Merry Christmas from Graceland!
On this, the twelfth day of Christmas, I’m totally on board with keeping Christmas going all through Epiphany. Not only does it appeal to my natural slacker, but the longer celebration provides an antidote to the inevitable disappointment when events don’t follow your vision for the perfect, beautiful Christmas morning. We’re not perfect; that’s fine. I wrote a reflection for my friend Elizabeth’s blog about the angels and the shepherds and what it meant to me to rejoice not because things are perfect, but because God has come near. You can wrap up this last day of Christmas by reading it here.
We had a wonderful—not perfect—fun, old-fashioned family Christmas (name that movie!) in Memphis, with Israel’s and my families combining forces for an epic Christmas Palooza 2K14. Mama Rote compiled the stats:
16 people12 adults4 girls 3 and under6 Ortegas5 Rotes (+ 1 soon to be Rote)4 Slakases7 days1 birthday party for a 1 year old4 gallons of milk10 pounds of corn tortillas7 dozen eggs3 gallons of pozole3 high chairs (+ 1 booster seat)3 cribs3 strollerscountless diapers50+ loads of laundry30+ plus dishwasher loads1 Grizzlies game, complete with overtime14 rolls of paper towels5 dozen tamales1 1/2 gallon of vegetable beef soup1 ping-pong tournament1 Chinese checkers tournament2 aerobeds2 dogs1 catand…..FOURTEEN, yes, FOURTEEN cases of a nasty tummy bug.***Some numbers estimated**Will says that a positive thing is that, in the aggregate, we gained less weight as family due to ‘the circumstances.’
It was so fun to be together, despite the tummy bug. Now we’re back at home, watching Downton Abbey and maybe White Christmas one last time! In Mexico, children receive gifts from the Tres Reyes Magos on Epiphany, so last night Mary Tobin and I put shoes out in the hall, with pine needles instead of hay for the camels as the wise men came through, and this morning we found one last Christmas treat. Today we’re packing away the decorations, and I hope I can convince Israel to burn our tree in the fire pit in the back yard tonight . . . wouldn’t it be beautiful and symbolic, like the light in darkness, the star leading to the Christ Child?? OK, I love fire. I’m a pyromaniac.
If you’re packing up today, too, here’s some free advice I picked up from my Aunt Kace. She has pretty Christmas frames with photos from family Christmases in years past that she stores with her decorations (but too many embarrassing middle school ones, Aunt Kace!!). So now I’m keeping an eye out for Christmas frames at post-holiday sales and trying to tuck away any good photos with the ornaments. I haven’t found many frames that I like, but we brought out pictures and subbed them into our usual frames for the month, and I love the nostalgic effect!
In looking through this year’s pictures, I spotted a bit of a theme:
Just offering Baby Jesus what we can. (Food is our love language. I would probably take the chocolate, but the tamales are also really good.)