Boxing up After Christmas

We are snowed in, Both Mom’s and DH’s works are opening at noon.  DH considered going in anyway to have the lab to himself and get some programming done without interruption, but after digging us out, he is over at Mom’s house shoveling her out.

He’s so good to my Mom, I love this man.  He slayed a mouse (the trap needed my Dad’s old recipe of peanut butter mixed with rubber band), He fixed her drain, he fixed her floor lamp.  We were over at her house every day for the last three days – and wherever he is, he fixes things.

M and K don’t remember how the tradition started, I don’t think B remembers the whys either; but we open gifts at Mom’s house, and “sneak in to wake her up early.” This all got started the year Dad died, Mom had said (of all things!) that she would miss him waking her up early.  So, DH suggested that we drive over “early,” and let B “wake,” her up.  In practice, everyone sleeps in so much, that we phone her to let her get back in bed so that we can “wake,” her up to open gifts.

My Dad loved Christmas, and could barely wait for us to wake up and open the gifts he’d gotten us.  He’d noisily make coffee at 5AM, Ho Ho Ho in the hallway, and make sure we woke up as soon as it was legally morning, I never beat him once.  Mom used to say it was no fun in the afternoon when he napped and she was making dinner, he’d respond that she’d made the menu – why not feed us peanut butter? This was a bit of a reaction to his childhood, his oldest sister had CP, and no one was allowed to as much as shake a stocking until she was up and dressed, which was apparently quite a process.  The whole family togetherness, loyalty-to-all was a good idea, but it seems to have been carried out a bit lopsidedly, I don’t actually know the whole story.

We do follow DH’s family’s tradition of making the kids eat “cruel gruel.” before we drive over – this year we did toast instead of oatmeal, because B rather loathes oatmeal.  I have my key to her house, and we charge in and “wake,” her up.  Of course, the house smells lovely from the coffee Mom has just brewed us, the lights are on, and cinnamon buns are in the oven, but the kids enjoy the ceremony.  Who doesn’t like bouncing on a grown-up’s bed (and grown up.)

We’d already carried over the gifts in laundry baskets Christmas Eve before the Candle lighting service at church.  This year it took all the baskets and some boxes from Mom’s basement to get them all back again – so much for our decision to be moderate in our gifts to the kids!  At least I put them back in the laundry baskets in the order of what room they will eventually get stored in.

I was putting K’s crafting supplies away in the school area, when a rare organizational bug took hold.  My throw away/recycle pile is respectable, and I actually did find room for K’s new large blank paper supplies.

Mom and DH just phoned, her neighbor plowed her drive, so they are coming back for games and left over turkey.  I was eye-ing the craft supplies cabinet in the kitchen, but it can just stay messy for now.  The modular approach is good, because it may be messy, but it’s organized and contained.

And I know it will not become the new storage solution: because I need my laundry baskets to do laundry in!

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