We had three events last weekend (20th-21st). One of them was a party at the barn where my horse lives. It was good fun and we received a goody bag, filled with both equine and human treats. Sunday morning, my spouse tried to feed the horse cookies to the children for their breakfast (well, they are very healthy looking). NOTE: My spouse steadfastly denies this. He says that the horse cookies fell out of the bag onto the floor and, not knowing what they were, he told my daughter she couldn’t eat them. The usual frenzy of shopping, baking and making preceded Christmas Eve. For that, we went to my Aunt’s house, where we had a lovely meal, singing, and good conversation. And presents. The church Christmas pageant started at six. My kids were over-tired and over-sugared, and were acting like wild animals. I thought it was a bad idea, but my daughter really wanted to go. We got our candles and sat near the back. I have to say that my daughter was good as gold. My son, not so much. First, he turned around and started waving his candle at the man seated behind us. I asked him to turn around. “But I want to talk to the man!” Did I mention that he inherited a very loud voice from his father? The service hadn’t actually started, so it wasn’t too bad. The music started, and he got quiet. Unfortunately, there was a bit of a kerfuffle with the first hymn. That was all it took. He started rubbing the candle end all over everything. I asked him to stop. “NO! I need to clean!” I asked him to use his inside voice. “NO! It’s time to talk loud!” he shouted over the pastor, as nearly half the people in the congregation turned to glare at us. We gave our candles to my cousin and beat a hasty retreat. “You are acting like you were born in a barn,” my husband told him sternly. Then glancing at the nativity scene, he added, “There’s some Christmas irony for you.” We opted to go see a Christmas light spectacular not too far from our house http://www.houstonarchitecture.info/haif/index.php?showtopic=18557 (We saw the first house in this group). We had to wake our son up when we got there, but it was worth the trip. There is also an interview with the homeowners in the Houston Chronicle http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/nb/memorial/news/6167927.html. Fast forward to Christmas morning, 6:37 to be exact. “Look! Look what I’ve got!” my daughter shouts, lugging her bulging stocking. Paper flies in the air as the kids rip through their presents. No telling what came from which aunt or uncle. “Thank you for the thoughtful gift. We are enjoying it immensely.” The kids wanted to make gummy bugs from the Smithsonian kit, then do art projects. My son painted himself with fingerpaints and had to have a bath (where he deposited a splendid, um, Yule log and had to have another bath). The house is now sprinkled with glitter (it makes it very festive). I made my corn pudding for the extended family Christmas and read “Children’s Bookshelf,” from Publisher’s Weekly, while it was cooking. It’s almost time to head out to door for another feast. Merry (Whatever you celebrate)!