Everyone has a story worth repeating around the holiday season. I'm referring to an event like you stood in line thirty minutes to check out items you worked two hours to make a decision about. While waiting your turn you calculate how much you are about to spend, validate why it's alright to splurge, and picture how perfectly these items round out what is stashed away in the bowels of your closet. When the checker announces the total you reach in your purse to find everything except your wallet! Sure the store will hold the desired purchase twenty-four hours but goodness knows what is penciled in hour to hour between now and then but you are certain it didn't include coming back to this store!! You think to yourself this is suppose to be the season of peace on earth goodwill to men but what you really want to do is scream and punch somebody! I have many instances similar to the above I could share but have chosen only two for your reading pleasure so as not to stir up too many " ba humbug " feelings.
I had planned a Christmas morning extraordinaire in my mind. Rebekah and Abby wanted big baby dolls which I adored and Joseph was into being a fireman. This had all the makings of a storybook memory and I set out to make it the best ever for all of us. Just think of the pictures and video footage! We didn't own a camcorder but Jeff had already figured out he could reserve the one our church had. Just one of the perks from being involved in the children's ministry! I began smocking nightgowns for the girls with matching gowns for their baby dolls complete with " made by Mrs. Claus " labels sewn in for authenticity. I felt safe to smock when the girls were asleep but not when it was time to sew on the machine. Easy to overcome, I would work at Aunt Nana's house on her machine. Of course I pushed the limit nearing the deadline but not to worry, I knew my mothering adrenalin would kick in and everything would be finished with elf speed! Much to my surprise at midnight when I was about to start home it had been snowing! Merry Christmas to me, I thought. How fun and beautiful I thought as I drove home until I turned onto the foot of the monstrous hill that led to my house! Suddenly all the excitement of playing Mrs. Claus was melting as the wheels of my car began to spin and I found myself at the bottom of the hill again. I'm from Texas and am petrified at the
thought of crashing on ice! Remember it's after midnight and cell phones hadn't been invented but even if they had we wouldn't have one.
And why isn't Jeff out looking for me? Isn't he worried about me? I didn't begin to have on the right shoes or coat for braving the
nonforcasted white stuff glistening all around me! The best I could figure was to park my car on the side of the street and hike home. As I
felt confident this would work it didn't take too many attempted steps to learn I was wrong. All I did was slide back to where I started no
matter how hard I tried! My next plan proved successfulf as I crunched through the lawns of my neighbors till I reached our uphill cove
which was even more steep! Step by baby step delivered me safely at last to my front door. Jeff was cuddled sound asleep on the sofa
with a few embers still alive in the fireplace clueless to my icy adventure. But early Christmas morning with Bing Crosby caroling in the
background, the camera ready to capture the squeal of children flying down stairs, and the first comments of joy at the sight of wished for
toys, all the hours of shopping and sewing and sliding fulfilled every anticipated thought for this very moment with my family.
Where to hide Christmas presents can pose quite a challenge from year to year. The more children the bigger the challenge and since I have four I had to be creative as they got older and more tuned in to the process. I would save some to wrap on Christmas eve while
" visions of sugarplums " were dancing away! I always participated in televised Christmas worship services as part of my Yuletide tradition
while placing the finishing touches on packages and stockings. My hiding places ranged from the back of my closet to the back of the Suburban ( fondly referred to as my sleigh! ) to the loft closet of the Stitchin Post to the family boat stored in Sharon and Winston's garage to Jeff's storage unit not far from where we lived! I was methodical each year because as the magical night approached I might have to gather everything together to make certain every child's presents looked balanced with the layout beside them. Santa even remembered where each child's yearly place in the den was located for instant identification! Wouldn't you know the one year I didn't go through the inventory activity prior to Christmas eve there was an item missing for Anna Grace. Not really just a present but her main present! Everything in her pile revolved around the missing doll. I couldn't imagine that I could be so remiss about something so important! Obviously Jeff had to hop to and backtrack through the possible locations to keep Christmas morning from being a diaster! After looking everywhere except his storage unit we were still shy one Bitty Baby. We felt somewhat relieved eliminating everywhere possible he could get to before morning. It had to be in his storage unit and he could wake up before the kids, get Bitty Baby and be back in place before the first "it's morning" was heard! The perfect plan! When Jeff got to his stiorage unit the gate was locked even though it was always unlocked by this time. He had to call the
manager for access to finalize the case of the missing present. Hesitantly, he responded to Jeff's call and opened the gate. Jeff search every inch of the square unit but to know avail! No doll anywhere ! Jeff couldn't stand letting the manager know that after the disruption his mission was unsuccessful so he grabbed a small box and hid it under his jacket. As he went to thank the manager for being so helpful he
patted the box indicating mission accomplished but before he could get a word out the manager spoke up and declared, " 364 days of the year we are open and the one morning we aren't, you show up! " In the meantime I received a phone call from Sharon announcing the mystery had been solved and Bitty Baby could be picked up and placed in her rightful place under the tree! Success at last!? Falalalalalalalala!