Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Snow Stars

I put away Christmas today.

You knows it's time when your 3 year old tells you the tree is melting.

I packed up all the decorations. Boxed up the glitter and the ribbon and the wrappings. Put away the pictures of sweet children sitting on Santa's knee. I wrapped up the Christmas tree angel that has topped our tree since our first year of marriage and I nestled her back in her box.

After taking down the angel, I took a long look at the sorry sight of a tree. Pine needles all over the floor. Broken branched here and there. Decorations all askew. But my snow stars still graced the branches with delicacy and love.

The first Christmas after The Husband and I were married, one of my oldest friend's mom, Mrs. S gave me a wonderful gift. Snow stars. She made them herself, every one a unique design. I loved them.

For a number of years, the snow stars graced our Christmas tree. I always had comments about how pretty they were. Aside from our angel tree topper, they were my favourite part of our yearly tree. But one fateful year, there was a flood in our crawl space and we lost most of the snow stars to water damage. Then the following year, our few remaining stars ended up as mouse food when a family of rodents moved into our back shed.

No more snow stars to grace our tree. I was still grateful our angel had survived two bouts of Christmas carnage but, oh how I missed those stars.

Fast forward to March 2003. My sweet mom handed me this.

And inside?

She had asked Mrs. S. if she would make me some more snow stars for my birthday. Mrs. S went to town and made me an entirely new and wonderful collection of snow stars. All of them different. All different sizes. All different designs. All wonderfully delicate and sparkly.

Mrs. S refused to let my mom pay for any of them. That's just the kind of person she is. Wonderful. And talented. She included a note in the box to remind me how they're best put on the tree....small on top, medium in the middle and the large ones down below.

Every year when I pull out the old Eaton's box, I have to smile. Every year when I have the sad task of taking down the Christmas tree, I make sure to find that old Eaton's box and carefully tuck the snow stars away amongst the tissue. I look at the card that's tucked inside the box, reminding me to take the hooks off so the stars won't rust. And I say a prayer of thanks for a lovely lady who's work graces my tree every year.

I love the simple things of Christmas. Sitting around and watching The Griswold Christmas Vacation. A sip or three of Bailey's. Taking pictures of what happens when The Eldest and The Princess are left alone while making whipped shortbread.

I love gingerbread houses.

And I love putting baby Jesus in our nativity scene when we get home from Christmas Eve mass. (Which we forgot to do this year and in my defence, The Princess had a fever and had been throwing up and let me tell you I almost threw up myself when I realized that baby Jesus was still hiding behind the poinsettia plant Christmas night.)

And I like my snow stars.

Thanks again, Mrs. S.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Two Pennies

It took two pennies to get me back to blogging.

We went The Princess' theatre class Christmas performance this evening. Yes, it was wonderful. Yes, she was adorable. Yes, I cried when they sang Silent Night.

But I'm not here to blog about that.

On our way home, The Princess said in her small little princess voice that she was so terribly hungry and exactly how long would it be before we got home so she could have just a small bowl of cereal. The kid is brilliant. Perfectly timed to coincide with the appearance of the Golden Arches.

So The Husband turned the corner and entered the drive thru. He ordered his Princess some chicken nuggets and proceeded to the window to pay.

"$3.98 please," said the girl behind the window.

The Husband handed the employee four bucks.

"Do you want your change?" she asked.

The Husband said no, she could keep the two pennies and drove to the next window to pick up the nuggets. Then he rolled his eyes at me going on about the two dang pennies.

Excuse me....but since when is it okay for a clerk to ask if I want my change back?? Where does this stop? Is it okay to ask if I want 3 pennies back? What about a nickel?

Will they move onto a dime? Will we be doing away with the dispensing of change in the near future? What if I wanted those two pennies? I'd be tempted to tell the chick, "Why, yes, I DO want my change. All of it. Give me my two pennies!" Just so I could see her face. And make a point.

I mean, really.

Then my dear Husband just looked and me and said, "What? Are you Seinfeld now?"

That's it. Poke the crazy lady who's told you she just may possibly be nursing a bit of PMS and is carrying around a to do list that is three pages long one short week away from Christmas and was just coughed on repeatedly by a lady sitting behind her at the concert who was apparently missing both hands and elbows and had to resort to coughing on his loving wife's head for an hour.

Two pennies.

I could have used those two pennies to shove up someone's nose, that's what.