Highlights and Lowlights of Muffin’s First Christmas Part I


Muffin all bundled up for her East coast trip and her first Christmas:

Happy New Year, All! It’s 2009 and I have a good feeling about this year. Well, if you had asked me yesterday, I might not have said that, but apparently the Prozac has kicked in, so it’s all good.

Anyway, it’s time to get back to blogging on a regular basis! I have plans to jazz up the look of this blog too, but all in good time. Stay tuned. So I have been working on some other posts including New Year’s resolutions and such, but for some reason, feel that I need to catch folks up on the Christmas travels first. Tough to fit in so much, so I just decided on listing some memorable moments. Are you starting to feel like I should have titled this blog “Bullets by Kelly”? Yeah, me too. Sorry ’bout that. Ironically enough, it doesn’t even help with brevity. Sigh.

I’m apologizing ahead of time for the length, but it WAS a full two weeks! So I actually decided to make this post in two parts (You got that from the title, right?) lest I scare away my readers with my wordiness. Here we go with Part I:

  • As you know from my last post, we made it to Jersey just fine. We had a carefully planned itinerary that took us up until the day after Christmas, but that was immediately kiboshed by a snowstorm on our second day there. Missed a breakfast with my friend Lisa and dinner with my Aunt Angie that day, but we rescheduled, so it was okay.
  • Muffin showed off her walking and learned a new skill — climbing stairs! We don’t have stairs at our house, so this was new for her. We’d follow behind making sure she didn’t fall, and she thought we were chasing her, so every few steps she’d look back and laugh. Great fun.
  • Christmas Eve was at my Aunt Ruth & Uncle Carl’s this year. My aunt’s cooking was fabulous as always, and at my age, I know I’m spoiled with how little work I end up doing on holidays. Truth be told, I get a little overwhelmed at the thought of the day when it will be up to my sisters and me to continue our family traditions and do the cooking and hosting of these special days.
  • As I have mentioned many times before, Christmas Eve is my favorite day of the year. Rumor had it that some of my family thought I was a little “off” this year, but I really wasn’t. It probably appeared that way only because while I enjoy being with my family, part of me is always cognizant of the fact that it’s temporary, and now that Greg and I have the Muffin, I’m homesick more than ever. I’m working on the “living in the moment” thing, but it’s tough sometimes.
  • Anyway, the evening was fun and filled with the usual expected banter and busting. We even had guests this year — friends of my sister’s, Sharon and Mike, who added a nice touch. A few years back, after my grandparents were gone, we decided we needed some new traditions and started playing a Christmas Eve game with a deck of cards and goofy presents. This year, we tried it a little differently. Too long to explain, but the consensus was that most liked the old game better where there’s no unwrapping of the gifts until the end. Gifts included squirrel underpants (no kidding) and Nunzilla, a plastic wind-up nun that shoots sparks from her mouth. It took my nephew all of about 15 minutes to break it, but it was a kick watching him laugh out loud making the sparks fly. Here is Charlie on Christmas Eve with her cousins:

  • Oh, I’m supposed to mention that my brother-in-law is sexy, sexy, sexy. (I think I was supposed to throw in a few more sexys (sexies?), but there it is. ) Jerry Springer, here we come.
  • Charlie seemed to enjoy her first Christmas. At least she enjoyed ripping the wrapping paper, and Friday was more than happy to help with that task. She got cute clothes and fun toys. Tickle Me Elmo scared her and she cried, but she got used to him. I think she liked a toy piano and Edison the best.

  • My sister LeeAnn impressed us with some homemade gifts. She made my dad a personalized work apron and sign to hang in his garage. Both say “Grumpy’s Workshop.” She made my mom a mosaic picture frame and attempted to make me a tote bag that says “Kelly in Progress.” It didn’t really work out, but I thought the sentiment was sweet enough, especially given that as an English teacher who has attended many many workshops where tote bags and name tags (as if anyone cares who I am and what school I come from!) come standard, I have more than I care to count.
  • I had two favorite gifts because they were made especially for me! One was a letter opener that my dad made out of deer antlers. He made one for each of my sisters and me and had personalized touches based on our birth order. Sweet. He said they were “something to remember him by” because he always talks like he’s going to drop dead tomorrow. Sheesh. The other favorite gift was another CD Greg made for me. It’s a CD of songs that all have “baby” in the title. Check out the cutest CD cover EVER:
  • My parents and Greg’s family live about an hour and a half apart and we do A LOT of traveling back and forth. We’re fortunate that my mother-in-law lets us hijack her car whenever we’re there, but all the driving gets VERY tiring. I HATE living out of a suitcase (blog post on that one to follow!) I got to see everyone I wanted with the exception of my friend Pam. Boo hoo there. (Sorry, Pam. Promise to catch up with you this summer!)

So that takes us up to Christmas which seems like a natural stopping point. Stay tuned for Part II.


  1. trogdor says:

    It sounds like your whole family got in on the spirit of Christmas by having a Christmas tradition and by giving meaningful and thoughtful, not to mention unique, homemade gifts. I wish our family celebrated like this.

  2. Sharon Riley says:


    Mike and I loved being a part of your family’s Christmas Eve celebration. Thanks to you all for making us feel so welcome.

    We wound up with the squirrel underpants which we have not tried to put on a squirrel yet. Until that fateful day, they are on display in our living room where they never fail to generate a perplexed “huh?” from a friend.