Wait...I thought it was still October! What happened to the rest of the year???
Well, it is Christmas time, and it's been a very very VERY busy December. Every year I think I'm going to have a much better planned-out Christmas holiday where I get everything done early and I'm relaxed and peaceful. This was not that year. Like many people, we have been hit hard with the down-turn in the economy, and it's been a difficult year. But while Christmas is a bit on the sparse side this year, it hasn't been without its joys.
Here's one thing that has brought a lot of joy:
You'll notice the ones on the right are rather sparse...there were 18 of them. Similar story for the ones on the left...there were 35, but no more. So yes, these have produced a lot of joy. A lot of joy and probably a lot of pounds, too. Santa is so generous so we like to treat him well. I made the usual sugar cookies with cream cheese icing for him (a personal favorite of his, I'm told), but I've added a new treat this year as well. I call them Chocolate Ridiculous, because they are so good it's ridiculous. (Jenster, you'll appreciate these!) A Chocolate Ridiculous is peanut butter and marshmallow fluff sandwiched between two Ritz crackers and dipped in chocolate. (Insert "OH MY GOSH!!!" and Homer Simpson noises here)
See what I mean? Ridiculous.
Here's something else that made this season special. The girls and I went to a local craft store earlier this week so Little Bit could pick out something to make for The HOFFER for Christmas. She decided to paint a T-shirt for him, so she picked out the shirt while I found the paints. She started painting the back as soon as we arrived home, writing things like "World's Greatest Dad" & "My Dad Rocks!" The shirt sat on the kitchen table for a while to dry, then I suggested she hang it up to finish drying someplace secret. She hung it on the inside of my closet right on the door handle but neglected to tell me. So when I opened my closet door in a hurry later that day, the shirt with still damp paint flew off the handle (no pun intended!) and into a heap on the floor. It wasn't ruined, but it didn't come through unscathed, either. Upon further review, Little Bit was satisfied that it was still good enough to give as a gift.
The next day, she took the shirt out of my closet to paint the front, and again left the shirt on the kitchen table to dry. Unfortunately, Yummy, who is very mobile and very nosy, saw the shirt and decided to investigate. She pulled the shirt off the table into another heap on the floor. This time we were not so fortunate. Little Bit was crushed...she had worked so hard on it and was absolutely furious with Yummy. She was ready to throw the shirt out but I suggested she at least hang on to it to show her daddy how hard she had been working on a gift just for him.
When the HOFFER came home, Little Bit very sullenly showed him the shirt. I knew he would handle it well, but he answered her in such a precious way that it nearly brought me to tears. He very genuinely and lovingly told Little Bit that she had given him the best gift he had ever received. She (and I!) were rather incredulous, but he explained: "Little Bit, you gave me a gift from both you and your sister. The back is what you did for me, and the front is what Yummy did for me. I have a gift from both of you, and I love it!" He knew the effort Little Bit had put into it, and he validated that for her. When all was said and done, I could tell that was a special moment for her, and that her daddy had fixed things so that everything A-okay. I am certain she will always remember this Christmas for this precious moment. I know I will.
HOFFER, you really are the world's greatest dad. It is a privilege to be married to you. I love you.