Another Christmas Come and Gone

Santa needed a little helper on Christmas Eve, and I volunteered.  Yes, Santa still visits the Collett home, even though there aren’t any “children” left in it.  Instead, it was full to bursting with teenagers/young adults.

Mason and Alexa returned from school in Idaho several days before Christmas.  Mason had a room waiting for him.  I’m sorry I can’t say the same for Lex.  She’s currently sleeping in the library on an air mattress with one of Mom’s three Christmas trees towering over her.  Poor thing misses her bedroom that Roy and I have been occupying.

With Zac, Simon, Alexa, Mason, Roy, me, and Dad to set up Christmas for, Mom was planning on staying up all night.  So while everyone slept she and I wrapped, taped, tied, and {in one case} cut up and arranged a garbage bag to resemble wrapping paper.

By three o'clock in the morning we were obviously getting a little loopy:


Of course earlier we did all of our Christmas Eve traditions.  I thought I’d record them here, because traditions are made to be passed down and to bring family closer—even closer to generations past.
First, we have our Christmas Eve dinner.  Instead of your typical ham and peas, the last few years we have switched to shepherd’s pie, in honor of the shepherds in the field who saw the angel and followed the star to the stable in Bethlehem.  {Did shepherds actually eat shepherd’s pie?  Probably not, but that’s not what matters, is it.} Sometimes we have it outside, around a campfire and under the starry sky.  This Christmas was unseasonably cold, so we chose to keep in indoors.  Grandma and Grandpa Reay usually attend, and we were happy they were with us again.

Then we read the true Christmas story in the Bible.  This year I read it in Luke.  Short and sweet—the biggest event in the history of the world.

Then we get to open three presents.  When we were little it was two, but Mom has added a Christmas-related book, which of course I’m totally in favor of.  This year I got a true classic, Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas.  Roy got an anthology of Christmas stories that has been passed down in my family.

Then we open our ornament for the year and our PJs!  Our ornaments were nutcrackers, and our pjs were leopard print.  Haha-ok only mine were leopard print.  Roy hates pjs {and leopard print}, but the set mom got him is probably the first he’s ever liked.  Seriously, he’s even worn them since!

Normally at this point we would make eggnog shakes, set out the cookies, and settle down with Jim Carrey’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas.  If you couldn’t tell, that’s a staple story in our family.

We’ve watched the movie together pretty much every Christmas since it came out when I was in sixth grade.  Oh, and we can all quote it word per word {unfortunately for Roy and Simon, who probably would have preferred hearing the dialogue from the actors.}

This year everyone dropped off a little early.  Roy, Dad, and I were the only ones still watching when the credits rolled.  But then they went to bed and I helped Santa.  I also set up a table for Roy, his own little corner for the day.  We’re going to have to make our own traditions for his birthday

At midnight, before Roy was all the way asleep, I heard Simon go into the bedroom and wish Roy a happy birthday.  Right at midnight.  He beat me!  It was cute, though.

In the morning when Roy walked downstairs we sang happy birthday, and then everyone dove at the main tree.  Look who joined our Buckmaster family!

Meet St. Nicholas Weasley Buckmaster.  Roy wanted a dog or a cat but… we’ll start with a fish.

We also gave each other a cool printer!

 We gave and we got until we were all drowning in a heap of wrapping paper and tissue.

There was an inadvertent hat theme this year.

Alexa loves animals.

So does Dad.

Zac's gift to himself. 

 Wow.  Don't we all look chipper in the morning? 

Mom does it all.

Then it was church time, where I sang in the choir with Grandma.

Afterward it was officially Roy’s birthday, with no more distractions.  Dad was picking up Roy’s big gift from where it had been hiding in storage, so I tried to distract Roy on the drive home: Wouldn’t it be nice to go for a drive up the mountain a ways?  Yeah, let’s do it.  Yes, we’re doing it.

He caught on that something was up pretty fast.  Roy always likes to pretend he doesn’t care about his birthday and he would rather people just forget about it and focus on Christmas… but as soon as he knew he had a birthday surprise I could see that tiny little smile and the gleam in his eye.  He was secretly really, really excited.  That made my whole day!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ROY!  I covered his eyes and led him into the room while everyone sang happy birthday again.  Me, his parents, and my parents all pitched in and got him a bike!  Remember when his got stolen at our old apartment?  Ever since he’s wanted a good bike.  So thanks to our parents, that dream was possible.

Nothing is better than making Roy that happy.  That’s the best.

 He had requested that we not do any more dessert for the day, so we nixed the whole cake thing.  We were already making ourselves sick with Christmas goodies and whatever we found in our stockings.  I wonder how I can curb that in the future.  Roy being a Christmas baby is actually a fun, interesting challenge.  Unique to us.

To top off his birthday we were able to see his family that night, who flew into Phoenix.  We stayed at their cousin’s house that night and then woke up early to hit the road.  Passports in hand, heading for Mexico.

               And that, my friends… is a hilarious story for another time.

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