Friday, December 18, 2009

The run up to Christmas

Ah, the holiday season! The cookie-baking, decorating the tree, the shopping.... Followed by the sweeping the flour off the floor, sweeping up the shattered glass ornaments, the scrabble to find receipts....

Every year, Miles and I wonder how we can possibly recapture the magic of the Christmases of our youth. When is it going to "feel like Christmas"? I have come to the conclusion that it simply ain't gonna happen.

See, now, we're the grownups. It's our job to do the work so our kids can enjoy the season.

This year Claire & Aeron are really aware and enjoying the whole Christmas shtick. They were thrilled to get our tree, sobbed when told we had to wait for Daddy to set up the tree in the living room, gleefully pulled lights and ornaments out of boxes, and stuffed Santa hats on their heads. They have decorated gingerbread cookies with globs of frosting and sprinkles and been found hiding in the kitchen, eating those cookies when they weren't supposed to. (how long before they figure out it's the frosting on their faces that gives 'em away?) I've decided I can't possibly put any gifts under the tree yet; their little heads will explode with excitement, then they would tear them open.

Kayla seems pretty indifferent to the whole thing. She's got other stuff to worry about; her social life, the Mock Trial team, buckets of homework, climate change. Cameron is still got the little kid attitude. He's having a great time with the Advent Calendar Chris & Caitlin sent, he fusses when our kitten pulls ornaments off the tree, he goes to school wearing his Santa hat.

Another reason not to put gifts under the tree; Mitzi. She is having the time of her young kitten life pouncing on just about everything. Most mornings there are a half-dozen ornaments on the floor. Any scrap of paper or ribbon is a cat toy. The tree is also very pounce-worthy; I have asked Miles to secure the tree to the wall just in case Mitzi tries to climb it.

It's also a sad time of year for the Kurths and related clans. We've lost quite a few family members in the last years, all between Thanksgiving and Christmas. My grandmother, my uncle and my mom. The year my mother died, we lost two in one week; Mom and Great-Uncle Hazen. So, for me, the holidays are rather bittersweet. I'm never going have a Thanksgiving or Christmas like I had when I was a kid. I need to make new family memories. But now, I'm the adult. It's quite an adjustment.

That said, we have a nice holiday planned. Trevor arrives tomorrow and will be in San Luis for two weeks. Christmas Eve we will have the traditional Clark Enchilda feed, followed by the family church service at Atascadero UMC. I'm singing again this year; it'll be interesting to see if my girls can hold it together during the service. Then Christmas morning, Pam, Terry and Trevor will come to our house to open gifts and have brunch. The cherry on top will be a visit from the Dodges for New Year's Eve.

It's not like it was. But that's ok.


  1. Wonderful Christmas moments and expression of the Right of Passage when the receiver becomes the giver--the creator of Christmas-- for the joy it means to the innocent child and, through that love, to us all.

  2. Even if the twins don't hold it together, I will be happy that your family is there!

  3. Have fun, loosen up, act like a kid, but still it ain't gone to be like it use to be------enjoyed all " goin's on" and Merry Xmas ----Love Nana & Papa