Sunday, December 24, 2006
It's Christmas Eve!
I guess I'm sick. I probably shouldn't have been running around downtown Chicago in that little jacket, but I'll live. These little colds usually go by pretty quick. I normally don't get sick very often. Other than that! It's Christmas time!
Every year we go over to our neighbor's house for a little gathering. There is food and drink, plus Santa comes to visit later and everyone has a chance to sit on his lap. He gives you a little gift, then you retreat to your spot on the couch and open it. All the gifts are naturally supplied by the neighbors: Joe and Louise. They're both in their 80's and some of the nicest people you'll probably ever meet. Everyday in the summer you can find them in the yard working, either tending the flowers or cutting the yard. Also at this party we exchanged gifts with the neighbors two doors down, the Gerberdings. It was nice to see them. I think the last time I saw their family was...last Christmas?
Before heading to the next Christmas party, we had to light the luminaries. I asked my Dad how long our neighborhood has been doing this, and he said for quite awhile..12 years? It's probably a mile stretch of road that we place little bags with sand and a candle in them. We purchase them from a guy down the street. He and his family lines them up, then we go out and light them at dusk. Pretty cool stuff.
Grandma's house for dinner then opened gifts. We take turns, going from youngest to oldest - so I am always last. It's totally fine with me tho. I got Little Miss Sunshine on DVD and MI:3, plus a shirt or two and some cash. After all these present rituals, we play the "present game" or something like that. My grandpa calls it "Grab-bag". Everyone buys a $10 gift and places it in the center of the room. Then everyone draws numbers. The first person has to pick a present from the pile and open it. The second person can either steal that gift or open a new one...and so on. It can get pretty fun.
Now I'm back at home and it's almost midnight. If it was 5 or 6 years ago, i'd be snuggled up in my bed completely excited. I guess Christmas has lost its magic, but when I handed my Grandma a little gift tonight I sort of felt a little of it. So maybe this is where the holiday spirit comes in for adults?