24 December 2008

Christmas is almost here

Well here it is Christmas Eve and we're in south Georgia where it will be hot and muggy for the holidays.  Hot and muggy today and tomorrow, when it was only 42 degrees all day long on Monday.

So how will the Hatcher's celebrate this year?

Jane is 21 and Zach is 28 so there will be no surprises like in days gone by.  Instead of surprises, we seem to more have memories...

I remember when Zach was just a little guy - must have been two wonderful life years old - and we'd just launched into full-time faith ministry.  (That means we'd left our real and regular job with a real and regular paycheck...)  We were pretty tight in the pocketbook, and we were in a store and there was a bright yellow front-end loader that Zachary could ride and play on.  Both Phyllis and I looked at it and then walked away.  Then returned and looked at it again.  It was beautiful - in a way that only first-time parents can see beauty.  And basically we had no money.  So we decided that we would not buy for each other, but would buy this big old toy for Zach.  It became known as his big 'chinery.

And we can fast forward to the Christmas I went crazy and bought Zach and Jane a little beagle puppy: Cindy Lou.  She was cute that Christmas but grew up to chew up everything and could not stay in the yard.  She dug out, climbed out and wandered all over town.  We had to chase her and find her and eventually bail her out of the pound.  I went crazy at Christmas.

And then there was that one Christmas in Cyprus when once again we were between "provisions."  Zachary was in college in the USA and we were in Nicosia.  Somehow we just didn't have the money to fly him home for Christmas.  And although he was philosophical about it all, Phyllis, Jane and I were pretty bummed.  So, we made an executive faith decision: we'll use all our money to get Zach to Nicosia and give no gifts to each other.  Zach will be our gift!  So we scrimped and saved and bought a ticket.  And somehow we all gave each other scarves.  Wooly, wrap-around-your-neck-keep-you-warm scarves.  We refer to this as the Scarf Christmas.

So what will we do tonight in Valdosta, GA? 

We'll get together - the five of us (cause now we're including Jane's boyfriend Mike) - when everyone's off work.  We'll have oyster stew and potato soup, since some of us don't like oysters.  (The oyster stew is a carryover from the Traynham Christmas Eve.)  We'll listen to Christmas music and open presents.  (This year I think there are some - but not so many.)  Then we'll load up and attend Christ the King Episcopal Church for their midnight service.

Tomorrow - Christmas Day - we'll do a brunch (Zachary's cooking so it will be exotic and suave, I'm sure.) and relax.  We had Hatcher Christmas on Sunday in Donalsonville and we'll have Traynham Christmas on Saturday after Jeff and his boys arrive on Friday and Jay and his family get here on Saturday.

No big things... just family and friends.

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