Friday, December 23, 2011

Coming Home for Christmas

Grams and Grandad have had a busy week. For the first time in a few years, we'll get to have both kids home at the same time for Christmas. They both always come home at some time around Christmas, but they also take turns with their in-laws, so they don't always get here at the same time.

Katy and Travis are coming from San Antonio and should arrive somewhat early in the day, probably in time for lunch. Although you know how it is when traveling with toddlers. Even the two hour drive from San Antonio to Corpus Christi can turn eventful and require several stops. But sometimes you get lucky and they nap all the way here.

Nick and Marie will be a little later. It's about a four and half hour drive from the north side of Houston to our home. And with Christmas traffic in Houston, just getting across town can take an extra hour some days. And I don't expect them to leave early. Marie didn't get to Houston until sometime after midnight.

If there was a prize for longest trip to visit your in-laws for Christmas, Marie would definitely be in the running this year. Last summer Exxon-Mobil reassigned her to an offshore rig in the North Sea. She is stationed out of Stavanger, Norway. She was scheduled to be helicoptered off of the platform early Wednesday morning where she would then spend the night in Stavanger and fly home Thursday morning. The weather in the North Sea did not cooperate and the helicopters could not fly on Wednesday. But they were able to get her off the platform early Thursday morning. And the folks at the Exxon travel office were able to re-arrange her flights to get her home in time for Christmas. She flew from Stavanger to Chicago to Houston. That's approximately 5,000 miles of air travel in a 24 hour period. That much air travel is daunting any time, but during this busy travel week it is sure to be challenging. I was up late finishing my gift wrapping when I saw her post on Facebook that she had made it to Houston sometime around 12:30 this morning. I was so relieved. I know that Nick's Christmas would not be complete until she made it home. Plus, it will be good to have everyone home together.

After this year, we will begin a rotating schedule where we should have all the kids every other year for Christmas. They will spend the other years with their in-laws. If it actually works out that way, I'm thinking we may take a cruise or other trip in the years they don't come home. Grandad is decidedly not on board with this yet and probably won't be as long as his mother is living. Time will tell.

While I'm on the subject of Christmas, let me climb up on this soapbox. I'm dismayed at the number of businesses that are open very late on Christmas Eve and even open on Christmas Day. It bothered me when I saw businesses opening on Thanksgiving Day and I steadfastly did not go shopping that afternoon. The fact that some will be open on Christmas Day bothers me even more.

When stores and shops open on holidays, that means their employees have to work. I saw an ad that announced that Toys R Us will be open 24 hours on Christmas Eve. Really people? Midnight on Christmas Eve? If you're shopping then, somebody will be working then.

I also noticed signs at all our local Starbucks announcing that they will be open on Christmas Day. Now you know how I love my Starbucks, but I'd definitely be willing to do without a trip to my favorite coffee shop so their employees could have the day with their families. Come on people, it's one day and everyone deserves Christmas Day off.

It's December 23rd and the kids are on their way. I'm off to the kitchen to put on a pot of stew. I'll keep it simmering so everyone can eat whenever they arrive. Then I'm baking three kinds of peanut butter cookie cups ... one with Reese's Cup centers and chocolate frosting ... one with Snickers centers ... and one with salted caramel filling. If they turn out good, I'll post the recipes.

Tonight we're going out for Japanese food and to look at Christmas lights. The packages are all wrapped, the house is clean, the oven is warming, the kids are on their way home ... all is right with the world.

Safe travels to all who are traveling today. I hope you all get home safely for Christmas.


  1. It sounds like you'll have a wonderful Christmas with your family. Hope they all get there safely.
    Merry Christmas!

  2. Having family all come together for Christmas is what makes it special. I am so glad your family will all be together.

    It bothers me also that stores are stretching their hours and staying open during Christmas and Thanksgiving. It makes it so hard on employees.

    I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas and New Years.

  3. Sounds like you're ready! How great to have the family together! Enjoy!

    Yes, I completely agree on the business situation.

    And I cannot wait til you post those recipes! Yum!

    Have a very merry Christmas with your loved ones!

  4. Merry Christmas! Sounds awesome!

    And ITA about the Christmas day opening. Not fair to employees at all. I hope they at least get over time.