Thursday, December 24, 2009

It's 5:08 a.m., Christmas Eve, and I Cannot Sleep

The kids and Jayson built a Lego Santa with two reindeer (Blitzen and Rudolph...of course), a house complete with chimney and sleeping children, and Santa's house (in the background) with Mrs. Claus and elves ready to go in two cars!

Its 5:08 a.m., Christmas Eve, and I cannot sleep. James and Jovie both woke up about two hours ago for a spell and after musical beds, James is now my bed partner. He is dozing peacefully... better him than I. I can handle my tiredness a bit better when the sun rises than he.

James and Jovie (and the other kiddos)...
the reason I'm awake writing the blog at 5:08 a.m.!

Last night we had our Freedom Firm Christmas party. Mala, the Aftercare Director, was reflecting that there were only four other people (besides her family) in the room that were at last year’s party. Everybody else is new. There were 20ish adults and 14 kids. Ten of which were six and under. It was a great celebration of Jesus’ birth. There were charades, yummy food, a dance by the aftercare girls (and Sydney snuck in her own dance after they were done) and presents for all... I got a bit teary looking around the room, seeing a great number of stories, families, and countries that came together, celebrating Christmas.

We Palms had a wing-dinger of a Christmas party on Sunday. Again, I have never been at or thrown a more international party. There were 10 countries represented, 50-60 people. So fun. There were also lots of children. Lots. Lots. Lots of boys. Running. Asking if I had any more weapons... (We do have three Star Wars light sabers in our house that were already in use) Eating. Boys, they can eat. All ages. Sizes. Nationalities. One of the great things that I was reflecting on as I was preparing for the party is that I had no social anxiety about the event. Usually, when I have a mixed group of people over, I fret, sweat, toil about all the possible awkward moments, if I will have made enough food (good food) and if I will have any judgments placed on me in reflection of if the guest had a good time or not. Painful, I know. But here, that was not a part of the preparation. Made the party a lot more freeing. I felt like I was able to receive guests a bit more graciously and I was not as tired afterwards.

Pictures from the Palm Christmas Party

It's 5:27 a.m. now. Yawning. Fingers freezing, nose cold, hood on. It’s Christmas. Yeah. I love Christmas, for all the meaning and traditions involved. This year, we would be in Rockford, IL, for Christmas, with Jayson’s family. The first year that I celebrated Christmas with Jayson’s family I was a bit shocked to discover that on Christmas Eve they have anchovy pizza. (Jayson’s mom’s side is 100% Italian.) But if I reflect on what my dad’s side of the family has, Oyster stew, it’s not much different. Both a bit fishy tasting. I am trying to be positive about the fact that I am about a ka-jillion miles away from our family - I don’t have another choice, about being positive, do I? We are going to seize the moment at use this as a fresh canvas, awaiting the Palm Six to create something all their own.

So, here’s what is on tap for us. Some of this I am planning as I go, so I am interested to see what I write, it will dictate our next 48 hours. Tonight, I think we will make some homemade pasta. We have made linguini many times, when I say many, I mean probably eight times. But it’s more than a few, but not quite many, put the two together and it would be fenny or fanny. Let’s say fanny, it makes me smile. I digress. Let’s make ravioli. With some sort of stuffing in it. My mom sent over some crab meat. Is there crab stuffed ravioli? I will see. We do need some sort of fish on Christmas Eve... I do need to do some baking today. Pies. I have got a couple cans of fillers that friends sent over. So it will be pumpkin, blackberry and then I will make an apple. I would like my cousin Beth to come over with her french silk pie... I doubt that that can be arranged. If it is nice, we will go for a hike of sort. Maybe finish our puzzle tonight after we wrap presents while watching some sort of Christmas movie. I think I will need to go a knockin’ on people doors today to see if I can borrow a Christmas film. Some sort of Christmas craft will happen as well, it wouldn’t be a day at the Palm’s unless there were a craft of sort. Also, I promised Ani that we would do more charades. We would love to have loads of people over, but for the people that are in town, it seems that they do a quiet Christmas. Well, that’s what they told us... hmm, maybe there is a conspiracy. I am going to invite some friends over for pie tomorrow. Surely the Palm Six cannot consume three pies. There is the good possibility that it will be a Merry Little Christmas this year. Little in people, numbers and ages. But if that is what is before us, I will try to take the bull by the horns and celebrate well. Make it magical, for the great celebration that it is, in other ways that I am used to. It’s a good challenge.

Its 5:49, everything is still cold, less yawning, I think I am up for good. Oh hey, our cat came back. The good pirate that he is. He has been gone for two weeks, we thought that our pack of dogs got the best of him. But two nights ago, we heard a very loud meow, opened the door and there he came. Looking like he had been at sea for six months - like the pirate he is. He was dirty, hair gone in a few spots, hungry, man was he snarfing down his food, peg leg, hair standing on end and I think, in cat language, he had a few choice words for us.

Our new house, decorated for Christmas

Ooty and Christmas. I took a picture of the one place in town that has Christmas decorations up. Being it a mostly Hindu country, Christmas is definitely not what it is in the States. People in town are aware of it, and there are some Christmas fruit cakes to be bought, and some random strings of Christmas lights strung around, but that’s about it. Our friends’ houses are decorated and feel Christmas cozy, and that’s great.

Okay, it's 5:59, time to be done. This post was a bit longy, longy - But what else is there do to at the 5ish a.m.’s in the morning, except chat away... Much love to you all and a have a Merry Christmas.


Anonymous said...

merry christmas to the Palms!! i hope your time together is beautiful, peaceful, and memorable. love to you! - dawnette

Jennifer Swanson said...

Great jammies. Love the new house, more on that offline. Way to make it all happen for Christmas, Tarrah. Wish I could send some of this snow your way. The kids were out with a yardstick this morning to see how much has accumulated so far. I should be siting here with a hood on, too; it's cold downstairs! Talk more later. Love you guys.

Julie Frizzell said...

Hi Tarrah...We're in Mor Far's basement now...waiting for 6pm to come so we can go to Joanna's...It won't be the same without you guys & you can be sure we'll all miss you!!! It's gross icy rain weather, so you're not missing much as far as snow goes in Rockford. Mel will be bringing a few more little treasures for you all for "Christmas". I have to admit that although I love being here with family, I'm a bit jealous myself of your quiet Christmas there. I just LOVE your house & can't wait to see more pictures...Guess I'd better close here & email you anything else...after all, it's just supposed to be a "comment", right?
Love you...

ketchumfamily said...

Oh my goodness, I've been up since 3am too! If I had checked your blog earlier I would have called you! I listened to the dogs barking, the rooster crowing, the Muslim call to prayer, the 6am alarm, and then the loud Hindu music - it's a wonder that I ever sleep at night! See you this afternoon. How about if we have the guys take the kids out and we take a nap!


ketchumfamily said...

Aww! I just realized that you were up early yesterday - good thing I didn't call today! I seriously need more sleep.

Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas Palm's! We were watching old videos at lunch this week and found Jayson's support raising video! Brought back great memories of him stopping at our house to raise support and calling you---I think it was right after you both 'discovered' each other. Love your adventures and stories...and miss the Palm clan. Your new house looks very much like home...perfect. Kristen McH