So here’s what’s up in my neck of the woods…can I really say that when I live on the tree-less prairie?

CK and I managed our Mankato trip: talked, powershopped, talked, ate supper with Kevin and Angela, talked and drove home.  Lots of talking, it was super.  And after one more Willmar run, I’m finally finished with shopping…until post-Christmas sales, that is, when I’m sure I’ll find myself back in St. Cloud for a day.  Feel free to make fun of me, but there isn’t much shopping to be done in the hometown (anybody remember “When in town…Shop Around”?), so driving 90 miles is the only viable option.

So they tell me it’s December 23rd….this used to be the start of the Christmas traditions.  Mom and I used to sleep next to the Christmas tree on this night, for years and years.  I don’t remember why we did it, but we decided on the 23rd because we’d “get in Santa’s way” if we did it on the 24th.  That’s how far back this tradition goes.  Tonight, perhaps a new tradition is beginning…Angela is cooking us supper.  I’m just staying out of the way.

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve, which is my favorite day of the year (possibly tied with April 28th).  For starters, we don’t have to wake up in the morning.  Always a plus as I tend to struggle with my alarm clock.  Then there’s all the anticipation, which is my favorite part of the Christmas season.  At five my immediate family goes to the Lutheran church, followed by a trek to my aunt Karen’s for supper.  Since the dawn of Rachel (are you happy now, Keely?) we have had lasagna, and Karen has always made a special vegetarian pan for me.  This year: beef stroganof.  I’m still struggling with this decision.  Just as long as the dorky paper crowns are there, I’ll be fine.

At 9, we go to Catholic Mass — we traditionally being Kevin, Mom, and I, I don’t know what my dad does during this time, one of the mysteries of Christmas.  Then we come back to the house for a few minutes before heading back to the Lutheran church for 11 o’clock’s candlelight service.  It’s mostly singing and very reverent, but I always turn into a six year old because I, for some reason, find candles very exciting.  Everyone is welcome!  This year Lacy is coming.  At Midnight, we try to fall asleep.  Since I haven’t been in bed before three any night this week, I may struggle with this one….plus the fact that the six year old mood doesn’t wear off, and I can’t sleep for anticipation of Santa Claus…

Christmas morning equals presents:  this year Dad has to work overnight and will be coming home at 8:30 in the morning.  Rather than letting the poor man sleep, we will force him to stay awake long enough to tear through presents with the rest of us.  It doesn’t matter to dad, he never shows much excitement about anything.  I always “play Santa Claus” — for anyone who has seen the best Christmas movie of all time, “A Christmas Story”, you get the reference — and hand out presents.  I’m a bit of a control freak when it comes to presents.  Normally we would go to the Lutheran church at 9 — it’s kind of fun because it’s usually only my family and like eight old people at that service — but we’re skipping because dad needs to sleep.  I probably will too, before we go to the nursing home for dad’s side’s Christmas.

It goes like this: pictures, food (ribs), gifts (money from grandpa and my godparents), pictures, food (dessert) and home.  Family time is done in about two hours flat, and so is Christmas, for the most part…the newest of Christmas traditions is the movie with Lacy Christmas night.  I look forward to this…because Christmas is all about anticipation…

I realize this entry is all about what’s coming up, and not so much about what I’ve done lately.  That’s because none of that will shock you, but in case you’re dying to know:  I got coffee with Andy and Lacy.  If you’re ever wondering where I am, a coffee shop is a good place to start looking.


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