Thursday, December 27, 2012

For as long as I can remember, shortly after Thanksgiving, a day is planned to begin. To begin the celebrating of Christmas. While growing up, we put up the tree with laughs about old, ugly ornaments with popsicle sticks and glitter, a certain white feathery dove, and arguments about which, truly was "the good" coffee cake. (sadly my dad has never known...)

And always, always we listen to Steven Curtis Chapman "Music of Christmas".

When I got older, and went off to college, my first Christmas season away from home I promptly went to the first Walmart and purchased ol Steven Curtis Chapman...

When we got married, and moved in with Nick and Beth, we knew there might have to be compromises about Christmas traditions...they are real tree people, and we'd always been fake tree people....they insisted on decorating their dog, Sufi, with as much care as decorating the tree...but the one thing we didn't compromise on was good ol Chapman. Sure...we had to listen to some pretty horrific Amy Grant** Christmas melodies due to Beth's childhood, but still Steven sang on in yet another Christmas.

And now here we are in Tonga....and though we attempted to get in the spirit, Steven just hasn't been played....too many memories, elicits too many tears.
It's Christmas today. Raining cats and dogs. Our laundry is hanging on the line, so that's always something in weather like this. We were awakened by our neighbor shouting our names and saying "open the door". They had made us some "cake". We're off to church soon, then supposedly a wedding/birthday/Christmas feast....we're a little unsure of the details. Over our cake breakfast we asked each other if we were sad. We are...but marks in the shower and I put on old Steven anyways...just seemed like the right thing to do. A few days ago I realized I hadn't bothered to buy anything for Mark...hadn't really considered celebrating just the two of us. I feel a little guilty about we should be creating this exotic Christmas experience here that we blog and post pictures about that make everyone jealous...that we could have told our one day kids about that time we were in Tonga and celebrated Christmas all by ourselves...but the truth is, we don't want to celebrate Christmas all by ourselves. It's you all we miss, it's you all that make Christmas so magical. So, today we'll celebrate fakatonga...and it will be different and cool. And this weekend, I will most definitely turn into Mrs. clause whilst we celebrate with fellow volunteers. And maybe one year, we won't be so utterly sad when we have to celebrate alone...but not this year.

***A few weeks ago, we were in town on a Thursday and wound up at trivia. One of the questions was a song being played, and you had to guess the artist and song title. I was so sure it was Amy Grant. In fact, I said something like, "I grew up in Mustang, Oklahoma. I know Amy Grant when I hear her!" of wasn't Amy Grant...should have listened a little more closely when we decorated the tree, huh Elders?

Also, if we were able, we'd decorate Buster too.

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