That would be the reason for the lack of posts lately.
By the way, I hate that song I used as my post title. It's one of those tunes that, at first, seems happy and benign, but then wraps itself completely around your brain and chokes it to death, much in the same way a wisteria plant can kill a 100-year old oak tree.
The festivities always begin, for me, with Thanksgiving. I've already told you that this year's Thanksgiving was the best ever. Part of the reason for that was the planning the girls in my family did for our annual trip to Salado, which we ditched, incidentally, for something much, much better. Usually, we go to Salado, in central Texas, north of Austin, for shopping, visiting, dinner at neat restaurants, crazy gift exchanges, game playing, movie watching, Christmas card addressing, shopping and more visiting, always with a few adult beverages mixed in for good measure and extra good visiting.
We wound up going to my aunt's lake house in Marble Falls instead. We did sneak in a little side trip on Thursday to Salado. It was really sad. The stores had hardly anything in them, there were only a few people, the great Mansion restaurant was closed up, and worst of all, the candy store was gone!!!!! They had the coolest candy store, called Sweet Nut Things, with all kinds of old-fashioned and interesting candies like candy cigarettes, bubble gum that looks like pebbles, gummy rats, individually colored m&ms, and lots of neat little toys and doo dads. I think that was the saddest of all for me, that the candy store was gone. We decided we would not go back.
In order to completely change the weekend so as to not compare to Salado, we did some completely different things.The weekend at the lake was almost like a dream. We had snacks, beverages, movies, a gift exchange, a hot tub, lake scenery, MASSAGES, manicures, dinner. Friday night was the official kick-off dinner at a restaurant in MF, Russo's. It was fantastic, I had the pepper-crusted salmon, which was a special of the day. After dinner we went back to the house, not to leave again until Sunday! Long story short, the massage was spectacular, the food/snacks/beverages prodigious, and most-importantly, the company beyond compare. You know, I have lots of girlfriends, but none, anymore, who I'd like to spend the entire weekend with except the girls in my family. Alas, I forgot my camera, so there is no photographic evidence of the revelry! However, Jake did lose his first tooth on Wednesday night after I'd left.
When I left the lake on Sunday, I brought my mom home with me. We had a great trip home. We listened to talk radio and the 70's channel on XM. When we got home, the Christmas lights were decorating the yard and George and the boys had cleaned up the joint. All of the laundry was done--not folded and put away--but done. They'd worked hard for me while I was relaxing all weekend.
George and I, both, worked Monday and Tuesday, so Mom stayed with the kids. We ramped it up into high gear getting ready for Christmas. Mom kept the kids Monday night so George and I could get some shopping done. We were going to get a bunch done on the 11th, but if you've been reading lately, that was Sneaux Day. We got everything finished that night.
The next couple of days were pretty low key. We went grocery shopping Tuesday, went to Christmas Eve services at church Wednesday, had lunch at Piccadilly after church, the boys worked on a gingerbread house kit (well, mostly Jake; Zac got in the picture just to irritate Jake), sent George back to church for the 5:00 service (he had to help serve Communion), and prepared our traditional Christmas Eve buffet.
The buffet came about several years ago, even before Jake was born, I think. We lived in Longview at the time and my mom was with us for Christmas. I was going to fix something nice for Christmas Eve dinner and asked Zac what we should have. He said, "Just make me a buffet of everything that I like." Zac has always been a good eater, so that was a tall order. I pared it down to appetizers: cocktail weenies, chips and salsa, guacamole, tamales, taquitos, veggies and dip, and cheese and crackers. Pair that with sparkling cider for the boys and wine for the adults, and you've got yourself a traditional Christmas Eve feast.
The rest of the night was the usual. The boys went to bed around 9:00, Mom went to bed around 10:00, George and I stayed up all night wrapping presents. At one point, both Zac and Jake wandered into the living room for water. Luckily, Santa hadn't come yet, so nothing was spoiled. When we finally went to bed, we took Zac with us. He was having a hard time sleeping. He tossed and turned and cried all night. He was so anxious that he couldn't sleep and was afraid he would ruin Christmas for Jake because Santa wouldn't come until he fell asleep. All was saved when he finally fell asleep around 3:30! Nice. Three and a half hours of restful sleep. Everyone was up about 7:00.
The rest of the day went as usual. The boys played with the Wii Santa brought, tried on almost all the new clothes they got, and cracked open the new art supplies. George made a delicious lunch of stacked green chile chicken enchiladas-New Mexico style. I took a nap.
Here is a quick picture wrap-up:
Santa calls the boys on Christmas Eve. Yes, Zac believes. As long as you believe, Santa still brings you gifts.
We had been threatening coal for some time with this one.
Zac finally got some American Eagle clothes. We got him that. Santa was NOT taking this credit!
Jake is quite an artist and loves all kinds of art supplies. He also loves his new Old Navy clothes. Santa didn't get to take that credit either.