Christmas Eve had an inauspicious start, when I realized that my debit card had been compromised. Chase blocked the attempts to use my card, so I was glad for that. What surprised me was that the blocked transactions were for small amounts, all for "internet services." Honestly, thieves . . . go big or go home. Anyway, the only option was to shut down my debit card and send me a new one. So, that was the first snag of the holiday.
I worked until noon on Christmas Eve. Kindercare was closed, so P took the day off to stay home with the kid. I ran a few errands after work and then headed home. We didn't have a lot of plans for Christmas Eve, other than attending church at 7 p.m. and then driving around to look at festive holiday lights (one house, in particular, goes all out). After dinner, the kid insisted on helping me with the dishes (for the first time in her life). I mean, she was not taking "no" for an answer. This sudden burst of extreme helpfulness may have been related to me telling her that Santa does not load up his sleigh until he is just about to leave the North Pole. For borderline children, things really could go either way. Right up until the last second.
The Christmas Eve service at church was very nice. We sang a few songs and then passed a microphone around to share stories and memories of Christmas. The kid poked me in the shoulder and said she needed the mike ASAP. So, curious to hear what she'd say (and a little bit frightened, too), I raised my hand on her behalf. The microphone was handed to me and I turned it over to my daughter. What, oh what, would she say? Perhaps she'd share some shining example of what the spirit of giving means to her. She gripped the mike in her hand and tilted her head downward before she spoke. "My next door neighbor . . . " she began, "Dressed her dog up like an elf." Alrighty then.
When we got home, I read to her for a while and then encouraged her to go to sleep (after declining her request to sleep on the couch). P and I watched bits of "Miracle on 34th Street" (yes, the original - the only one really worth watching) and waited for Santa. We had guests coming over the next morning for brunch, so I started getting my act together for that.
The dogs woke me up bright and early Christmas morning. I sure wish they understood concepts like "weekends" and "holidays." My daughter, on the other hand, slumbered on. And on. When I was a kid, I was up like a shot on Christmas morning. Finally, she rolled out of bed at around 8:45. She tore into the gifts and P dutifully picked up the wrapping paper along the way. We actually had to keep her on a pretty tight schedule because of the impending arrival of family members.
As for me, my mom hooked me up quite nicely. She always gets me all sorts of fun things (like eye shadows, bath stuff, manicure sets, etc) as well as stuff I really need (like new sheets for the bed, towels, and so forth). P and I don't exchange a lot of gifts at Christmas. We do stocking stuffers. However, we do try to buy decent stocking stuffers - we don't just toss each other a candy cane and call it a day. This year, I only asked for two items: the "Despicable Me" DVD and this ornament from Hallmark:
The ornament I actually received:
You're probably wondering if I've had the opportunity to enjoy some baked goods fresh off the light bulb. Indeed I have. Cripes, though - between warming up the oven, the actual baking, and the cool down period, it takes the better part of an hour to bake a cake the size of my palm. The things we do, I swear.