21 December 2010

"Let's stay-up-the-night-away"

December 10, 2010... the perfect night to "stay-up-the-night-away," according to my 3-year-old niece!

Mike and D were hosting a Christmas party at their house and so the plan was for The Cutest Drama Queen Ever to hang out with me...The Most Awesome Aunt!

The rest of the regulars were out of pocket: B (who really is The Most Awesome Uncle) was out of town for work and my seester (who is The Other Most Awesome Aunt) was going to visit a friend in San Antonio. So, that would leave just me with The CDQE, but I knew I could handle it. After all, in my family I'm "The Chairman of the Board" (I love you and miss you, Uncle Bobby!), plus she only manipulates me a little!!!!

So, my brother brought The CDQE over around 5 and in she sauntered with a cute little gift bag proudly proclaiming: "I brought you a surprise!" When I asked if I could open it, she struck her thinking pose (lips pursed, and pushed to the side... finger tapping her lip... eyes looking up) and said, "Sure." Inside I found a great new wallflower scent and a nice little letter that The CDQE had "written" with a little help (Thanks, D!)...

As The CDQE got settled into what she calls "her room" (it's the one with the toys and most importantly: The Treasure Chest!), the phone rang. To my surprise it was The Other Most Awesome Aunt calling to tell me that she had barely gotten out of town and realized she was way too tired for a 4-hour drive to San Antonio, had rescheduled her visit to see Megan, and was heading over to hang out with us.

When she got here, we loaded into my car and hit the town for a total "Party in the U.S.A.!"

First to dinner (Pizza Inn) where The CDQE kept us entertained, then to Target to do some shopping (all hail the $1 spot), driving around looking at Christmas lights (with shouts of "Wow!" "Look, on your side Jenny!" "Wow!" from the back seat), then back to the house for a bit of Dora the Explorer (Thank you, B for setting the DVR!), and on to the showdown... aka: bedtime!

Now, you must know that The CDQE has always been a master sleep procrastinator! She has many tools and tricks to help you see that she needs to "stay-up-the-night-away" (her words and the catch phrase for the night). Tonight there were a couple of tears because she missed her parents, but after reading, singing, praying, and talking with both of The Most Awesome Aunts, The CDQE finally fell asleep.

Now, I would like to tell you that I was wise and went to sleep at a decent time to prepare for the next day... but that's not me! Instead I stayed up late and when I heard the little voice down the hall telling Jenny around 7 am, "let's go wake up Kirsten," I knew that I had done myself no favors by staying up so late!

We played, watched Dora, feasted on cereal, donuts, and chocolate milk (sugar 'em up and then send 'em home, is what I always say!), and played some more until it was time for The CDQE to head home.

I think we had a good time at our "stay-up-the-night-away" sleepover and I am so glad to be loved by The CDQE (even though she does give this "Chairman of the Board" a run for the money!).

16 December 2010

Songs of the Season

The radio stations have been playing Christmas songs for weeks to help us all find the Christmas Spirit. We hear the "most popular" Christmas songs played repeatedly from Thanksgiving until Christmas Day.

Have you ever really paid attention to what these "popular" songs are telling us year after year, day after day, as we sing along in the car, at work, at home, and just about everywhere we go during this season?

Here are a few of the messages that we hear over and over during this time of year:

  • Deck the halls
  • Santa Claus is coming to town
  • You better not cry
  • All I want for Christmas is
  • Have yourself a merry little Christmas
  • Christmas, Christmas time is here, time for toys
  • We've been good, but it can't last
  • It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, toys in every store
  • Whisper what you'll bring to me
  • Bring it right here

No wonder we feel compelled to overshop, overspend, and overindulge ourselves and others!

Now, despite the emphasis on what "I'm getting" in so many popular Christmas songs, there are other good messages to be found in these modern-day songs as well:

  • There's no place like home for the holidays
  • Feed the world
  • It's the best time of the year
  • Friends are calling
  • As long as you love me so
  • May your days be merry and bright

In addition to the "most popular" Christmas songs, the radio stations also mix in a variety of "classic" Christmas carols, which have completely different messages:
  • Glad tidings of great joy
  • Joy to the world, the Lord is come
  • Let every heart prepare him room
  • Silent night, holy night
  • Christ, the Savior is born
  • With wondering awe, the wise men saw
  • Good tidings of comfort and joy
  • Oh come all ye faithful
  • Come and behold him
  • Peace on earth, good will to men

But have you ever noticed that these "classic" carols don't get as much play time as the "most popular" songs of the season?

As I reflect on this season, I think a couple of lines from songs in both the "popular" and "classic" categories sum up how I feel the best:

  • Where are you Christmas, why can't I find you
  • Remember Christ the Savior, was born on Christmas day

As Christmas Day grows closer and closer, and as the frenzy and frantic feelings escalate to get presents and packages tied up with strings, to wish you a Merry Christmas, to attend the parties and have a cup of cheer, don't forget that to REALLY make the season bright, we have to make room in our lives for Jesus Christ.

Oh come, let us adore him,
Oh come, let us adore him,
Oh come, let us adore him, Christ the Lord!

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