While Christmas was wonderfully peaceful, Christmas Eve was quite another story.
It all began on the eve of Christmas Eve when our sewer backed up in the basement. Yep, we had raw sewage in our basement. In case you're wondering, you can find a plumber on Sunday even if it is December 23rd, but you better be ready to empty your wallet.
It took three hours to get the drain cleared. He spent two of those hours next door as their drain is connected to ours. Financially, that was a relief as the plumber's bill was split between the two of us.
So, Christmas Eve morning was spent cleaning up . . . well, you know. I had candles burning all over the house and emptied out a can of air freshener. Bleach was poured down the drain and the basement thoroughly cleaned. I am very blessed to have tolerant children as they did almost all of the work as Rob and I prepared for Christmas.
Did I mention that Rob never gets around to Christmas shopping until Christmas Eve? He got home from his marathon shopping trip and announced to me that he needed to add one more thing to his Wish List. I pointed out to him that it was 3:00 pm the day before Christmas and I was up to my elbows in bread dough. He insisted that he absolutely must have some new sweat shirts for Christmas and Kohl's was open until 6:00 pm. It's not like him to insist like that -- if he wants something he just gets it himself. So, I figured he wanted me out of the house for some odd reason and I figured it probably had to do with my own Christmas present, so off to Kohl's I went.
The great thing was that Kohl's had already marked down all their wares for the big Day After Christmas Sale. I got some great deals.
One thing I should note here. If it is an extra blustery day and you decide at the last minute to stop at Target and buy your kid a round sled and it won't fit in the grocery cart so you set it on top of the cart -- you'll be sorry. The wind will catch it and it'll fly up in the air and hit you on the head, right in the middle of the parking lot with loads of Christmas shoppers staring at you. Men will stop in the cars, roll down their window and shout at you, "Hey Lady! You okay?" Then you'll have red cheeks to match the big bump on your forehead.
Anyway, I got home at 5:30 to Rob exclaiming, "We have to leave for Mass in 15 minutes!" Oops! Everyone else was ready and I managed to get dressed in time. The hair wasn't exactly coiffed, but I was able to comb it forward to cover the bump.
Mass was absolutely lovely. Half my family served in some way. The choir sang carols for the half hour before Mass. All the lights were off, except for white Christmas lights and candles everywhere. It was decorated so lovely. Included in the procession was a child carrying the Baby Jesus. She put the Baby into the crib and Father took out his guitar and sang a lullaby to the Baby Jesus before Mass began. It was very sweet.
We came home, enjoyed our evening meal, and reflected on the Reason for the Season. Yep, it was a crazy, hectic day, but there is something about the Christmas Vigil Mass to bring Peace to it all.