The Twelve Days of Christmas is one of my favorite carols because I can relate to it. There are the actual Christmas Day festivities of course. Daniel woke me up early because he wanted to see what Santa had brought him. Meka spilled the beans about Santa last year, but I still categorically deny any hint of a relationship between myself and Mr. Claus. Our governor would be proud. Daniel got a Hot Wheels raceway that I managed to assemble in my sleep. After a nap, we got ready and drove into Chicagoland to visit my aunt and see my mom’s side of the family.
Besides Christmas Day, we also had Christmas Eve. Traditionally that is “our” Christmas, a day just for immediate family. Over time, it’s evolved into the “Orphans’ Christmas”. Anyone who didn’t have somewhere else to go was invited for food, gifts and general warm spirits. This year I invited my dad and stepmom, my sister and my old college roommate. Meka invited her friend from school so he could visit his parrots. Meka’s parents spend the winter in California. While she got a phone call from them on December 25th, we celebrated Christmas early while we were there at Thanksgiving. Her brother’s family came over too and we had a very nice time watching the Lions get embarrassed on national television. If that’s not an early Christmas present for a Bears fan, I don’t know what is. My mom and stepdad came down a few days before Christmas and have until New Years Day to make the rounds to see everyone. We got our turn for a few hours on the day after Christmas. It was Boxing Day; we celebrated by breaking down a bunch of boxes and putting them out to be recycled.
The actual celebrating of Christmas cannot be contained in a single twenty-four hour period. Including the preparations for Christmas, there are many more days that get included. There was the day we went to Target to get our Christmas picture taken. I count Black Friday as one of the days of Christmas. I had to wait in long lines; maybe I should count it as two. We went to church last Sunday and I spend another couple of days working on Christmas cards. Meka would probably add a few days to make cookies and clean the house. That probably takes me up to twelve days with more to come: I have a couple of presents to return, I have several pounds I need to lose and of course I have to work many days in order to pay everything off.