As I think back over the past month, I can’t help but recall something my mother used to say. While Christmas Day is the 25th, every day of the season is worth celebrating. Guess one reason she said that so often is because of the frequency I’d have to tell her that we’d be dining with my in-laws at  midday of the 25th, hence relegating my parents to the evening before or Christmas evening. Accustomed to working around the schedules of four adult children and their spouses, she’d say, “Don’t worry about it, Darlin’; Christmas is a season, not just a noon meal.”

She was right. If you concentrate your efforts and anticipation on just that one day, then when it’s over, it’s over. All of the planning and excited expectancy crumple up just like the wrapping paper that’s ripped from gifts and stuffed into trash bags.   On the other hand, if you try to relish the dozens and dozens of moments throughout the month, you won’t feel the post-holiday doldrums…or at least not so keenly.

Here are a few of the highlights that I happen to be thinking of right this moment. In an hour, it’ll probably be something else:

  • Lauren and Charlie’s party on the 5th and the memory of Hannah showing me Noel the elf hiding in their Christmas tree.
  • The Christmas Book Club meeting at Connie’s, a friend who has “the touch” for decorating and entertaining.
  • Meeting “the same sweet girls” at the Old Armory to reminisce about last year’s New York trip and to catch up with each other’s lives.
  • The “Girls Weekend” that I spent in Myrtle Beach with my sister, a sister-in-law, and our daughters. We shopped, ate out, shopped, laughed, shopped, wrapped presents, and then shopped some more. A couple of neat things that are on my mind at the moment include making a 10:00 p.m. visit to Chick-fil-A for milkshakes and then sipping them while shopping at Wal-Mart.
  • Sarah Beth giggling at my scrawny pathetic little pre-lit tree in Myrtle Beach.
  • My husband’s family Christmas get-together, made even more memorable with a visit from Santa himself. Seeing the wide-eyed looks of wonder on the children’s faces was marvelous.
  • Carol’s annual get-together.  In addition to the gift exchange, Carol’s traditional “reading of the poem,” and scrumptious food, this year we also had music. It was grand to sing “Oh Holy Night” with my colleagues.
  • DH’s children and grandchildren coming over for an evening of family celebratory activities…loved playing Christmas Trivia. We repeated the same thing on the afternoon and evening of the 22nd when my children and grandchildren joined us. So did an assorted mixture of other family members, including Aunt Polly and my cousin Sue.
  • A big family breakfast on the 24th before the Masedas left for Rincon, GA. A true Southern girl, my granddaughter Brooke requested grits, and I couldn’t disappoint her.
  • Delivering gifts and visiting people.
  • The Christmas Eve Candlelight Service at FBC, an event that always makes me feel closer to my mother.
  • Christmas morning breakfast in Blythewood with my brother Mike’s family and midday visit with my sister Ann in Sumter.
  • A Christmas repast of Allen’s barbeque and other goodies enjoyed at the beach house late Christmas afternoon.
  • Seeing  Avatar and Invictus with my sweetheart.
  • Shopping with Elizabeth for after-Christmas bargains, and later in the afternoon, being visited by Paul and Amanda. I LOVE having a little home where my children can visit us more easily!
  • Attending church in Conway, and dining with Paul and Amanda at Lib’s house (lots of warm ambience there) before the young Crolleys left for Atlanta.
  • The fun we had experimenting with taking pictures using Lisa’s tip to take them from above. Just so you’ll know, we look better than this picture! Really, we do.

Today I took down the greenery, packed away ornaments, cleaned out the refrigerator, and re-read Christmas cards. Every room in the house has some little reminder of a comment, experience, or image, and I’m going to treasure those memories throughout the cold winter ahead. I’ve become a master at stretching it out, so to speak, and am still savoring the season. Tomorrow I’m off to Rincon for an overnight trip. Just gotta get a granddarling fix before going back to work next week.

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