Sometimes You Just NEED A Cup Of Hot Chocolate...

We survived Thanksgiving...some of us better than others.  Nevertheless, the day was, just as I predicted, loud, festive and full of drama.  After washing dishes 3 times and FINALLY getting everything clean at the end of the day, those of us who were left, settled down for the first Christmas movie of the season..."Four Christmases".  The next day, I planned on doing as little as possible to recover from my "sensory overload".  I planned to have my house looking "A Lot Like Christmas" by the end of the day.  I had the boys take my Christmas tree out of the attic Thanksgiving evening, only to find that the stand was broken.  Traditionally, I decorate my tree on Thanksgiving evening, after all the dishes and food have been put away and the last guest is out the door.  I would have to purchase a new stand on Friday before that could be done now.  This should have been an omen to me...that things were not going to go as harmonious as I had hoped.

Temperatures were pretty sultry here in the south on Thanksgiving day...it was in the 80's.  However, I knew a storm was on the way...I began to cough unceasingly that evening.  Before I went to bed, the rain had begun.  And true, we needed the rain, but with it was the prediction of temperatures in the 30's!  A 50 degree drop in temperatures overnight was never a good thing.  Robby and all of the boys headed out to the store at 5 a.m. to ready themselves for "Black Friday".  And I...well, there was NO WAY that I would be braving those crowds of people fighting for all of the best deals; that was just "Too much sugar for a dime", as my mama would say.  So, upon awaking, I fixed my first cup of coffee for the day, changed the thermostat from cool to heat and settled into my rocker to peruse the "Black Friday Internet Sales".  Hey...that is REALLY the way to go.  You can STILL shop and get some pretty good deals, while avoiding all of the crazy crowds...AND you can do this in your pajamas!  So, a- surfing I went and everything was going quite well UNTIL...let's just say there was a bit of "waking up on the wrong side of the bed".  THAT'S NEVER good!

Apparently the old north wind had not only blown in cooler temperatures, but also grouchiness.  While trying to figure out how to make the "grouchies", "happy" again, my sister called.  It seemed that she was not faring much better.  She had been fighting a migraine since early and didn't want to leave the warmth of her den either.  OK...so, we folks in the south just don't handle cold weather very well.  It is sort of like the entire universe is out of kilter when it gets cold (or worse yet snows) here.  SO...my advice to my sister and everyone else who was having issues was..."Have a cup of hot chocolate...that will make you feel  better!"  I will admit that they all sort of laughed at me and looked at me strangely.  I don't care!...Sometime, you just need to sit back, relax, breathe deeply and refocus.  And I find that it is best to do that while drinking a nice, hot cup of chocolate.

Eventually, everyone left me home alone to begin my decorating. I put my Christmas CD's on and although my tree was still laying in the floor, with the broken stand attached to it (Caitlin would be bringing a new one home), I decided to climb into the attic, pull ALL of my Christmas boxes down and begin the lengthy process of decorating.  This decorating was NOT a job that could be rushed...it could potentially take me a week to complete.  So, I started with the mantles first.  I removed all of the oranges and yellows of autumn and in their place went berry adorned garland, sparkling with white lights.  I love doing this all by myself, because there is no one around trying to direct or organize me.  I generally cannot stay focused on one task for very long; pulling different items out of the boxes, like a kid on Christmas morning.  And so...up went the nativity, then the LSU Santa and train...OH My Goodness, all of my Christmas books...and vintage elves!  Caitlin made it home with my tree stand and after Kevin stood the tree in it, I was ready to start on that too.  Those two (Caitlin and Kevin) took to the recliner and couch and immediately fell asleep.  And while they slept, I began the process of putting the ornaments on the tree.  This is one of my most favorite things to do.  I have saved ornaments from when Robby and I were first married.  There is an ornament for every child's first Christmas, along with various ones with all of our family members names on them.  Then there are the ones I purchased from every new place we visited on vacations and the ones that former students gave me (yes...I remember WHO gave me each of those ornaments too).  I call these my boxes of memories, because my tree tells a story.  Caitlin and Kevin woke up and OK...SOMEONE FINALLY took my advice...they made some hot chocolate!  And I'm telling you...it works!  One just cannot help but smile and feel better while drinking it.  The phone rang and it was Robby.  He and the boys were on their way home and we would be going to a movie tonight.
As I readied myself for the movie, I was happy.  This was the Christmas season...my FAVORITE time of the year!  Almost the entire family would be going to the theatre together.  I realized again just how blessed I was...AND decided that I would have MY hot chocolate while watching a movie with the folks that matter the most to me.

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