he is forgiven. Towards the end of the service, Sam had enough of the singing of every verse as Lutheran's usually do. He asked Aunt Jeanne and the rest of the congregation very loudly to "Please stop singing! I am trying to talk to my mom!"
.......unless I am worrying about the large tumor on my dog's neck: Last year I discovered the lump on Christmas Eve while petting Josie 'neath the Christmas tree. Not wanting to ruin anyone's Christmas, I kept the discovery of the lump quiet until the tax return came in March. I then announced to my husband the blessed news and said, "I love this dog like I gave birth to her myself. We are going to the vet tomorrow and I don't care how much it costs to save this dog's life." $80 and a needle biopsy the next day revealed that it is just a water tumor, and though it is unsightly, it was not life threatening. This Christmas Josie and I have been enjoying many snowy morning walks through the woods behind my house. As she trots in front of me, I've been watching that ever growing tumor jiggle. Tumor has grown just like the Grinch's heart did--three sizes that day. It is time for another vet trip and something tells me this time, the surgery required to remove it is going to be a chunk of change.
........unless I am reflecting on what a lucky girl I am to have all that I do: We had a beautiful Christmas and we still have several days left to celebrate and ring in the new year. Am I really lucky? No. I am blessed, and that, my friends, is the best thing you can ever be.