(Actually, I had already cheered up last night, partly because wonderful $u$an did get in touch with me, and partly because White Christmas is magic. If you're a fan, you might enjoy this charming deconstruction of Irving Berlin's classic. Husband and I howled.)
Big fun ahead!
- Cleaning! As Constant Readers know, it's Saturday, which = Chore Day at the Chardonnays, Christmas Eve or no Christmas Eve. But it will be quick and painless, the house is already pretty tidy from the caroling party.
- Cookie-baking! We like to try something new for Santa, so I'm thinking about chocolate thumbprint cookies with white chocolate-peppermint kisses, and something called Oatmeal Scotchies. But the kids also get a vote, so we'll see.
- Church! I love and adore our Christmas Eve service. At one point, we turn the lights off and everyone lights the candle of the person next to them (so you see a flame slowly moving around the sanctuary), then we sing "Silent Night" a cappella, holding our candles, and it is so beautiful, it almost hurts. And this year both of my kids got tapped to do a reading (first time!), and we are all quite excited. They've practiced a lot, they're pros. I expect to weep.
- Dinner party! Every year, my dear friend Mrs. Cynicletary throws a fabulous spread featuring a different cuisine of the world. This year, she is embracing the madness that is a family gathering, and the theme is: carnival. No, not Carnivale, carnival. We're having fried dough and corn dogs and sliders and cotton candy, and my kids think it's the greatest idea EVER. And we exchange presents and talk and drink and laugh and have a wonderful time with Mr. Cynicletary's extended family, whom we've grown quite fond of over the years. And it's one of the few times in our lives when we're one of maybe six white people at a gathering, which I think is a good experience for anyone.
- Reading! The kids snuggle in my bed, and Mr. Lady C and I read to them. Our reading choices vary a little bit each year but always include the story of Jesus's birth from the Book of Luke and the final chapter of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, and then everyone laughs at me because the ending makes me cry.
- Candles and quiet! We put the children to bed, then wait for them to fall asleep. I light the candles on my coffee table and snuggle on the sofa with some eggnog and a good book. This moment of quiet and peace is truly one of my favorite parts of the whole magical day.
- Stockings! Husband and I fill the stockings and put the last prezzies under the tree. Then we go to bed, and he reads to me from The Santaland Diaries.
I hope your day is wonderful as well. Wish you were here!