Yesterday, after getting Flannery off to school and then puttering on the computer for awhile doing nothing really that meaningful, I lit my Christmas candles and spruced up our already Christmas-decorated house. This meant setting everything just so...not how Flannery may have set it up...(i.e. Mary and a wise man were enjoying the birth of Jesus in a manger and Joseph was off near a cow)...and I removed a couple of ornaments lovingly made just a few days ago by my daughter with her new pack of pipe cleaners I bought her, and suggested later that she put them on her tree in her bedroom because they are so colorful and pretty.
The nice thing about Flannery is that she knows, thanks to daddy's explanation, that "Mommy is weird about the decorations in the Living Room." Chris understands this, because his mom is the same way, and even more anal than I...spacing everything apart equally on the tree and the shelves...which gives Chris and I something to do to torment, well, lovingly torment her.
Whenever we visit, just moments before she sees us out, we turn ornaments backward, magnets on the fridge upside down, shift the snowman cookie jar head to face the wall, etc... She always calls Chris that same evening, "I saw what you did," she'll say, and blame the whole act on him, because she knows that she and I share in the love of a perfectly symmetrical Christmas.
Chris' mom moved to Virginia last year, and 2 years ago, my mom moved to Coulee City (a five hour drive from Portland), and so we don't get the traditional stuff that we'd grown to love throughout the Christmas season. The thing I miss the most is the stocking from my mom.
She always gave each of us a stocking, (Me, Kelly, Jon, Tommy, Teri and Alice) and the stocking would take longer to open than the actual gift opening time, because she shopped all year for little items that we would love or find fun to have. She individually wrapped each item and stuffed it in the stocking until it was full, and then we would each have a little stuffed animal or item in the very top. When Chris and I were first married, his stocking had a stuffed snowman peeking out the top (since he's a weather man)...Teri's had a Pony one time (she loves horses, etc.) I hate missing Christmas morning with my mom.
As an adult, I suppose I should be over the little childish romantic memories and suck it up, and create new traditions for my family, but sometimes I just want my mommy at Christmastime.