Saturday, December 27, 2008

Memories of Christmas '08

Seems rather ridiculous to think of what occurred just two days ago as a ‘memory’ but like it or not the Event is over. Already the weeks of preparation, planning, and purchasing have been swept away with the torn wrapping paper and mealtime remnants. This year’s Christmas day is rapidly being relegated to the data banks as a special happening that will quickly meld and mesh with all the previous Christmas days. I mean, who of you can readily distinguish one year from the next? Who can recall the precise gift list from 5 years ago? Or whether the meal was better in 1998? Until we dig out the photo albums, we probably aren’t going to remember many of the details – unless something dramatic happened, like the year my son choked on a Life Saver and I had to do the Heimlich!

So, while it is fresh in our minds, let’s chat about Christmas of 2008! What made this year special?

For the Lathans it largely proceeded like previous years….. We never get snow here in the central valley of California – thank God – but it was gloomy and rained buckets all day. That was cool as it does feel more Christmassy when the weather is bad! The gift unwrapping went slowly, stretching for over an hour! My kids, who are now 20 and 16, have finally learned to appreciate the joy in extending the drama and in watching others open their presents. I can say that alone made this year a sort-of milestone! I miraculously managed to actually surprise my husband with a gift he was not expecting: a back massager with heat that fits into his desk chair. By noon we had it all cleaned up – severely upsetting the cat who thinks the piles of paper and bows are for his express pleasure – and were enjoying our new toys. My son’s friends began filing over to play their new video games and pray for a break in the rain so they could ride their new skateboards (they eventually got lucky). My daughter and I were predictably being lazy, watching ‘Lost in Austen’ and listening to her new ‘Twilight’ soundtrack. My moderately OCD hubby did not relax into the massager until all the mess was discarded and items put away. The luncheon hors d’oeurve platters were pulled out and decimated, rendering us additionally lethargic and filling the gap until our traditional dinner of ham and fixings. Phone calls to family members far away were engaged in, and the late evening movie entertainment was ‘WALL-E.’

Aside from surprising my DH, gradual present opening, and foul weather, Christmas 2008 was fairly unremarkable and would probably fade into the general happy holiday scrapbook indistinguishable from the rest. Except for two things: One, I spent part of the day working on the edits submitted by Deb for my second book, "Journeys Beyond Pemberley." Since she only had about 10 issues to look into, that did not take too long, but was very exciting nevertheless! Two, and the main reason this Christmas will never be forgotten, is that my son’s best friend had a grand mal seizure while playing video games in our house! It was utterly terrifying and wholly unexpected as he does not have a known seizure disorder. Thankfully I am a nurse so know what to do in such instances, handling crisis well, but this is a boy I have known like my own son for some 12 years! 911 was called, his mom was sent for, and the EMTs arrived in less than 10 minutes. He spent the day in the hospital having tests run, but was home by late evening with follow-up for later. Thank God for that! But all things considered, I think I would rather have the uneventful, even boring Christmas that is forgotten in the mist of time.

Now, share your Christmas adventures for posterity sake. I just hope they were merry all the way around!


  1. Present unwrapping took all of ten minutes in my house, then I went out to feed the horses. They'd outdone themselves in messing up the barn, so it took a while to clean it up. After that, it was pretty much a matter of cleaning up and deciding where to put the new stuff. That's always been a part of my Christmas ritual: the integrating into my house and closets and drawers of all the new stuff.
    We didn't have any grand mal seizures, but this Christmas was remarkable for one thing: the fact that the DH and I had our first opportunity ever to "celebrate" before Sam got up and declared that it was time to open presents. It may not have been the most exciting Christmas ever, but it was very nice!

  2. Wow, Sharon, I hope your son's friend is okay. And how lucky was he to have it happen at your house with someone who knew just what to do. He was probably better off than he would have been at home. Funny that my DH is the same as yours with the cleaning the point that I want to throw things at him! HA! Our present opening took maybe 30 minutes--our first year without Santa. It went okay.

    Cheryl, glad you got some "celebrating" in early. You are truly incorrigible!

  3. Way to go Cheryl! Our 'celebrating' had to get postponed since I came down with a nasty cold by the end of the day. My DH wasn't exactly thrilled, but he is a good man so understood!

    Marie, the first years without Santa are kind of sad. I still miss it to some degree. My hubby has learned to at least wait until the unwrapping is totally complete. There have been some years when he was literally taking the paper from your hand and stuffing it in the garbage bag! THAT got him in trouble so he is patient now.

    My son's friend seems just fine. They all went to the mall yesterday - a group of them - but I have to say that if it were my son I would not be letting him out of my sight! My hubby was researching the phenomenon of 'video game induced seizures' and the statistics are rather frightening. Tyler is getting followed up, but I do not know much else. 16 year old boys don't sit around talking about their health and personal lives! LOL!

  4. Our Christmas was grand. Since I have no sense of time, I can't tell you how long it took to open the presents but everyone received lovely gifts. The highlight of the day for me was (surprise, surprise) dinner. I made a standing rib roast which was just to die for! I've decided that from now on, we're doing standing rib roasts for Thanksgiving too - everyone likes it better than Turkey and it's soooo much easier to make. I almost felt as if I didn't cook!

  5. Hi Sharon, I would have been terrified if someone had a seizure. No adventures here, unless the exploding Christmas pudding bowl counts. It didn't like my b-i-l's microwave.

    Otherwise completely uneventful and very enjoyable.


  6. I don't understand. I posted earlier--first thing this morning, in fact.

    I'm pretty sure I didn't say anything offensive but my post was here, and now it's not.