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Do push ups until you finish singing Rudolph or eat a candy cane in under a minute? Oh, chute. I’ll take the ladder.

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My mom always loved celebrating the twelve days of Christmas. I can’t pinpoint the exact year that it started, but I remember it started while we lived with my Grandma. Our “Christmas” tree was actually a branch off of a large tree, painted white, and decorated with tinsel, white and silver bulbs, and lights. My mom would begin the twelve days with something sweet like a giant candy cane and end with a large gift off my Santa wishlist. I preferred it to the traditional present overload of Christmas that would leave me in a state of comatose and indecision as to what to play with first.

With the birth of my nephews, the tradition, of course, continued. By the time there were five grandchildren it became hectic and stressful to put together twelve separate presents for each of them in different households. The twelve days then transformed into a fabulous excuse for a pre-Christmas party.

The past few years, we celebrated in the form of a giant game show. This year, we wanted to keep all my mom’s traditions as alive as ever, and thanks to Nettie and my Dad especially, we were able to. Nettie made a life-size game board of Chutes & Ladders. The kids had their pick of prizes. The grandchildren were all together and really embraced the game. We all had a wonderful brunch and enjoyed the weather outside in my mom’s beautiful masterpiece of a backyard.

gameboard

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I know my mom would have really loved being here (physically) to see it. She always had the best ideas and was so willing to create something magical for the whole family. I’m really happy and grateful to my Dad for helping us uphold so many things that were special and important to my mom. It was very common for my mom to keep cash in her purse if she had a party or idea she was planning. Many times she would break into the stash to buy decorations that she had been coveting for awhile. When our twelve days of Christmas would come around, she would use the cash to buy really thoughtful and sweet gifts for the kids.

Knowing this, my Dad had imagined that she had some saved items in her purse, and began to clean it out. The idea of my mom’s purse needing to be cleaned out hurts my heart. I feel sad that my Dad had to do that on his own. When I arrived at his house on Friday night, I found him wrapping gifts, with a smile on his face. He asked me if a premium membership to this blog was still on my Christmas list, and that my mom had enough in her purse for it, and that it should go to something made in tribute to her. I reluctantly accepted and promise to give as much to her name and this site as I can.

 

Thank you Mami and Daddy. Thank you so much.

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