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Saturday

2019 holiday highlights for better or worse



How was your holiday season?

Every Christmas season has its own highlights. These may be ups or downs, but they are definitely memorable.



Here are some of my 2019 holiday highlights (in approximate chronological order). They are highlights for all kinds of reasons, from heartwarming to humorous to … well, you’ll see. First, let me be clear. I am thankful we can even celebrate Christmas. I love that God sent Jesus, the King of Kings, as a humble baby, born in a stable (more like a cave) to save the world. I enjoy all of the festivities, both faith-focused and family- or friend-oriented (or all of those things).

It's just that this Christmas season was more than a little quirky around here. So please read this list in the playful spirit in which it is intended.

  1. Attending a women’s Christmas brunch at our church and receiving a newcomer’s welcome mug, although I’ve been a member of that church for almost six years. “How long have you been coming here?” our table hostess asked me. Fortunately, my mouth was full of apple kringle at that point, so I didn’t have to answer that sticky question.

  1. Playing the Yankee Swap Christmas gift game with my hilarious Bible study friends. I’m not even gonna tell about the wackiest gifts, but they were crazy-funny. Things got a little crazy over a tiny pair of painted Dutch wooden shoes and a stack of festive gift boxes.
  1. Enjoying a pre-Christmas lunch with my sister. The waiter returned to our table five or six times after we paid the bill to see if we still needed anything. That’s how long we lingered and visited – well after we finished our salads.
  1. Making Christmas cookies at my daughter’s house, while her plentiful pets frolicked around us. This has become something of a tradition. She teaches me something new about cookie baking every time.
  1. Scratching off $5 lotto tickets with the in-laws on Christmas Eve (in lieu of the traditional gift swap). Because nothing says “Christmas” like scratch-off lottery tickets. After all, what did the magi bring? Was it gold, frankincense, myrrh and lotto tickets? (BTW, nobody won. Not one bit.) When can we do this again?
  1. Receiving comfy matching Gamma and Grampa bathrobes from my stepdaughter on Christmas Eve. On Christmas morning, I discovered that Grampa had taken it upon himself to wash and dry his dark green one with my white one. Now mine (not yet worn) is a splotchy pale pistachio green with dark green fuzzies all over it.
  1. Watching my 10-year-old grandson (He’s actually my step-grandson, but who’s counting?) open his presents and having him look up with an ear-to-ear smile and say, “Wow. You really know me!” Count that as a win.
  1. Unwrapping my Christmas present from The Retired One and finding a scanner. He said, “Now you can do my paperwork faster.” I’m not sure I responded at all. As it turns out, it doesn’t even work with my computer. His next gift was a plug-in egg cooker. He told me it makes eggs the way he likes them, but that I could use it too, if I wanted. Then he read the instructions and decided it seemed too complex. So he returned it to the store. It’s the thought that counts … if anyone’s thinking. The third and final gift was a bottle of wine with a sketch of a runner on the label. Maybe that one contained some thought. At any rate, I was ready for a glass by then.
  1. Celebrating Christmas with a brand-new baby grandson. Just a few months old, he’s all giggles and grins. (It was fun to see his parents too.) A few weeks before Christmas, I established an unofficial circle of accountability friends, charging them with the task of steering me clear of baby departments in stores. The sleigh was already stacked.

  1. Going for a trail run in 50-degree weather on Christmas afternoon. Chalk it up to one more day’s entry in the Thanksgiving-to-New-Years Holiday Season Running Streak. It was a gloriously sunny and warm day. Can’t beat that.

So now I’m a little confused. Did I make Santa’s nice list in 2019 … or his naughty one? Either way, I dismantled and stowed the Christmas tree and all the decorations by the 27th of December. I love Christmas, but this one was a little strange for sure.

I wonder what will happen next time the holiday season rolls around.

What were your holiday highlights?

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