The Ross Family - Christmas 2012
That is how Christmas morning 2012 began - though it seemed more like the middle of the night! Recounting the message given at church the night before, I truly wanted to count my blessings, but at that very moment I was having difficulty recognizing the positive point about having a early rising small child. In truth, Devi really only needed Santa’s reassurance and then gladly went back to bed until 5:48 am. At that point, we pulled her into bed with us, with the pitter patter of Treya’s feet soon to follow. For the next hour, GET UP negotiations ensued amongst the four of us, five counting Bengal who whined here and there to be included, until Pat and I finally relented, opening our tired eyes at 7.
On our way to church Christmas Eve
Nearly as dear and robust as their tear jerker rendition of Hark the Herald Angel’s sing the night before at church, the girls sang a hearty round of the happy birthday song to Jesus at the nativity and then Devi bounded down the hall toward the illuminated tree that sparkled in the early morning darkness. Treya, always with food on her mind, headed for the kitchen, certain that we would start making breakfast first. Corrected, she doubled back to the tree where the girls found the butterfly and lady bug Dream Lites that they had asked Santa for. Needing no encouragement, Treya dumped her stocking squealing with glee as an assortment of treasures, including many pairs of socks, came pouring out. Devi, on the other hand, very neatly took one item at a time out of her stocking, savoring every last detail of the event.
Wearing new crowns from our friend Cat
A weary eyed Papa and Gail arrived at 8am, bearing yet even more gifts and the champagne was corked for mimosas. The rest of the morning was spent opening a gift and then playing with it a bit before continuing on. All the adrenalin of that loaded tree skirt, had our stomachs growling in no time, so we paused the unwrapping frenzy to refuel with monkey bread, fruit and a scrambled egg, sausage and hash brown breakfast.
Treya in her new princess dress from
Uncle David and Aunt Obie
Uncle David and Aunt Obie
The highlight of the morning for the girls was the nylon and PVC pipe Espresso stand/tent and set of sleeping bags from Pat and I. Once set up, the girls were off in their own world of imagination. As the hours passed, we could hear their storyline change from coffee shop, to school, to hospital, to camp out, to beauty salon as more and more props were brought into the tent. At one point, even Bengal, our dog was in there with them adding to their charade.
Both girls fell back into bed with their Dream Lites in the early afternoon for naps, awakening to the sound of our extended family arriving for dinner. For the third year in a row, I attempted beef tenderloin for our table of 15 guests. Pat, our amateur inventor, constructed a vented plastic pipe extension that attached to our vacuum to control the smoke from the searing butter and beef at 500 degrees. The other skeptical men took bets on whether the piped contraption would work. It made for some good laughs and hearty slaps on the back congratulating Pat on his sweet success in stifling the smoke. No fanning with towels this year!
The inventor revealing his latest work
Our white elephant gift exchange took a turn this year as well. I took playful, but deliberate attacks at stealing one’s gift out of the equation by implementing a poem that gave direction to each recipient as to whose gift they could snag. In the end, there is always one masculine person stuck with an array of scented soap, a female with a crowbar and rather deliberately, the person who left early got stuck with a holiday karaoke microphone. All in fun, we ended our evening with far too many desserts, bloated stomachs, and thanks to Aunt Joan, our girls are now the owners of two aquariums that each house two African dwarf frogs! Though their names change daily, today they are known as Clara and Clarise and Toot and Puddle.
Baking with Oma!
The Finished Product!
A well rounded holiday season, we are still hearing both girls singing “Maw maw, bake that Johnny Cake, Christmas comin” , a catchy West Indie tune that Dev sung in her kindergarten Christmas Around The World concert earlier in the month. Though Oma traveled to visit other family members this year, she did manage to squeeze in a day of cookie baking with the girls, which is always one of the highlights of the holiday season. We have just a few straggler partially dried out cookies left to devour, we weathered the cold and wet weather to experience Zoolights, and are still laughing every time we retell our “Looking at Christmas Lights” annual drive story. This time, Pat and I realized we were the only ones Ooo-ing and Aww-ing as both girls, snugly in new PJs, and with a cup of cocoa in their laps, promptly fell asleep in the car, a meer 15 minutes into the search for the perfect display!
Yes, as I consider the birth that gives us reason to celebrate, I am truly counting my blessings this year.