wings and things

Christmas Eve’s eve

on December 23, 2014

Well, it’s the day before Christmas Eve and I am finally ready to be festive. My rather blah mood was transformed into enthusiasm after having breakfast with my mother the other day because we went shopping together and I found some things that I hope Ming will love even though he ruled that it should be a strict 3-gifts-per-person Christmas. Unfortunately I take great pleasure in breaking Ming’s rules so there are now 20 presents under the new little Christmas tree he bought. I thought that was a good number since he is still (until January) 20 years old.

Oh how I miss the pillowcase years (a habit inherited from my parents in which an empty pillowcase was placed at the end of each of our beds and on Christmas morning would be filled, rather miraculously, with presents). Up until just a few years ago, I would send Ants and Ming to bed and would spend the late hours of Christmas Eve wrapping presents and putting them into an identical pillowcase (just in case Ming woke up). Then I would go to bed but wake up at around 4am to swap the empty pillowcase with the full-of-presents pillowcase. Alas, those exciting, magical days are long gone. Last year we didn’t even ‘do’ Christmas because we were too sad about this and that and, until a few days ago, I felt the echo of that sadness and an inability to be bothered.

Then, all of a sudden, a wave of hyperactive nostalgia hit me and I was filled with the energy of what Christmas really means – the birth of something/someone miraculously new – a Jesus moment, the memory of when Ming was born, a newfound excitement about seeing Anthony every today, so ….

…. I decorated Anthony’s nursing home room and sticky-taped old and new Christmas cards on his mirrors and pictures, draped the clock with tinsel, decorated the rose tree I bought him the other week, that looks real, with baubles and wrapped Ming’s presents in his room. You see, we are having Christmas in the nursing home this year; it will be the first year that he hasn’t been home for Christmas and it wasn’t until yesterday that Anthony realised this.

Ants: I’m a bit taken aback.
Me: Why? What’s wrong?
Ants: I thought it would be at Bythorne (the name of our farm).
Me: Are you kidding? It’s too hot and the flies are terrible out there! Anyway I like it here better! Don’t argue!
Ants (smiling at my sternness): Okay, you win.

Today I will wrap Anthony’s presents in his room while I face him towards the window so he won’t see; then I’ll sticky tape more cards around his room, then we’ll have a small glass of champagne together with a bit of mango (a great combination I discovered the other day).

Tomorrow night, various members of the family who can make it, will meet at my mother’s place for the traditional Christmas dinner of turkey, ham, Harvard beets (my mother’s specialty) etc. but I won’t tell Ants about this because it would be impossible for him to join us now that he is so incapacitated physically.

Then, on Christmas morning, Ming and I will open our presents to each other, saving a few to take into the nursing home at around 10am where my mother will join us at noon for my crayfish cocktail and some champagne. At 3pm I will head off to the dementia wing for my afternoon shift, Ming and my mother will go home, and at 6pm I will go back to Ants’ room to say goodnight.

A ‘Jesus moment’ – over and over and over again.

50 responses to “Christmas Eve’s eve

  1. Yvonne says:

    That’s so good that you had your “spurt” of nostalgia! Will Ming want to give back 17 of the gifts, perhaps? Hah!

    I had been wondering if your job had started, and you’ve answered that for us.

    A joyous Christmas to you and your loved ones.

  2. Terry says:

    I have always enjoyed learning about other countries customs and the pillow case sounds like so much fun. I can understand why you don’t do that any longer. I miss the old life, my kids waking up on Christmas morning and racing for the presents. Now life is much more quiet. I lean on my children for making my Christmas brighter, and yet some things never change, such as celebrating life and Jesus with those among us. Love and hugs my friend

  3. Your plans sound wonderful Julie… and am so glad that you are feeling better and are looking forward to Christmas.. I think I’ll mention your way of determining the number of gifts for Ming… to my husband …. Wow .. I could be opening presents all day… .Diane

  4. Trisha says:

    I’m glad the spirit of Christmas found you, and just in time too! Merry Christmas (or do you say Happy Christmas in Australia?) to you and your family!

  5. Meg says:

    I know your “Jesus moments” will carry you through the year ahead, as they have me, for 80 years!!! You are loved. Mama xxx

  6. Julie is sounds perfect; brought a tear to my eyes. ❤ Merry Christmas my friend.
    Diana xo

  7. I wish you and your loved ones a wonderful Christmas.

  8. Judy says:

    I will be thinking of you on Christmas Day, Julie. I am smiling to know how you are treasuring these times in spite of what could be a dark cloud over you. Your words are beautiful and inspiring. Those memories will be a gift to you later on – you know that. Sending love.

  9. susanpoozan says:

    You are so brave and determined to make the best of things. Your plans for celebrating Christmas sound perfect. I was glad to read that you got the job you were after a while ago. Happy Christmas to you all.

  10. bulldog says:

    Julie have a brilliant Christmas and may next year be all you want for yourself and the family…. give Ants a big hug from South Africa and tell him I say Sterkte for 2015…

  11. janeslog says:

    Sounds good. At least the weather will be good for you – nice and warm and sunny. Not like here where it will be windy and raining.

    Had planned to go skating in George Square in Glasgow today but because of the terrible accident there yesterday we have decided to go to the indoor skating rink in East Kilbride shopping centre instead.

  12. Merry Christmas, Julie! Sounds like you have indeed been blessed with the true spirit of the season. Wishing you all the best for the New Year…

  13. Your Christmas is going to be wonderful Jules 😀 I also get nostalgic for the Christmas Eve all nighters that I used to have wrapping presents for Santa and puting them out under the tree. The looks on the children’s faces were priceless. I miss those looks. Merry Christmas to you and your fantastic family!!!!

  14. Merry Christmas Eve Eve Julie ! TO you and Ming and Anthony may your moments be filled with more joy and love and hugs and kisses. And may Ming see the 20 presents and be ever so glad you broke his 3 present rule. 🙂

  15. Rhonda says:

    I’m so happy you rediscovered the magic of Christmas Jules and not a bit surprised you were with Mum when you did. Your day sounds like it’ll be full of love, laughter, and life. Enjoy it and take my wishes for a very, very, Merry Christmas with you. All my love
    R xxxx

  16. Ingrid says:

    Wonderful Julie – I just love Christmas too. As with all of life, change is constant.
    A very happy Christmas to you and Ants and Ming and Meg – God bless you all.

  17. susielindau says:

    Merry Christmas Julie!

  18. tootlepedal says:

    Happy Christmas to you all from Mrs Tootlepedal and me.

  19. Yes the pillow case left out for Santa to fill is something we did when I was a child and something we did when my girls were little and now we do it for Leo I think it makes Christmas even more magical

  20. I’ve been thinking of you the last couple of days and here you are. Wishing you and your whole family very happy holiday time followed by a year of days filled with laughter and peaceful nights. Love, Paulette ❤

  21. ksbeth says:

    wonderful, jules and happy christmas to all of you )

  22. Have a blessed Christmas! It is a bit weird for us this year. We haven’t decorated because no one is coming here. My eldest is overseas,my #3 is back East, and hubby’s mom can’t travel far from the home, so we will go down to #2’s apt. #4 who lives in town has a girlfriend, so he will be with us at my other son’s and then with her fam, but not here. So the tree will stay in the rafters this year. And we were so busy prepping for our Christmas show, we are worn out and still in denial that it is even December. Yikes!

  23. Ann Koplow says:

    Merry Christmas, Julie. Thanks for all the gifts you bring us.

  24. niasunset says:

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Dear Julie! Thank you, love, nia

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