December 20, 2007
Late this afternoon, my husband and I went to the wholesale club and then the grocery store, buying huge quantities of food. The teenagers unloaded the boxes and bags and big containers, including a jar of salsa that left a splattering of red on the snow when Boy in Black dropped it on the icy path. Tomorrow, I'll be cooking while the rest of the family cleans in preparation for holiday festivities.
The extended family begins arriving tomorrow night, and by Saturday, they will all be gathered here for a holiday party, along with a crowd of long-time friends. For the next week, everyone will spend their time going back and forth amongst my house, my parents' house, and Blonde Sister's house. On Sunday, Urban Sophisticate Sister and I are working on a top secret project in my kitchen; we'll be letting Dandelion Niece and Little Russian Girl help us, after we swear them to secrecy. (Little Russian Girl, who is one of Red-haired Sister's extras, often joins us for Christmas, but she needs a new pseudonym because she has gotten very tall.) And on Monday, we will gather at my mother's for Christmas Eve.
In the meantime, I'm enjoying having my kids home, my own kids and my extras, all of us just hanging out in front of the fire. My husband's vacation began this morning, so now the whole family is officially in vacation mode. On the piano, With-a-Why has been practicing his favorite Christmas song, Vince Guaraldi's "Linus and Lucy" over and over again. It's one of the jazz numbers from the Charlie Brown Christmas special, the music in the scene where everyone dances crazily, and no matter how many times I hear it, I have the urge to get up and dance like Lucy or Snoopy or Pigpen.
The kids have been building a ramp of snow in front of the house, perfect for flying down in big inner tubes. Film Guy and Beautiful Smart Wonderful Daughter have been watching movie clips on her laptop, trying to decide what they want to go see. My daughter has discovered that our big male cat, Trouble, is scared of the sound her stiff winter coat makes, and she keeps demonstrating this phenomena to everyone who comes into the house. ("Watch!" she'll say, and then do this weird dancing motion, jerking her arms to make maximum noise until the cat freaks out and runs off. Her brothers find the weird motions more amusing than the cat's reaction.)
Despite the busyness of the week, I've had time to sit in the big comfy chair by the fire with a cup of hot tea, where I can listen to the fire crackling, With-a-Why's piano music, the joking and talking of the gang on the couch, and the thuds of snow hitting against the front windows as Shaggy Hair Boy works on the snow ramp.
Posted by jo(e)