It was a different kind of Christmas for the Burlesons.
We just wrapped up a wedding a little more than a month ago, so Christmas sort of snuck up on us.
November and December have been rather hectic.
We got the trees and the holiday decorations up a little later than normal, and we didn’t take the time to get everything out of the attic.
I was buying gifts, particularly stocking stuffers, a couple of days before Christmas.
Thank goodness, Emma and Erin continued their tradition of wrapping my gift to Pam. That’s because it looks much, much better than the times I’ve tried to tackle it.
And then something always hits us at the last minute, gift-wise.
Emma and Erin made a last-second shopping trip on Christmas Eve night. That’s because they suddenly discovered their mother already had one of what they had picked out and wrapped in a box.
They just had to get something different.
It reminded me of several “almost-past-the-deadline” journeys we’d made in the past. The one that stands out most came when were living in Aberdeen, and Emma, then a small child, wanted a particular dollhouse. Pam found it via telephone in Tuscaloosa, Ala., at a Toys ‘R’ Us, so we quickly found a babysitter and made the three-hour round trip to get just what she requested from Santa.
And it seems the Burlesons always forget a gift or two – not the actual purchase but where we stashed them.
While opening gifts Christmas morning, Pam and Erin realized they were short a gift for Emma. We made a quick adjustment, in who got what, and things worked out OK.
Later that day we drove to Alabama to celebrate with the extended family.
It’s then Pam realized she wasn’t short a gift for Emma after all. She just forgot about it. It was hidden away in one of the guest bedrooms.
So, when we got back from Alabama late that night, Emma received another surprise.
Typical Mississippi, you never know what you’re going to get weather-wise at Christmastime. This year we enjoyed temperatures in the 60s. In my book, it was wonderful.
Over in Alabama, due to the warm temps, some of the group enjoyed an ATV ride into the woods and even through the mud.
We wrapped it up Thursday night, Dec. 26, with Andy and Brooke coming to Holly Springs for “another Christmas.” It was still excellent weather, warm enough to crank up the grill outside for some tenderloin and get away from the typical turkey and dressing.
It was a great holiday season.
We actually closed the newspaper office for a couple of days (Christmas Eve and Christmas Day), and that’s a rarity in this business.
Christmases arrive faster nowadays.
I always find myself recalling Christmases gone by. This year it seemed I did it even more, as our youngest, Erin, turns 18 this week and will be leaving for college next fall.
Pam and I talked a lot during the holidays about becoming “empty nesters.”
Maybe that will translate into being a little more focused and organized next Christmas.