We really outdid ourselves this year. 8 days, 3 states, 1850 miles, 2 Christmases, ENDLESS food — 3 Hoods and 1 car. Add 1 dodged snowstorm, 2 dangerous cows, 1 NBA game, 5 miniature horses, and 1 rewired chainsaw and you’ve got a party! Instead of giving you the play-by-play of our entire trip, I’ve pulled out some favorites. Enjoy.
The Cows. Every year the big toy companies spend millions of dollars promoting the fire out of “This Year’s Must-Have Holiday Toys”. Could be Cabbage Patch Kids, could be Furby. Parents and children across the country spend the weeks and months leading up to Christmas being bombarded with ads and displays and competitive pricing. Shoppers are trampled on Black Friday trying to secure one of those special, anointed, impossible-to-find toys that will absolutely make or break Christmas.
But then, some people go out and buy a couple of these instead.
The Ponies. My sister is a nurse and had to work on Christmas Day, so we planned to do Christmas on the 26th. Which left us an entire day on the 25th to entertain the Little Guy with everything closed for the holiday. Pawpaw and Mawmaw had a plan! Another Gold Star Family in the area was having an open house so we made plans to drop in. Buddy and Reesa were so sweet and welcoming, and they have horses! Colt-sized horses!
The littlest horse of the group was Trigger. And Trigger and Colt were fast friends. Buddy even let Colt give the little guys a snack. And made us promise to come back and visit when we’re in town.
The Chainsaw. All he could talk about for weeks was a chainsaw. And around here, Santa tries not to disappoint. So we picked it out and had it shipped to San Antonio for my parents to pick up. Easy. Until, that is, Christmas night (our Christmas Eve) when we decided to unpack the box only to discover that it was a sad, non-functioning chainsaw. First, we tried batteries. Surely it had just fallen victim to “try me!” in the store once too many times and the batteries were dead. But fresh batteries didn’t do the trick and I started to panic. How in the world was I going to explain that Santa delivered a BROKEN chainsaw? Or – worse – no chainsaw at all?!
But I was rescued by the best elves ever. Elves with a soldering iron and just enough working knowledge of plastic toys made in China to be dangerous. My dad and my Uncle Jerry (my mom’s brother – visiting for Christmas from Sioux Falls) went to work taking the thing apart, rewiring it, and putting it all back together good as new. MANY hands were required to get all wires, screws, and buttons in the right spots so Mom, Leo, and I were all necessary help at points in the process. The island in my parents’ kitchen was the operating table and we even used a few of the tools from the rest of his Christmas presents to get the job done!
No chainsaws were necessary, but Colt spent some good quality time in the shop with Pawpaw, building a fire truck. They are a perfect pair, yes?
And the rest of the story…
Saturday night, as I tucked him in, Colt asked me, “Mommy? Next year, can we have Christmas at our OWN house? I wanna stay here forever and never go on vacation again.” No place like home, eh?