A lingering virus! A snowstorm! A man in a Santa Claus suit walking a llama! Houseguests for four nights! A parade! A power outage and a turkey that needed to get right into the oven! Ah, the holidays. Ah, late November. Ah, snow. I like two of out of three of those things, and I just make do with the rest. We hadn’t had even one normal week in November. There were half days for conferences. A full day off for Veteran’s Day. Scarlet missing a school day one week for a cold. Des missing two school days the next week for a cold. Then I got the cold, and then we found ourselves expecting a true white Thanksgiving.
This year my mother-in-law and her husband (my other father-in-law) were supposed to host Thanksgiving. My father-in-law and his wife (my other mother-in-law) were going to come up that day. My parents and my sister and brother-in-law were all going to come up Wednesday and stay for either two or three nights. I was still sick from the previous week and I was pretty much couch-bound and completely lacking in any ambitions or abilities to see myself as a worthy.. anything, but mainly – mother, photographer, writer, friend, wife, pet owner. I was hit hard by the bug. Days later, I’m still questioning such things.
And so, my parents came up on Tuesday night. We went out early Wednesday for new shoes and Starbucks treats and then we played in the snow. That was to be the last time we’d leave the house for two days, but we didn’t know it at the time..
Six inches of snow fell, pretty fast and furiously. My in-laws live about a half hour or so north of here and with leaves still on the trees, they lost power that afternoon and wouldn’t get it back for three days. And so, we hosted Thanksgiving at our house. We had about 12 people and it was pretty non-stressful. My little sister and brother-in-law came up that morning, and then my in-laws came over with the uncooked turkey and other sides. Now they were pretty cheerful, having had no power in their house overnight, and with no idea of when it would be back. When we finally sat down to dinner to say what we were thankful for, I said I was thankful for my kids. Scarlet said she was thankful for her school (awww!). My mom said she was thankful for my older sister falling in love with and marrying a wonderful man. We got a lot of “Awwws!” for those.
The next day was shopping downtown and it was not nutty, despite it being Black Friday. My sister and brother-in-law went back home and it was just a lot of quality meals and grandparents time with my parents and the kids. When Cassidy and my dad played Scrabble, my mom and I snuck in a couple of Hallmark Christmas movies. Why do we watch bad Christmas movies? It’s because they feel good. It’s because we watch them after the kids are in bed and there is no work to be done and we don’t have the brainpower for anything else. We do it because it’s a bonding activity. We do it because it makes us slaphappy beyond belief as we both mock and enjoy the movies at the same time. We do it because time is precious, and getting together over something made for pure enjoyment is good use it. We do it because it pairs well with cookies and popcorn.
My parents left after our town parade and breakfast on Saturday and the rest of the weekend was rest and catchup. Oh, and good news! Our farmer neighbor is up to his old tricks – walking around town dressed as Santa, and leading around a llama.
Our zany holiday movie is winding down and the snow is melting. I certainly have a turkey hangover. My in-laws did get their power back on Friday night. We did get our Christmas tree but it’s not 20 feet like last year. It’s a modest 12/13/14 feet. It’s gorgeous. More on that later. The holiday parade was short and sweet. More on that later too. I suppose this movie will have a sequel or two. Episodes, really. Speaking of which, surely you saw the Star Wars Episode VII teaser trailer by now?
No humans or animals were harmed in the making of this film, except that a fresh turkey was cooked, Scarlet stubbed her toe, and Des got some snow in the collar of his jacket. And we can all agree on how cold that can be.
Do you enjoy bad (and good) Christmas movies?
Have you ever seen Santa Claus leading a llama around your town?
Did you play in the snow over the weekend?