Monday Smiles – 12/16/2013

Christmas Time is Here.  That’s probably not news to most of you but certain things need to be done around the Older Eyes household before that becomes official and thanks to a Chop Wood – Carry Water weekend, all criteria have been met.  Decorations up, simple lighted wreaths outside and an assortment of holiday critters inside, check.   Tree up and decorated, check.  Out to see Christmas lights with Muri, check (This year we walked the amazing Eagle Hills neighborhood in Brea, CA, us and hundreds of families, on Saturday night).   And this morning, we completed our first on-paper inventory of what gifts we have for who … and what we still need, check.  Yep.  It’s here.

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Today is my day for finding Stocking Stuffers.  When my siblings and I were kids, opening our stocking was one of the best parts of Christmas morning, so once we became (supposed) adults, we kept the tradition alive by buying Stocking Stuffers for each other. For years. when the adults exchanged gifts, we specialized in the unusual.  I can remember receiving a can of alligator chowder and a licorice rat, in particular.  These days, I buy for Stuffers for Muri, my daughter and her husband, my son and our grandkids.  There’s usually some sort of small, unusual tool for my son and son-in-law and an odd kitchen device for Muri and my daughter.  I’ve been known to slip something extravagant for Muri just to hear her say, Oh, Bud.  You shouldn’t have.   I usually buy a few mineral specimens for my rock-hound son from the Nevada Mineral and Book Company.  Of course, there are chocolate treats from See’s Candy.  Then there are the grandkids.  They are easy and fun because each of them has the kind of imagination that can turn the simplest plaything into a game.

Yes, it’s Monday.  The house is decorated.  I’m off to look for Stocking Stuffers.  Christmas Time is Here.  I’m smiling.

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