It's that time of year.
My Sister and her boyfriend, and her boyfriend's 16 year old dog, are coming to stay for a few days.
We plan on going to an early Christmas Eve service, then out for Moroccan food, then back to our house to unwrap presents. All 9 of us: me, my husband, my parents, my husband's parents, my husband's Aunt, my Sister, and my Sister's boyfriend.
Not sure if we'll do anything else on Christmas Eve... maybe in the morning my husband, myself, my sister and her boyfriend and maybe my Dad will go see the Natural History Museum. My Mom's not very good at walking long distances anymore: congestive heart failure. Also, she's 77. So she's not coming. Dad's technically not too good at walking long distances either... he is 83! But he's still in pretty good shape... so we'll just walk slowly.
Then Christmas Day, the only thing open is a Railroad museum. Ditto: same 5 people: me, my husband, my Sister, her boyfriend, my Dad... uhm, assuming my husband is up for it, of course. :) Or my Dad is up for it. Or if any of us are up for it by then.
And then on Tuesday, the 26th, we go fishing in the ocean from 9am to 3pm, off of a boat. Me, my husband, my Sister and her boyfriend. [Dad has to work. Yes. He's 83 and he has to work. :P Don't ask. But at least it keeps him going...]
Then Wednesday, my Sister and her boyfriend are out of here, and we collapse into a small puddle on the living room floor, with our 2 German Shepherds standing guard. ;)
Maybe Wednesday morning I should put a "Do Not Disturb: Christmas Vacation Detox in Progress" sign on the door. With something extra like "Trespassers will be Bitten by Dogs that May or May Not be Rabid." And then we can tie some frothy cotton on our dog's muzzles to make it look like they are frothing at the mouth. [And before you ask, their rabies shots are up to date.]
Yeah. I like that idea. ;)
My Mormon friend, Kenya Starflight, was very sweet and sent us Christmas gifts. I've never received Christmas Gifts from a person I only know online before! This is rather neat. ;) I sent her something as well.
We've exchanged photo's, so she knows what I look like. Uhm, on a GOOD day, anyway, LOL!!! And we've been pretty good about emailing each other really often, so I really feel like we know each other. Hope we can meet in person one day. She's very cool.
The shopping is 99.999% done. I may go get something for a friend's daughter. I already got stuff for another friend's daughter, but I haven't seen the first mentioned daughter in a long time... so am feeling disconnected, and in the great scheme of things, only thought of it recently when in contact with her Mom. Sigh. I feel like the shopping and the wrapping will never ever really be done... maybe I should just leave everything unwrapped under the tree, and throw a big blanket over it all to hide it. ;)
The tree... heh. It's plastic. And still in the box. I need to put it together before I can even decorate it. This is the first year I've condescended to purchase a plastic tree.
Let's just say this year has been a little hectic, and somehow I've done an incredibly good job of procrastinating. :)
Like the lights outside... they only went up this past Tuesday evening. And only on the long bush that is next to the walkway leading up to our front door. I called it a "rapid deployment of Christmas lights". It actually turned out pretty good, for 15 minutes of feverish untangling and arranging.
And no short female computer programmers had to get up on any nasty scary ladders to hang Christmas Lights from the roof. ;)
Oh, crap. I went shopping, and I forgot to get seasickness meds for Tuesday. :P Well, maybe tomorrow. Or maybe I'll just barf. I've gone scuba diving, ocean-kayaking, flying, etc. But put me on a boat and try to cross the Channel to the islands here and it's seasick-city for me. Well, maybe it won't be too bad... we're not going all the way out to the islands to fish... just 8 miles out.
Oof. And the tree... it's not exactly going to smell like pine. [Should have picked up some pine scented spray.]
Wait, did this just change from a report on my Christmas to an online Christmas to-do list? ;)
Anyway, in all the insanity this time of year, I don't want to forget the Reason for the Season. Even though Jesus was probably born in the summer, this is the time of year we celebrate His birth. It's not about presents, it's not about holiday decorations, or holiday food, or egg nog. Or mistletoe and making our dogs wear fake antlers while we take pictures of them. ;)
It's about the gift of salvation through God's only begotten Son, Jesus Christ.
I may be, in my opinion, a really flaky Christian. But that's not going to change my knowing the real reason for Christmas.
So, to quote my favorite Christmas passage, one that Linus quoted so well in "A Charlie Brown Christmas", here is Luke chapter 2, in the Old King James. [It somehow sounds best in the Old King James.]
Luke chapter 2:
 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.
 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)
 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)
 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
Merry Christmas, everyone. :)