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On the Second Day of Christmas, my true love gave to me three sisters singing, a very silly movie, and part of an alpaca.  Well, really that was on the First Day of Christmas, but that’s ok.  We do not press that point, we overlook it.

How it happened was like this.  I was being very lazy at home, sprawled across the futon with a book, dinner warm in my belly, idly thinking about maybe wrapping some presents sooner or later, maybe when the book was done.  Maybe.  And then, faintly but unmistakably, I heard the sound of singers approaching, warbling “Good King Wenceslas looked out, on the Feast of Stephen!  When the snow lay round about, deep and crisp and even!”  Which you have to admit was singularly appropriate, since it was both St. Stephen’s Feast Day, and the ground was covered deep with snow.  Moreover, I knew without a shadow of a doubt that the singers approaching must be related to me by blood, since the only people I know who are mad enough to go traipsing about our inner city neighborhood singing somewhat obscure Christmas carols are all in my family.

So, like anyone would, I promptly leapt to my feet (well, more like an ungraceful heave, but since no one was there to witness it, I’m counting it as a leap), pulled open the front door, stuck my head out into the cold night air, and sang the next verse of the song back to them.  Sure enough, the singers were Mariah, AnniPotts and Indy making their way from the Family Homestead to Mariah’s house, where they intended to watch a very silly movie.  They invited me to come along, and I promised that I would as soon as I’d changed into foot-gear more suitable for drifts of snow than my house slippers.  And that’s how I found myself last night, curled up on the floor of Mariah’s upstairs room, sewing away on wedding presents for the January weddings (I know not one, but two couples who are tying the knot extremely early in the New Year), and watching Knight and Day, a movie so charming that it almost makes you forget that the two romantic leads have absolutely no chemistry whatsoever.  It was pretty cool.

The alpaca actually came even earlier, on Christmas Day, as a gift from Lucy and Lucy’s Mom.  I have to say that of all my blog readers, those two are some of my favorites, right up there with Aunt M in Seattle, who doesn’t trust technology enough to leave an actual blog comment, but sends me the sweetest typewritten replies to posts, with occasional Starbucks gift cards, all mailed to Mr. Maker’s address, four doors down.  (One day I’m really going to reply, I swear!  I just, um, have to find where I left the stamps…)  Lucy and The Auteur had decided to give me a gift from Heifer International again this year, which is one of my favorite presents ever to receive.  I love the thought of being able to give poor families something that will materially improve their life, not just right now, but potentially for generations.  It’s one of the best things I can think of, and I wish I could do more personally to support them.  Which is why it makes me so very, very happy when people have given me the gift of giving to them in my honor.  Anyway, when Lucy’s Mom found out what Lucy had planned, she asked if she could add on to it.  And so on Christmas Day I got the most lovely email letting me know that Lucy and Lucy’s Mom had given me a share in a lovely assortment of fleece-bearing animals (I think a sheep, alpaca, angora rabbit and a goat).  I was so tired and at my limit for family interaction that I’m afraid I didn’t quite express how much I appreciate it, but hopefully they know now.

Tonight I am torn between going to my Catholic young adult group (we’re starting off our Marian consecration, and I know Flo would like me to be there), which is what I know I should do, and gallivanting down to Cincinnati to see Les Miserables with Lucy and Lucy’s Mom, which is what I want to do.  My Cunning Plan to get my family to go see Les Miserables on Christmas Day was foiled by my siblings sensibly pointing out that if I was going to be all up in arms about employers making people work on Thanksgiving, I shouldn’t be so ready to support employers making people work on Christmas. (Bah! Logic!)  So I still haven’t seen this movie that I want to see more than just about anything.

Plus, watching it with Lucy would be awesome.  She would sing along with Eponine, and I would sing along with Jean Valjean, and it would be marvelous.  You know that it would.  But, well, it would be a challenge to get from work to the theater down just over the border into Kentucky in time, plus there’s that pesky duty, and moreover, what I really, really need to be doing is finishing up those Christmas presents, cuz guess what?  Family Gift Giving Day is Saturday, as in day after tomorrow, and those doll clothes ain’t gonna make themselves!  While I can quite easily tote my sewing box along to my Catholic young adult group and sew away in between (hopefully) deeply meaningful reflections on whatever we’re talking about, it’s a little harder to do fine hand stitching in a dark movie theater while Anne Hathaway is making you cry.  So I know which choice I’m going to make.  I’m just, you know, going to pout about it for a little bit.

Maybe we can go see Les Miz for New Year’s?