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Sunday, January 04, 2004

Merry Christmas!

Teddy: It was WONDERFUL, just, just soooooooo WONDERFUL! Much better than last year even, and last year was great! Spaulding: You didn't have Valentine last year! Christmas gets sooooo much better when you're married! Wait until you have kids! Teddy (utterly shocked): Kids?! Why do we have wait to have kids, we already have Dee and Ding?! Spaulding: Dee and Ding are Lady's and MY kids, not yours, although you are their uncle and Valentine is their aunt! Teddy: We all live together, so, even though they aren't our kids, they ARE our kids! Spaulding (thinking that over, and after being awaken up by his brother): Yeah, I guess that's true too! Teddy: Anyway, Christmas was absolutely WONDERFUL!!!! Spaulding: And, I'm so glad it finally got here and so sorry it's all over!!! Teddy: I thought it would never, ever, EVER get here!!!! Dee and Ding: YOU thought it would never get here! How 'bout US?! All: Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho Lady: You should have seen how wired the kids were on Christmas Eve! I thought they'd never get to sleep! Spaulding: I DID see how wired the kids were. I was right here when Mommy had to start giving us all re-lacks-say-shun teck-knees! We had to re-lackes every muscle in our body THREE times, because some of us (looking at Dee, Ding and Teddy) would start giggling, and then we all got rammy again! ::::::::::::::::Dee, Ding and Teddy look at each other and start giggling::::::::::::::::::::: Teddy: Who ever made that rule that says we HAVE to be sleeping or Santa can't come? I'm sure Santa doesn't mind seeing us! When I bmailed him to tell him about our changed Christmas Day, he was quite nice! Axlerod: A long time ago, Mommy said that she heard that way, way back, before there were cars, all the parents in the world sent Santa a petition to insist children do that, so parents could go to bed earlier, because they have to get up so early to let the children open up presents! Valentine (remembering how much she enjoys cuddling with Teddy as they sleep through the night): Oh! That might be a good idea! :::::::::::::Teddy and Valentine lock eyes and smile, then blush.::::::::::::::::::::::: All: Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho Spaulding: Well, we've spent so long keeping Christmas secrets and NOW we can FINALLY tell ALL!!!! :::::::::::::::Everyone sighs with relief and start jumping up and down bursting with secrets:::::::::::::: Teddy: The BIG one was the one Mommy made for Daddy and WE helped her a whooooooooole lot! Axlerod: We should start from the beginning though, because there were a whoooooooooooooooole bunch of surprises. Lady: Spauld, it would probably be good if you started us out, since Mommy tells you her secrets that she keeps from Daddy. Axlerod: There was much more to Christmas then secrets, ya know. Spaulding: Yes, many traditions, although even the traditions change often. Dee: We like the tradition that started with Daddy's family on Christmas Eve. Ding: We like it a whooooooooole bunch since we got to do it for our beary own family! Spaulding: The story? Dee and Ding (jumping up and down with delight): YES!!! The story! Lady: Since you did it, why don't you tell?! Dee: Well, your Mommy and Daddy, who are our Grandpa and Grandma, got this idea when they saw their niece and nephews do it at their home! Ding: The kids in the family all sneak away into the other room and decide which version to tell and who does which part. Dee: BUT, once it is all decided... Lady: ...which was easy to decide with just the two of you... Ding: The two of us got in front of our family... Dee: ...with our beary big family Bible... Ding: ...and read the story of the first Christmas... Dee: ...starting at Luke two because the first chapter was about Mary's cousin, Elizabeth having her baby boy, John... Ding: ...who ended up being the one calling out in the wilderness that the time was NOW for God's promise, Jesus, to come. Dee: We both wanted to do the talking parts, so we decided to do the nair-nations back and forth and then both of us do the talking parts! Dee and Ding (remembering a line they liked):"And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.'" Ding: That musta been so cool, seeing a huge crowd flying around and singing beary, beary prettily and happily!" :::::::::::Everyone, including Mommy, nods their heads in agreement.::::::::::::::: Spaulding: Another tradition we used to have, but couldn't do this year.... Teddy: ...because everyone else's Christmas season was over and we couldn't spend as much as we used to on Christmas.... Valentine: ...I'm glad we saved all our money, or it would have been a beary little gift giving Christmas this year! Teddy (with his paw up to his mouth): Shhhhhhhhhh, we haven't gotten that far yet! All: Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho Spaulding: ...was to open Christmas stockings on Christmas Eve, watch Christmas movies and, if we hadn't seen it on TV that year, read T'was the Night Before Christmas. Teddy: Since we had Christmas so late, TV had no Christmas movies that night. Beary strange feeling. Valentine: We did see T'was the Night Before Christmas on TV earlier this year...or last year really! Lady: Oh, thinking of "not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse," our new housemates have gone! We used to hear them so well, it sounded like they were building a whole city in the walls, but they never trusted even us, so we didn't see them too often. It wasn't until Christmas Eve, when we thought about that book, when we realized we heard no noises for a while! Spaulding: Mommy and Daddy were too nice to poison them and they never got new traps! I think that was because they were too nice to hurt them. (Mommy quietly types all that is being said, as she remembers that they didn't poison the mice for fear they would die in the walls and then stink, but the only reason they never got traps was because Daddy was too sick, and by the time he was well enough, the sitings and noises had been gone for weeks and no food had been eaten by unwanted guest. Still, she didn't want to have to kill them, so is quite happy that she, purely by accident, scared them out of the house.) Valentine: Now can we tell what gifts we gave Mommy and Daddy?! Everyone else: yes!!! All: Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho Valentine: Mommy and Daddy let us keep leftover money from when they break twenties when they order dinner in. Teddy: They used to order in once or twice a week too! Lady: They also gave us money when they would empty out their pockets upstairs and not feel like going downstairs to put the money away. Spaulding: They'd also give us money when we went on vacation so we could buy soveneirs for our family, since only Teddy and I go on vacations with Mommy and Daddy. Teddy: And we used the money they gave us for poker night and casino night, where we always won! Valentine: Mommy always told us that the money was ours, BUT, if they needed it, they would have to take it back! Axlerod: With Mommy and Daddy both disabled now, they don't go to work and only get a little money from the government for Mommy's disability. Spaulding: Mommy forgot about our money and thought the only Christmas presents would be homemade ones this year... Dee: I thought we made a GREAT homemade present! Ding: It was great, and Grandma loves it! ::::::::::::::::::::::Everyone nods in agreement:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Teddy: ...BUT, we surprised them early this year! Valentine: First, we had to whisper our plan to Mommy, because we needed her help. Spaulding: Daddy has to drink lots of water and has a few special water holders that he can drink out of, because it makes drinking water fun, and he rather drink diet decaf cola or coffeecoffeecoffeecoffee! Teddy: One of his containers has a straw all the way down to the bottom and the others just have little openings! Dee and Ding: Straws are always more fun to drink using! Valentine: So, we told Mommy our plan because we needed her to buy another bottle with a straw down to the bottom for us! Spaulding: ALSO, Daddy needs lots and lots of candy because he NEEDS something that taste good in his mouth with the medications he takes tasting so badly! So, Mommy was buying him a little extra sugar-free candy each week to slip into his stocking! Dee and Ding: ...as IF Santa woudln't do that for them! Lady: Oh, Mommy knew Santa would leave some too, but Daddy needed some extra for the days between normal Christmas and our Christmas! Valentine: So, after Mommy got to the store for us, she helped us put Daddy's new bottle with MONEY in it.... ALL: Our extra present this year was to give each of them some money so they could buy each other Christmas presents!!!!! Dee and Ding: Aren't we all beary smart to think of such a grand idea?! All: Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho Valentine: And, in the bag with the bottle of money, we had Mommy include some of that candy! Daddy was so beary happy! He refused to use the bottle for water until he spent the money!!! All: Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho Teddy: And, when we gave Daddy his present, we told Mommy what her extra present was! Spaulding: We gave Daddy some extra money so he could buy a nightgown from us for Mommy, like she asked for! Valentine: And we gave Mommy some extra money to buy Daddy a fleece shirt to keep him warm during the winter! Axlerod: BUT, with Daddy and Mommy being so smart to go Christmas shopping after Christmas, they hit a beary good sale and, for the price of one fleece shirt, Mommy got Daddy FOUR from us, and for the price of one nightgown, Daddy bought the nightgown AND two pairs of big comfy, guaranteed-to-keep-your-feet-warm-when-it's-so-beary-cold socks!!!! They did so well with our money! Lady: Did we just start telling about Christmas Day?! Axlerod (after pondering for a moment): Yes, I think we did! All: Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho Spaulding: Wait, wait! Before we tell, we have to tell the story behind Mommy's present to Daddy! All: YEAH!!!! TELL IT, SPAULDING, TELL IT!!!!! Spaulding: Not this Christmas, but last Christmas, Daddy bought Mommy a book to teach her how to crochet and it came with crochet hooks and stuff. Teddy: Mommy likes to learn new hobbies now that she is disabled. She says that despite all the bad things with being disabled that she has a lot more of something then she used to---TIME! Spaulding: I don't understand that, because I'm pretty sure everyone gets 24 hours each day, no matter who they are?! Axlerod: You're right, of course, but you weren't around before Mommy became disabled. When peoples work, they have to use up their spare time doing chores and shopping and stuff, so, although they have the same amount of time, it never seems enough time to enjoy! Teddy and Spaulding: Wow! I understand that! All: Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho Teddy: BUT, we were in on Daddy's present--helping Mommy lie to him! Axlerod: Generally, stuffed animals can't lie or do anything mean, however there are two exceptions to that rule. We can lie while telling a joke, since jokes are just pretend stories anyway. Valentine: Like when we start a joke with, "I was in the checkout line the other day, when...." :::::::::::::::::::::::::::Everyone looks ar her, expectantly.:::::::::::::::::::::::::: Teddy: Well? Valentine: I dunno! I was just showing an example! Everyone else (as they turn back to look at Axlerod): Ooooooooooooohhhhhhhh!!! Axlerod: And the other exception is that we can lie if it is for keeping good secrets, like at Christmas time! Spaulding: Mommy didn't make us lie, actually, we just had to keep quiet as she lied! Lady: But, she was lying to keep Daddy's present a secret! Spaulding: Mommy was making Daddy an Aft-gang with lots of squares on it, and she made the squares right in front of him!!! Teddy: The squares were pretty big too! Spaulding: Big enough that any of us... Axlerod: ...except for me, but I'm the biggest stuffed animal and Mommy already made a blanket for me... Spaulding: ...to use as our beary own blankets! Ding: BUT, Grandma was smart! Spaulding: Since all the squares were put together in columns, and then rows, she would put two at a time together, still right in front of Daddy!. Teddy: You would think he would notice eventually! Spaulding: He did! When he asked her what she was doing, we were all in the room with them, and she answered in a whisper, "Making blankets for the kids for Christmas." Valentine: Mommy and Daddy don't usually tell lies to each other. Teddy: That's part of the reason why we're pretty sure they are, at least, partly Teddy Bears... Axlerod: ...the only two kinds of lies they tell each other are the only two kinds of lies that we can tell! Spaulding: We weren't surprised by what Mommy said, because she s'plained to me that she was making it for Daddy, and just play along with it! Lady: Had he asked us, if this was true, we would have told him the truth, but he never asked us! All: Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho Spaulding: By the time she got to the part where she had to put all the pieces together, she would do it while Daddy was sleeping, since Daddy was having trouble sleeping in normal peoples sleeping hours! She hid it under her lap blanket, so when Daddy surprised her, she could cover it up beary quickly, and then put it no the floor next to her! Axlerod: She had three weeks to put it all together, since our Christmas was ten days later then everybody else's! Spaulding: We were all shocked when we found out how well we did in hiding this from Daddy. :::::::::::::::::::::::Mommy quietly tells something to Lady:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Lady: Oh, I didn't know that was part of the secret!!! Mommy did something else to hide her secret, that we didn't even know! ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::Everyone looks at her in surprise.:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Lady: What's beary cool is that it included our surprise! ::::::::::::::::::::::::::Smoke rises from everyone's ears as they think hard to figure out the surprise she is referring to and then, as if the light bulb flashed above their heads, they say together...... All: Ooooooooooooooooooooooohhh!!! Teddy: Our Christmas surprises were related to Daddy's surprise?! Lady: Yes, and secretly, that's why Mommy didn't suggest that we open our stockings up on Christmas Eve AND that's why we did the opposite of what we usually do--we looked in our stockings last! All: Ooooooooooooooohhh!!!! Axlerod: We were genuinely surprised by the amount of surprises we had, because we can read Mommy and Daddy's minds most of the time, so knew a couple of things we received, but not most! Lady (sheepishly looking at Mommy): Sorry, we have to tell the truth, but we kinda knew about the coffeecoffeecoffeecoffee set! Spaulding: It says it's a child's tea set on the box, but we drink coffeecoffeecoffeecoffee... Dee and Ding: ...except for us, because we're too young, but we can drink hot chocolate with it!.... Spaulding: ...so we call it our coffeecoffeecoffeecoffee set! Lady (still looking at Mommy): We could read your mind, BUT.... :::::::::::::::::::::::Lady now perks up with a big grin:::::::::::::::::::::::: Lady: ...we didn't know how beautiful it was! It's really two little sets--one has Teddy Bears having a picnic on it and the other has, oh so beautful for girls, flowers! Dee: Each set has a coffee pitcher, a sugar bowl, a little milk pitcher, and four cups and saucers! Ding: They are nice and big for Dee and me!!! Axlerod: A little too small for me, but I can always get refills! Teddy: They're like little coffeecoffeecoffeecoffee cups for us, instead of coffeecoffeecoffeecoffee mugs, but we worked a little Teddy Bear magic on them and made them bottomless cups and pots! Spaulding: All stuffed animals can make pretend food and drinks, so it's not a special ability, like th magical time thingy! Dee: Actually, peoples little boys and girls can do it too, so it's only magic to those who forget what being a child is like! ::::::::::Everyone briefly thinks over what Dee says, and then have a shiver down their backs as they think of some who can't even imagine being a kid anymore.:::::::::::: Lady: It's a beautiful coffecoffeecoffeecoffee set! Thank you, Mommy! The rest of our presents were total surprises to us! Ding (looking at his Daddy, Spaulding): To all of us too! All: Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho Lady: But Mommy just s'plained that to me too! When she first decided to make outfits for Teddy Bears and then sell some of the Teddy Bear that she dressed up, she got all these things she called "props" for the dressed Need-to-be-Adopted bears. Teddy: Last summer, she found a home for Army Bear, and, because he was being adopted, he didn't need his props, so Mommy gave us Army Bear's jeep that you rev up by pushing it along the floor a few times, before letting it go and then it zoooooooooooooms across the floor! ::::::::::::::Teddy shows how to do it by pushing his paw a few times next to his lap, and then let's go pushing his arm way in the air.::::::::::::::: Lady: Mommy has had to move the Need-to-be-Adopted Bears a few times in the last couple of years, and in that moving, she lost their props! Spaulding: We helped her bring up the Christmas decorations this year, which were right behind those bears and I remember her pulling up a bag, looking in it, and saying, "Oh, yeeeeeeah," like she had just found something she lost long ago. She wouldn't tell us what it was and those bears didn't know. :::::::::::Everyone looks at Mommy, who looks up at the ceiling and whistles nothing in particular.:::::::::::::::: All: Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho Lady: Yup! That's what she found! Now that we got them, we could read her mind better. She simply didn't think about them that long, so we didn't have time to truly read her mind. ::::::::::::::::::Mommy continues to look at the ceiling and whistle.:::::::::::::::::::::: Dee: We got two books--one from Santa, Bedtime Bible Stories for Children, and one from Daddy, The Peter Rabbit Pop-Up Book! Ding: We got a writing pad, just our size and a blackboard and chalk! Teddy: We also got a plush Teddy Bear Pez dispenser, so, when Mommy and Daddy leave us to go do some chore, we won't be all alone ever again! Spaulding: They used to leave us the TV remote, but, although it made us feel better that we could watch anyhing we wanted, we still were left all alone!!! Dee and Ding: BUT, the bear has candy in him too, that he gives away, just by tilting his head up! Way cool...and yummy!!! Lady: Along with giving us a beary merry Christmas with plenty of new toys, Mommy put all these presents in different bags so Daddy would just assume they were our blankets! Teddy: But the funny thing was, since Daddy hadn't seen Mommy working on the atf-gang for a while, he forgot all about them AND was totally surprised when he got it! Spaulding: He didn't even recognize it was the same thing she was working on, until she told him all of her sneaky stuff! Lady (who also likes to sew and crochet): Yeah, but there were many new rows she had to add between each square, so it was hard to see the original squares, unless you were looking for them! :::::::::::::::::::::::Everyone nods in understanding::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Axlerod: Mommy also made Daddy a couple of bookmarks, an eyeglass case and a computer bug by crocheting too! Spaulding: The computer bug is strange..... ::::::::::::Spaulding quietly sneaks a peak over to Daddy's computer and sees the bug still staring back at him::::::::::::::: Spaulding (while keeping his gaze on the bug): I helped Mommy make the bug, downstairs at the dining room table, using her glue gun to put the pieces together. While she put the stuff away and the glue was hardening, she said, "Watch him for me, will you?" Assuming she was talking to me, I did, BUT he watched me too! :::::::::::::He slowly looked away from the bug and then jerked his head back to look at the bug. The bug never gave up his stare towards Spaulding.:::::::::::::::: Spaulding: I think the computer bug thought Mommy was talking to him, because he has never stopped looking at me, whenever we're in the same room! Everyone elses: Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho ::::::::::::Spaulding smiles a little, but feels uncomfortable. When Mommy looks at the computer bug, it winks at her and smiles. Spaulding catches that and starts laughing, realizing the little toy has been teasing him from the moment he was made.::::::::::::: All: Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho Teddy: Santa gave Daddy even more candy, because the candy Mommy bought him had all been eaten. Mommy also gave Daddy, his favorite kind of work shirt, rhe kind that he wanted me to be dressed in when Mommy first brought me home for Daddy--a sham-bray shirt! Valentine: Santa also brought Mommy some chocolate, and Daddy bought her the grocery cart she has been wanting! Teddy: Instead of driving to the grocery store.... Valentine: ...which is only four blocks away.... Teddy: She can now take this elongated rectangular cart that has four wheels and load all the groceries that used to fit into the trunk and walk home! Valentine: BUT, more importantly, at night when Mommy and Daddy are asleep, we have a new toy to be pushed in! :::::::::::::::::::::Everyone nods their heads in agreement:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Spaulding: There still was one secret we had for Mommy and we kept it beary, beary well! Lady: We never had to lie to her, but we just didn't tell what we were doing! Ding: Our job... Dee: ...Ding and me... Ding: ...was the beary hardest job! Dee: On Christmas Eve, after Grandpa and Grandma went to bed, taking our Daddy, Spaulding, with them... Ding: ...but using Axlerod's magical time thingy to stop time, so we wouldn't stop Santa from coming to visit us.... Dee: ...we had to sneak into Grandma's room and wake up Daddy... Ding: ...AND had to pull him out from Grandma's arms... Dee: ...so he could come in and help make our bestest gift! Lady: Valentine and I were in charge of choosing which pictures to use. Valentine: Mommy has taken so many photos of us and of the Need-to-Be-Adopted Bears over the years, and since she uses a digital camera, they all sit waiting on the hard drive to be used! Teddy: Since Spaulding and I are the computer savvy bears, we were in charge of making the pages for the calendar! Spaulding: We were making it beary special for Mommy... Teddy: ...and Daddy can use it too, since they put it right on the bulletin board in our living room! Spaulding: The gals chose photos of us and some of the Need-To-Be-Adopted Bears and we made it all into beary cool pictures for our calendars... Teddy: On one side of the page was the photos and on the other side was the calendar month! Spaulding: It had to be done pre-site-ly, or wouldn't work! Axlerod helped us with that part, telling us which to face the paper in the printer! Axlerod: And, because I'm the biggest, they also needed me to punch the holes in the paper and facilitate the yarn tying of the whole calendar! Teddy: Yeah! Yeah, he was our face-sill-it...it. it..er kinda guy! All: Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho Axlerod: But, Christmas isn't just about presents! Along with remembering that we're really celebrating the Redeemer's birth, we also celebrate by having a beary special meal! All: HOTDOGS!!!!! Axlerod: True! Hotdogs for us, but Mommy and Daddy used to always celebrate by going to Chinatown, because the Orientals don't celebrate Christmas, so they don't disturb other's celebrating, but they also don't have to cook! Spaulding: We knew about this tradition for Mommy and Daddy, so we gave Daddy money to buy something special for dinner! They stopped off to get some jumbo shrimp for our Christmas! Lady: Shrimp cost A LOT, so they quit eating it for a while, but Christmas is the mostest specialist holiday of the year and it's still cheaper then eating out! Ding: Daddy made us some too... Dee: ...and we decided it is as good as hotdogs!!! Valentine: ...but much more expensive!!!! Teddy: It was the bestest dinner we've ever, ever, EVER eatened! ::::::::::::::::::::All nod their heads vigorously in agreement::::::::::::::::::::::::: Spaulding: Good surprises! Lady: Good gifts! Axlerod: We surprised Mommy and Daddy with our gifts too! Teddy: Good dinner! Valentine: Good coffeecoffeecoffeecoffee party! Dee: Good hot chocolate! Ding: Good candy! All: Yup! The bestest, bestest, BESTEST Christmas ever!!!! Mommy: ...because we are all so "beary" blessed to have each other and to enjoy so much being together!!! ::::::::::::::::::All nod their head in agreement.::::::::::::::::::::::::: Spaulding: So, we say for the last time this holiday season dot dot dot All: Merry Christmas to all and God bless us, everyone! Teddy: Soooooooo, until next time...

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