The First “Real” Christmas

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Tom and I have had many a Christmas together.  They have all been great, in different reasons.  I’m not going to lie, the first Christmas we had as a couple was amazing.  It was when I learned that Tom had the ability to lie to me about a gift.  He promised that he didn’t buy me a gun and not to get my hopes up.  Christmas morning I opened the most beautiful pink 1911 with mother of pearl hand grips.  Years later he got me again with the old, “honey don’t get your hopes up.  I’m not proposing to you on this trip.”  The whole drive home I was distracted by a big perfect diamond on my left hand.  This Christmas was different though than years past.

In the world of law enforcement sometimes Christmas morning is at 4:30 PM (1630).  Or 2:00 AM (0200).  Sometimes Christmas is the 23rd, or the 27th.  It’s not about what day it is or what time it is, it’s about having the family time together, whenever it works out.  Tom and I have made our peace with it, and it makes no difference.  Getting Christmas off as a cop is nothing to count on.  Having Christmas off as a dispatcher is nothing to count on.  Some agencies go with the ‘luck-of-the-rotation-draw’ and some allow you to take the day off, but that requires pretty high seniority.  The chances of both a cop and a dispatcher magically getting Christmas off together, pretty much impossible.

Now that I am not dispatching, we only have one shift work schedule to handle.  The thing about old cops is that they can’t wait to have the seniority to get off that horrible relaxing, exciting and wonderful night shift.  They all run away to day shift (which is bright, loud, boring and FULL of admin).  Why anyone would choose to go there is beyond me.  Either way, on Tom’s platoon he holds high enough seniority to get Christmas Eve and Christmas day off.  We got to have Carter this year for Christmas too.

This is the first year that the stars have aligned in such a way that Tom could have Christmas Eve and Christmas day free from work and that Carter could be here with us for ALL of Christmas Eve and all of Christmas and then some.

If you aren’t on Facebook, or aren’t following me on Facebook, I’m going to share a post I wrote on Christmas Eve at 9:30 pm.

I know I haven’t been a real dispatcher for two years now, but a part of me still feels a bit guilty being home with my family Christmas Eve night AND Christmas day.  Tom has seniority now so we are both here with Carter.  Tonight, Tom asked Carter what his favorite Christmas memory was.  He replied, “Now. Getting to spend our first real Christmas all together.” 

Thanks to the badges and the headsets covering for us.  I know what it’s like and I’m appreciative of all you do and the sleep you’re losing to work and still make a perfect Christmas for your family. 

Nothing like having an 8-year old punch you in the heart.  Man, I love that kiddo.

*****

On the 21st we did a Christmas light tour in Spokane and Tom surprised us with Dairy queen blizzards.  The dogs were with us and got hamburgers and they were quite pleased with dad’s plan.  There were many great light displays, but nothing compared to the ‘Big tree’.  It’s fantastic and the lights twinkle and flash in all different orders.

big tree

The night of the 22nd we surprised Carter and a few of his friends with a limo light tour.  Monica and I made treat buckets for the kiddos and my mom made a scavenger hunt of lights to look for throughout the journey.

limo snack buckets

The snack buckets included carrots & ranch dressing in fancy goblets, reindeer poop (raisins), chex mix, candy canes, snowman string cheese, individual sparkling cider bottles, Grinch popcorn, and other fun snacks.

limo

limo kids with sparkling cider

limo mon and me

Monica made us Merry Mimosa mugs customized with our names.

The boys thought it was hilarious that they were riding in a fancy limo eating a bucket of peanut butter each.

limo peanut butter

We even brought Home Alone to watch on the flat screen in the limo while in between light displays.  The kiddos all had a blast.

****

Christmas Eve morning Tom took us to the very fancy Davenport Brunch.  It was delicious.

davenport tree

Carter asked us if they had any napkins, which was confusing because his linen napkin was in his lap.  We explained that the linen square in his lap was his napkin.  He was confused, “They throw these away?”  Apparently our lack of fanciness was catching up to us.  He now understands that linen napkins can be laundered.

While we were waiting for our reservation, I became my mom for a few moments.  I explained to Carter the importance of looking up in older buildings and that even if the design is not your favorite style, there is much to be appreciated about the attention to detail that went into each pillar and beam and the intricate carvings.

davenport lobby

The chocolate fountain was most certainly Carter’s favorite.

****

Each year I add a building to my Christmas village.  This year, I finally decided to be realistic and add something I would certainly need were it a village I truly inhabited.

christmas village

village pharmacy

village pharmacy 2

It’s safe to say it was a truly wonderful first “real” Christmas all together.

 

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