I am not going to ramble on with excuses like bloggers often do about how busy 1,800 pounds of apples kept mom and me for a week in October; or about how a couple of unplanned visits to the ER (along with a visit from the firemen to the Spafford household) threw a hitch in the following week's plans; nor will I mention how a two week trip to Redding was necessary in order to prep Grandma for having 38 people in her house for Thanksgiving. Instead, I shall try to pleasantly relay to you the events of our Thanksgiving time and the days after that when we immediately switched gears to Christmas festivities.
As is customary, two Spafford girls were sent down to Redding, California on the train, two weeks before Thanksgiving so that they might, by all possible means, help Grandma prepare to host 38 people in her home. Their responsibilities were as follows: Keep Grandma calm and Grandpa under control ;)
Though they were there to work, there was plenty of time to play as well. There were shopping trips to the mall with Grandma, rides in Grandpa's Model A, lunch with an Aunt at Cheesecakes and a date out with Grandpa for sushi.
Then came Monday and it was all business from there! There was so much to do and so little time to do it in. There were lists to be written and rewritten, there was grocery shopping to be done, and then done again to pick up the groceries that we missed. The house needed cleaning, the fridge clearing out, and the list went on.
On Tuesday, we finished up last minute duties to prepare for the rest of our family's arrival, which was supposed to be later that day ; however, due to heavy traffic along the way, they didn't arrive until 2:00 A.M. the following morning. Grandma's once-clean house finally became invaded by the rest of the Spafford household. Her peaceful home would not know another moment of quiet until our departure the following Sunday.
Thanksgiving day arrived, and it went off more smoothly then ever before. The turkey had been precooked that Wednesday, and everyone contributed something to the feast. There were several very happy announcements made that day of new additions to the family.
Grandma's house was fully decked for the Christmas Season, and it was now time to go home and do our own. Mom had packed all of our Christmas albums so that we could play them during our seven hour car trip home. Everybody was so ready to get into the Christmas spirit that as soon as we arrived at six in the evening that Sunday, we prepared to decorate. Boxes were brought up and the house became decked for the season.
Now begins the 20 day countdown until Christmas! The best part is always in the days leading up till Christmas. There are so many traditions on the Spafford list that there are hardly enough days to do them all in.
The tone around the home feels just a little more jolly then normal. The house smells of pine needles and freshly baked goodies. Each song that is played has a Christmas ring to it. The mail lady pays frequent visits to our home delivering endless amounts of packages...Let the traditions begin!
The December schedule soon fills up! There is the annual Christmas party at our home, the lady's fellowship with our church, and caroling to the shut-ins. The boys have picked out a full and luscious tree that now sits waiting to be decorated. The gingerbread home was artfully put together while we watched Charlie Brown films. There is always a long list of holiday movies that seem to put everyone in the Christmas mood: Holiday Inn, It's a Wonderful Life, A Christmas Carol, and many more. This year we added "The Polar Express" at the IMAX theater to the Spafford's list of traditions.
School projects around this special season consist of reading through Charles Dicken's "A Christmas Carol", a gift-exchange shopping trip to Walmart, Christmas card writing, and baking goody-plates for the neighbors.
As the old song goes, "there is no place like home for the holidays"...