Sunday, December 16, 2007

Rush Hour

Midst the loud cacophony of tootin' my own horn (last post), I totally neglected to tell you that WE'RE BACK in Atlanta! I flew back on Friday and Donica flew back yesterday. No amount of convincing or haggling at this holiday time of the year could get us back on the same flight or the same day. But we're back safe-n-sound, and that's all that matters.

Now, the holiday rush is on! We celebrate Christmas with the kids here at our house a week from today, the 23rd: Amy, Dennis (yes, flying in from LA), Mark and Nicholas.

This afternoon we'll bring up the two trees from the basement dungeon. The slim tree that you can see goes between the family room and breakfast nook/kitchen; the covered, bigger tree goes in the living room in front of the window, for the woods to see.
I love trimming the trees, year after year. The slim tree holds all our ornaments collected from everywhere. Memories. The big tree is the Walt Disney tree.

In the meantime, I'm working on our Holiday cards! God willing and the creek don't rise, they'll be done for the mail tomorrow. I enjoy that as well, thinking about all the people, one by one, whose names go on the envelopes. Christmas for me is a time of remembering!

Donica's job will be to stuff the stockings! Our kids know Donica as the Queen of hors-d'oeuvres AND the Queen of Christmas Stockings. And that's the truth, because she is! I didn't grow up with them so I didn't have a clue until she came into my life 10 years ago. But it's still her job. No one does it better!

Thankfully, I wrapped almost all the presents a month ago, so they're 95% done. Some still need their bows, but once the trees are up, they can go underneath and out of the upstairs hallways! They, too, are a reminder of the memories we have and why we give gifts in the first place. God was the one who thought up the idea of gifts, so I have no problem giving them. Neither does Donica...and in that regard again, she's the Queen!

Oh, yeah. Don't forget to mow the lawn and mulch in the leaves, Ginnie! I'll probably do that on Wednesday. Donica says that'll make everything look so nice for just before the kids come.

When I pace it like this, suddenly it doesn't feel so rushed any more! Good job, Ginnie and Donica. It'll be easier than you think. Donica will work only Monday and Tuesday this week before being OFF OFF OFF till she flies to Europe on January 6th (I'll be joining her on the 10th). That's a HOLIDAY, Folks! Almost 3 weeks of R&R for her. YAAAAAY!


  1. Ginnie reading this 'In Soul' takes me back to the Christmas of 1975, yes that long ago, I was in Hatfield, Pa. I was there for my first Christmas celebration in the USA, I came from the Netherlands, but when I saw your Santa Claus, I almost fell in love with this fella, I was in wonderland, New York was the town I did my first Christmas shopping, I loved and still love the town, why...I don't know, it is alive!! I too had my own stocking on the mantelpiece, I did not know anything about your tradition as you did not know of our Sinterklaas, I introduced you both (Donica too) in our tradition, Ginnie thank you so much for letting me have a peek in your live across the ocean, we are celbrating Christmas each in our own way and we think of each other while celebrating, have a wonderful Christmas with your family around you, God bless you all.

  2. Wow you are so organized, i still have not done cards, I had better get busy. I gave up on presents several yrs ago. Kids don't come, money is better as they can buy what they need.
    No tree for us with 10 cats so that is out.
    I will enjoy seeing your tho when you have it up

  3. Yay! Now you're in the Christmas spirit! And it's great that Donica has a good amount of time off, and you are able to spend it with family.

  4. My dear, after seeing what you have to rake in leaves, I feel my job last weekend was EASY!

    I love the Christmas traditions. I was just talking to my Mom yesterday and we were remeniscing about the good old times when we used to go in the woods of a neighbour to pick our tree, saw it down and put it on the toboggan to take it back home! We just trimmed our (bought!) tree today, but I miss the really homey Christmas. Maybe this year, it will be different. Ma & Pa wil be here and I hope it will make the difference.

    Have a wonderful Christmas with your family and loved ones!

  5. Astrid: What a wonderful way to share your own memories of your time here in the USA, even as I have shared about this holiday time there in Holland! I feel like we're exchange students. :) Wouldn't THAT be fun! Thank you, mijn vriend, for sharing and spreading the joy!

    L&N: Oh yes, the older they get, money is always the best route! :) And we'll take care of the trees for you! :)

    Karen: YES! GREAT is the operative word here, Karen! :)

    CS: Oh no, not raking, Sandra, MOWING! It's the best way to do it because the mulched leaves go back into the earth to feed the soil. I'm so glad Ma and Pa will be with you. They will certainly make a big difference for your Christmas spirit. Thank you as always for your TLC!

  6. Oh the 3 wks off sounds terrific, and well deserved!!!!

    I sure hate north america's lack of vacation days though. But I guess I'm lucky because I'm off for 10 days (forced vacation) of my 20 vacation days and need it so badly!

    Looks like you'll take lots of photos and have some time to relax before you are off (2 days before my bday)...

    I hope to have a few photos of our trip, but I need time off from the computer.

  7. Donica's holiday hors-d'oeuvres spread can't be beat. I usually spend so much time grazing that I don't have much room left for the Christmas dinner.

    Looks like we'll need a new stocking for Dennis, your picture only shows 5.

    --Mark T.

    P.S. I had to cut and paste "hors-d'oeuvres" from your post, there's no way I'd ever be able to spell that right without looking it up.

  8. Being the Queen of hors-d'oeuvres and Christmas stockings is not such a bad thing! I guess it suits me perfectly, unlike addressing Christmas cards and trimming the tree. Both of those activities are real work for me since I don't enjoy performing either task.

    If we both liked doing all the same things we wouldn't get as much done. And, this way, you focus on your favorites and I on mine...and then we have more to enjoy!!

    Maybe I can fix some of the landscape lights when you are working on the leaves....another perfect match!!

    Thanks for giving me the freedom to really rest over the Holiday break. The new year will be here before we know it and it doesn't look like there will be any breaks at work in the foreseeable future.

    A Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of your blogger family!

  9. This is a great testimony to a couple sharing the load. It really doesn't feel so bad when you do that. This year we are uninspired to put up a tree . . until Lesley comes home that is. So maybe Sunday, after the Mowry family Christmas, we'll go get one and put it up.

    The way you celebrate sounds so nice. Traditions are wonderful to start, whenever. We do stockings too, though I didn't grow up with them.

    Yay for the holidays!

  10. ET: You have to work so many years before you can get enough time off here in the States, so I know what you mean. Is it that way in Canada as well? I wish for you good quality rest this season, even if you can't get the quantity, my friend!

    Mark: HELLO! It's YOU! HA! You knew you'd bring a smile! And don't you worry none about Dennis' stocking. We have one but it just doesn't have his name on it yet! And LOL over "hors-d'oeuvres." It's a gorgeous word but I STILL have to use spell-check on it myself, every time. :)

    Donica: HELLO to you, too. :) You KNOW that YOU made my day! And yes, you are so right. The teamwork is just...SPLENDID! Thank you! We couldn't do it all without each other.

    Ruth: It's funny because I was NOT going to put up the trees this year (home for such a short time) until I could see the look of disappointment on Amy's face. This will be Dennis' first Christmas with us, so suddenly, I WAS VERY EXCITED! Sometimes it's the kids we celebrate...and that's all the trimmings! Yay for the holidays is right...once we get our priorities straightened out. :)

  11. Ginnie, why are you wasting time blogging when there are leaves to be raked and grass to cut? We were away in Florida when all the leaves fell and now they are all covered in 2 feet of snow so I shall be raking very soggy leaves in the spring!
    See pictures of yesterdays snow clearing activities on my blog!
    Your Christmas plans with your family around you sound lovely. My boys plus their significant others are coming to my house on Friday for an early Christmas dinner. Then they are heading out to other family for Christmas and Boxing Day. That's good.... it means I don't have to cook a big dinner on the 25th!

  12. Nice to see such a loving comment from Donica on your blog.... Hello from Canada, Donica!!

  13. It sounds like you and Donica will truly enjoy the time off! You've both filled with the Christmas spirit so that it a wonderful start to all your planning and activities and time spent with the family. I can't wait to see pics of the trees. and pics of the hors-d'oeuvres too please! (also cut and pasted, hee).

  14. When I start reading this, I was a bit stressed, but soon calmed down as it seams like you have everything under control :-)

    Good to know you are safe and sound in Atlanta and also that you will have a great Holiday season. Welcome back to Europe next year :-)

    RennyBA's Terella

  15. Ginnie,
    U said it: What a X-Mas rush. You returned Sunday, as we did.
    WE: Monday full working day. Anna preparing X-Mas for the school season festivitas. And me: 2 weeks e-mails. OMG. Heavy. But, you know for sure, we are not born yesterday. LOL.

    Our travelling plans for the time to come is really sparse. Anna will visit Ingelin in Miami Beach during feb next year. And may be, it's a "must do" according to our daughter: Oslo - Hong Kong (she starts working there March 2008) - California - Michigan. OMG, I'm still working - how to fit into vactions and our Summerhouse?
    But it's great with kids that have positive ideas for their parents. Right.


    Tor y Anna

  16. Wow, you've got everything running like clockwork! We're having a VERY laid back Christmas this year so I don't have much to do, but I haven't even done that yet. :-) I really miss having big family Christmases and sharing the fun.

    Enjoy your time with your loved ones...

  17. :) I want to see the covered tree too !!!! will we get a peek at it??? and that's harmonious living at its best :)

  18. Hey Ginnie (and Donica)
    I just wanted to ask you "where you were with the Xmas holidays" ( in Holland or USA) So you answered the questions right here. What a busy couplee yu are, (like me alone Ha!)

    I see on the above pictures, the stockings.. , thats an American tradition right? So great to see your photo's here, the wrapped packages too, we/I (thats personal)have no presents tradition at Christmas , we might invite 1 brother and a sisters (from Amsterdam) but not many people on one day.

    Normally (at leat the last 20 years) we were NOT even home with Xmas, always abroad. This is the very first time, for a change. So lets see how that will be?

    I keep you informed in the meanwhile , enjoy the holiday festivities. Look on my blog I show you mine, Xmas festivitie fun:)


  19. Ginnie: I'm glad you love our snow so much. Please remember that I have a spare snow shovel here any time you want to drop in and join the party! Shovelling snow is such a great way to meet the neighbours, and it looks like we'll have lots of shovelling opportunity this winter! There's 2 feet of snow in my back yard already and the official start of winter isn't until the weekend!

  20. Ginnie, thanks for sharing of your and Donica's life this Christmas season. It's always fun reading your blog! And have a Merry Christmas!

  21. Verry Merry Christmas to you and Donica and your family, Ginnie!