Saturday, December 25, 2010

&hearts &hearts &hearts

Every Christmas Eve, I go to my Grandma and Grandpa's house on my dad's side. We start off eating dinner of potato soup and clam chowder with bread sticks, then go Christmas caroling. It's not just any Christmas caroling though, we also play the chimes to Silent Night, Holy Night!

The chimes are made out of metal piping cut into different lengths and we hit it with a butter knife, causing it to produce sounds.

Each person get a specific note and then we have a big poster that we bring with us that has the notes on it. Some years there are just 7 or 8 of us, but other years all the aunts and uncles come to town and there could be almost 20 of us. We usually walk to a couple of houses that are in my grandparents neighborhood, and then we drive to other house around town. Sometimes we only go to 5 or 6 houses, but other times we have gone to like 15! The older us kids get, though, the fewer houses we go to because we get impatient.

This year there were there were about 8 people and we only went to a couple places. One of the places we went was to the hospital, where my step dad was. He had a couple of blocked arteries that he had surgery on. When we got there, he was about to be discharged so we had to wait a few minutes, and my grandma thought that would be a good time to practice singing, which was so embarrassing. The nurses just looked at us like we were crazy.

{The nurse also told us that the guy in bed 1 was about to get a straight line catheter, so it was a little embarrassing walking past him when we eventually went into the room, knowing what he had just gone through.}

I was really glad that we went to the hospital though because this surgery was bringing my mom down and you could tell that both of them really appreciated us singing to them. My stepdad may have even shed a tear or two. &hearts

The first song we sing is my favorite Christmas song, yet I can't remember the title! I tried to find it in google or youtube and it doesn't exist. It's driving me nutso. Here are the lyrics though.

Long ago one cold cold night,
bringing gifts of wonderous sights,
three kings seek a star above to honor the gift of love.

Now every winter when the wind blows
and the chill in the air warns of snow,
gifts are exchanged in remembrance of that special gift of love.

Ring the bells, ring the bells,
Christmas is coming,
Sound of hope, sound of joy,
for this gift of love.

Everyone sings the song all the way through, then the second time through, we each sing a different part. For example, 2 people would sing the first verse, 2 people would sing the second verse, and 2 people would sing the third verse, all at the same time, and it sounds beautiful. I just love it.

I don't believe in God, but I do enjoy this song because of the tune, and it's fun to sing. If any of you {ahem, Mormons} out there now a place to find a recording of this song, let me know! I would love to find one.

After caroling we usually go back home for eggnog and we open one present each. This year the presents weren't wrapped yet, but we had eggnog, talked for a while, and played Rummikub and Pounce. Over all it was a pretty good night.

But now today is Christmas, which means there are no stores open where I can buy tissues to blow my dripping nose. {Sorry, I know, that was kind of gross} Vince has had a cold for about 6 days and had gone through the 4 boxes we had, and now I'm sick. I've gone through a roll of toilet paper and my little nose is just so raw. I was so upset that I got this cold today because a lot of my family just got into town and I wanted to see them. I'm just hoping that I'll be better before they leave! {And I guess so that I can work tomorrow...}

It was really nice to be able to stay home with Vince and do nothing all day, though. We watched an all day marathon of The Real Housewives of New Jersey, {leading him to quote, "Bitch pulled my hair! Ahhh, bitch pulled my hair!" every half hour for the entire day} took naps, cuddled with the dog, cuddled with each other, and ended the night watching 3 hours of Storage Wars on TLC and hating Dave{anyone else watch that show?}. Clearly, we did nothing productive, I love moment likes this.

The other day we were walking with Roxi and I said, " I'm so thankful for this opportunity to live in a house that's close to the woods for Roxanne," and then started cracking up because I sounded so Mormon. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being Mormon, but I find it funny when I use phrases that Mormons use so often{especially when they start a prayer!}. But I truly am thankful for this opportunity. I'm so glad that I'm generally healthy, that Vince and the dog are healthy, that we're not in debt or overly stressed about money. I love my little family {and my big family} and I love the people I am surrounding myself with. I'm glad that I am mentally in a good state and that I can embrace things as they come instead of totally panicking, which is something I couldn't fully do at this time last year.

So, you guys, turn to the person next to you and give them a big hug and be thankful for all the opportunities you have!

Merry Christmas!

{Me, Suz, Nick, Pam, Will, Dad, Connor}


  1. Steff, I was at Young Women's tonight and learned that our girls are supposed to sing a song at our ward party in about 3 weeks. I'm kind of charge of music even though I'm really our ward camp director, so I sang for the girls a Christmas song I originally learned in choir about a million years ago when I was in 7th or 8th grade and asked if they'd be interested in learning it and performing it at the ward party in the place of a traditional Christmas song. The girls all loved the song, and one of them even said that if I could find sheet music or a performance of the song on YouTube, she'd try to figure out some chords to play on her guitar to accompany us with.

    That got me pretty excited, but I’ve long since forgotten the name of the song, so I started looking on the internet tonight by searching the lyrics. I started just by searching the first six or seven words of the song: "Long ago, one cold, cold night...," but I didn't get any result related to my song. So I typed a bit more: "... bringing gifts, a wondrous sight..." Still, no good results. Another try with the rest of the lyrics in the first verse: "...Three kings seek a star above to honor that gift of love."

    Lo and behold, there in my search results was a link to your Iffy Inklings blog!! It completely blew me away to find the song lyrics posted on your blog, but I love that it's your favorite Christmas song! I taught that song to the rest of the family probably close to 30 years ago now, and it's been a favorite for many of us ever since. I hope that after sharing it with the girls in my Young Women's group and the rest of our ward in a few weeks, it becomes a new favorite for other families, too.

    In fact, I'm going to copy the verses just as you posted them on your blog (with slightly different lyrics than I’ve remembered them) and have the girls learn and sing those. Somehow I really like the idea of the lyrics changing a bit over time and with divergent usage... kind of like a game of telephone. :) Anyway, I just thought I'd share with you what a completely funny, weird, and cool experience that was for me tonight!


    1. Ahh, that is so fun! I've searched high and low for a recording of it and have never found one, so if you happen to find one, pass it on. :) Grandma decided to change a word last Christmas, so now instead of 'seek a star' it's 'sought a star'. Totally throws me off.