After a nice laid back weekend, this last week before Christmas was busy but not quite as bad as last week. Monday was my bunco group's Christmas Luncheon, our 12th year. Michelle had everyone for lunch and it was fantastic. She has the cutest Christmas dishes and set a very lovely table. Her meal was great and she made the most beautifully decorated cookies for Christmas and served them with Blue Bell (what else here in Texas?) peppermint ice cream. I had a small gift for everyone and we had our gift exchange.
First I had them choose a gift based on birthdays, then everyone pulled a small piece of paper telling you what to do with your gift; i.e., "swap with the person with the most grandchildren" or "swap with someone not wearing a Christmas shirt" etc. Then I read the story of the Little Toy Soldier and every time I said left or right they had to pass their package. It was a lot of fun and no one had to "steal" from someone else. Each year I try to come up with a different game but after 12 years, it is getting a bit harder.
I worked at the thrift store on Tuesday for four hours. After three hours of tagging children's clothes, I elected to sit down and cut buttons off the discards. Most people only do two hours for very good reason but I needed to get the hours in. I have three more shifts after the first of the year and one senior luncheon to work and my 50 hours will be complete. I may help out at other events but I needed to schedule those hours to be sure I got all my hours in. Being gone until March 15 doesn't give me a lot of time. We also must attend four meetings and help out on our committee (mine is Social) four times. I have it all planned out and I am good!
Wednesday was an early dental appointment and everything went fine there. This is the first time my dentist has seen the partial that the proctodontist made for me. He asked if it was working out OK and I said yes. Beyond that he said everything looked fine and keep up the good work. Now that I think about it, he didn't give me a new toothbrush and toothpaste. I don't use them but save them for traveling or put them in the guest bathroom in case someone forgets theirs.
Afterwards we went to Kroger's to start our massive grocery shopping. We tend to run in and out of the grocery several times a week buying a few things here and there. But with Christmas dinner for 8 and 5 people coming to stay, that wouldn't work. We loaded the basket to the top but still aren't finished.
We drove to Livingston State Park on Thursday to visit with our friends Rick and Brenda who have been work camping there. We stopped to see them in Memphis on our way home this past summer but haven't had a chance to visit until this past week. They leave for Memphis right after New Year's so we won't see them again until June when we head out for the summer. No matter which roads we take to go north, it seems we always drive through Memphis to get there.
Today we will finish the grocery shopping and I'll do the laundry. We have parties Saturday and Sunday nights so the weekend will pass before we know it. Christmas Eve will be busy with preparation for dinner on Christmas Day and we'll attend church sometime in the evening. We try to avoid 4 o'clock because there are so many kids it is hard to get much out of the service. I'll try the calmer one when everyone else is eating dinner.
I hope you all are getting everything accomplished that you need/want to. This is a busy time of year but never lose sight of what we are celebrating.
What is Christmas? It is tenderness for the past, courage for the present, hope for the future. It is a fervent wish that every cup may overflow with blessings rich and eternal, and that every path may lead to peace.
~ Agnes M. Pharo