5 hours ago
Monday, December 24, 2012
Today is party number two, along with some other traditions we usually do on this special day; the Krohn Conservatory in Eden Park, along with the Western & Southern Insurance Creche, with life sized wax figures and live animals. Then a quick trip to the Overlook; the speed of which depends entirely on the weather. Cold wet and windy; 35 seconds. Cold dry and snowy; a couple of minutes.
The overlook has a beautiful view of Northern Kentucky and the cities of Dayton, Bellevue and Newport, as well as parts of Fort Thomas, Covington and Southgate. On Christmas Eve, when the air is clear and the Lights are lit, contrasting with the white backdrop of a recent snow, the cold seems to melt away. Old familiar landmarks are sorted out of the panorama, and pointed out to those with us, even though they are old, familiar landmarks to them as well.
Then a stop at UDF for egg nog; the Southern Comfort is already in stock. Home in time for a quick bite and a quick review of the presents, making sure we haven't missed anybody or missed a present. Then off to Walmart for just a few more things.
Then off to the homestead on the hill for another Christmas Celebration with the family. Ham again, and then a couple hours of unwrapping presents.
And the noise! 14 adults; half a dozen kids over ten and another half dozen between 6 and ten and 4 more under 6. Running, playing, squealing in anticipation. and each of them taking turns hitting the buttons on Each. And. Every. Animatron. Each plays a different Carol, usually Santa singing something, except for the that probably dates to the Clinton Administration that plays a jazz version of something or the other on a saxophone. none of them gets a break until the presents are distributed, and the younger crowd has something more important to occupy them, and one parent will usually sneak a battery out of each Santa during the melee, just to make sure silence remains golden. Especially the one with the damn saxophone.
Youngest child to oldest, each unwraps a present, and each is met with either squeals of delight or the 'its-worse-than-socks' toss onto the pile, while a previous present is pulled from the pile for further inspection. I have to admit that I run about 50/50 on the squeal/socks chart. On the upside I don't think I have ever given a take or leave present; it's either pure love or distinct hate.
And then the departures start. Young children to get home and into bed; old parents who want to get the older children to bed so they try to get a few minutes sleep between Santa's visit and zero-dark:30 when Christmas Day starts.
When our kids were smaller- like between 7 and 17 we had a few chickens and a rooster. The Christmas morning rule was nobody came downstairs until the rooster crowed; that meant at least the sun was up.
Until one enterprising youngster realized that turning on the back porch light would wake up the rooster. None of them would ever admit who it was who would turn the porch light on at 4:30 in the morning, but I suspect the eldest convinced the youngest to do it.
That's just the way things work.