After we came back from Ft. Worth, I swear we all came down with the plague that everyone I know is fighting. Ugh! In fact, here I am, still fighting it. It’s awful! But enough about that….
Three days before Christmas Abug and I decided we needed to work on Santa cookies. Santa was coming and with his long flight across country and the world, he needed some good sustenance, so we went with making Red Velvet Peppermint Kiss Cookies. We figured he’d get Chocolate chip everywhere else so we’d give him something a little different. That’s the way we roll in this house.
And might I mention, my kid is a country kid, but she’s worse than her mommy about having dirty hands. Making the Red Velvet part of the cookies, the food coloring along with some of the oil transferred to her hands (and mine) and she hated that! WOW!
The real start of the Christmas season for me tends to be our trip to Ft. Worth. There have been a few years I haven’t been able to go, but I try to make it down there every year. Sadly, for me this year was a little lackluster. It was fun, don’t get me wrong, but it just didn’t scream Christmas season to me.
Hubby had to go to San Francisco for work the whole week leading up to Ft. Worth. He flew into DFW on Thursday night. We left home Thursday night and drove as far as Denton, Texas. Then from there, Friday morning we drove to the hotel that hubby was at and picked him up.
It seems like every year they change up the schedule for the NCHA Futurity. This year the NonPro and Amateur finals happened Friday night, the Open Semi-finals happened on Saturday, and the finals for the Open happened Sunday evening. Truthfully, that’s how it used to be, then they started changing it. We’re back to basics now.
Ft. Worth Stockyards
No trip to Ft. Worth is complete without a trip to the Stockyards. I have to say, this is probably my favorite place on earth… or at least one of. Hubby though wasn’t in the Holiday spirit so I felt like I was “dragging” him and he pretty well refused to go into the stores with me. One of my favorite things to do is window shop at the stores and I couldn’t hardly budge him into a store with me. I was getting frustrated.
Earlier this fall… yes, it’s still fall… you know tomorrow starts the Winter Solstice, that’s the shortest day of the whole year. From there we’re going to be gaining light!! Anyway… back to the fall… We had our annual Chili cookoff to raise money for deserving Children whose families have fallen on hard times for whatever reason.
I always refer to those who help with this project as Santa’s Helpers because who couldn’t use a helper? So, Santa’s helpers have been busy at work, getting applications, reviewing them, and trying their darndest to make sure kids have a fabulous Christmas no matter what the circumstances their family faces are. But here’s the thing…
It’s no surprise that I LOVE CHRISTMAS. I do. I can’t hide that fact. Some people ask why I like it so much. This is kind of hard to put into words but I’ll try. There is something so magical around the time of year between Thanksgiving and Christmas. There is something in the air. The air is crisp, which it is also known I hate cold weather, but that time of year you know you need snow so that Santa can deliver his presents. Duh!
But there is a spirit among people. Yes, a lot of people are stressed out by Christmas and they say that the suicide rate is up around this time of year, but there are a lot of happy people around this time of year. They are out and about shopping for just the perfect present for their loved ones and friends. There is Christmas lights and Christmas music and little kids getting so excited that Santa will visit.
That is the thing though… Little kids get extremely excited about the thought of Santa visiting. Some little kids though are sad at this time of the year. Their family is going through some struggle and the thought of Christmas is far from their mind. That’s where Santa’s helpers come in to play.
There are organizations that are working year round to make sure that every little kid knows what Christmas is and knows that they aren’t forgotten. Santa’s helpers run fundraisers and ring bells, and everything else to raise money for presents for those deserving little kids.
I’m sure we all know this, right? So why am I discussing this? Well, because the last few years I have been working with one of those organizations. I have been volunteering my time to help raise money. To help raise awareness. All little kids are deserving all year round, but I want them to know my favorite time of year and have fond memories of it just like I have.
Ah, the joys of Christmas are over. I know I complain a lot about January, but I really just don’t care for January. Tbug on the other hand does because her birthday is that month, although once upon a time I asked her if we could celebrate her bday in June. She looked at me like I killed her puppy. She was like 7. Then… last year, she asked me if she could celebrate her birthday with us in June. I told her NO. She asked why and I laughed and told her about this 7 year old who was offended I even mentioned such a thing. We all got a good laugh.
But that was just a side note… the real reason for the post is Christmas. And here is the calm before the fury… or something like that. Right now hubby, the girls, and I are living with my parents until we decide our next move after selling our house this late summer/early fall. We decided we were going to set our Christmas tree up in our little living room and we were going to open our presents just as a family Christmas morning (since Tbug was with us Christmas Eve through Christmas Day).
Years ago I started a tradition. I would make cookies for people who helped me throughout the year and on Christmas Eve I would go around delivering them. I missed a few years, but not many. When I got married, hubby continued that tradition with me. This year was no different. This year I made sugar cookies and spent a week decorating them so that they’d be ready to plate up and deliver on Christmas Eve. We then piled in the little red “sled” (aka hubby’s truck) and off to deliver cookies we went. And out of all the plates we delivered, we only spoke with 2 of the recipients. All the rest weren’t home so I left them in the normal places I have in the past and off to the next place we went.
Grady actually had heart surgery earlier in the week. In fact, he was released to go home Friday afternoon, just in time for the holidays. We had to pick Tbug up around 11:30 so we stayed and chatted with Deb, Grady, and Karen until we had to leave to go pick Tbug up. They told Grady at the hospital (I think it was the hospital) that the bear would become his best friend. He laughed and said, that is so true.
Once we got Tbug, we headed off to town to hubby’s cousin’s house for his side of the family’s Christmas. So earlier this week, his cousin/aunt lost their step-dad/significant other to Congestive Heart Failure. Poor Aunt Cheryl wasn’t in real good spirits if you can only imagine. After we ate lunch, she went in and started doing the dishes. That’s one thing she ALWAYS does… dishes. Ambyr sent her out of the kitchen so she came in and sat with us at the table. Hubby asked her if she’d had dessert and she said no. Then he asked if she wanted a cookie (we took a cookie plate there with us too). She picked up a sleigh and called it a butterfly. We all started giggling and turning the sleigh every which way to decide what all it could be. It was a butterfly, a sleigh, a bear, a playboy bunny, and a few others I can’t remember. Then hubby moved off to the Gingerbread man. We had Aunt Cheryl laughing so hard I thought she was going to start rolling on the floor. Probably something she really needed after the week she’d had.
I had an epiphany the other day… They want to call it a holiday tree so that it is less offensive. Well holiday is all inclusive: Christmas, New Years, 4th of July, Valentine’s Day, etc… So does that mean we get to leave our Holiday trees up all year round? Just a thought…..
In other news…. So a lot of people won’t put up Christmas trees with toddlers around. Say it’s too much of a hassle or an inconvenience. I don’t agree. I think it helps teach them to love the season and respect the season and learn patience, which sometimes I still need to learn… just saying. I’m happy to report we only had one casualty when it came to Christmas presents. Abug got sooooo darn excited that Thursday of last week she opened a present. I laughed so hard because she was so proud of herself. It happened to be my present from my parents and I also knew what it was. No harm, no foul, but next time, open something I don’t know what it is so I don’t have to wait so long to know, okay kid 😂😜.