#2,194 Christmas Day.
by Erin Napier
Very little about our Christmas routine is routine since our families have too many moving parts to make a plan we stick with every year, but in recent years two thing are for sure: Ben and I wake up and exchange our gifts alone, then have breakfast with Jim, Mal and Lucy. This morning, Ben and I discovered there was a real theme in our gift giving… Books. He gave me a signed copy of Rick Bragg’s newest book, which I’ve been wanting since the day I heard about its impending release. And he said “DON’T buy it for yourself, please.” He snuck away from me in Square Books on our anniversary to pick it up.
He opened his gifts, a new Estwing hammer (ironically), a new shirt from Duluth Trading Co., and a new book… A Christmas Carol, from the Penguin Classics Collection.
Then he gave me my last 2 gifts… Several of The Penguin Classics collection (including A Christmas Carol!) and a note with them…
So I did…
Where I found the most beautiful bookcase at the top of the landing, just like the one that was there when we first decided to buy the house. We thought it was a built-in case, but Mrs. Mary Lynn took it with her when she moved so he made me a new one from reclaimed oak. It fits just like a glove in that little nook between the bedrooms upstairs.
Then breakfast with the Razzles, which we’ve decided will be our tradition going forward forever and ever amen, if we can possibly swing it. Always, Mallorie’s homemade donuts with glaze on the side.
We gave Lucy a toy coffee making set, and she made us all coffee about 28 times during breakfast, which is adorable.
Next, we showered up and headed to Collins for lunch with Ben’s family, where some very tall tales and old stories were told. After such a late night hanging out with Jesse, I fell asleep sitting straight up on the couch after that huge lunch.
Then for supper we went to my parents for gun shooting (IN SHORTS, UGH!), gift opening and steaks.
This Christmas, it was all about John Walker. This is his first year to understand about gifts and Santa and all, and so we all went a little overboard maybe.
Mama went the sentimental and vintage route with all of our gifts this year, giving us each one thing we wanted, then one thing that was special, from years past. Clark and Ben both got my grandfather Clark’s Servicemen’s Devotional for Navy and Army that he was required to carry with him at all times as he traveled the world in World War II. This is hands-down the most special gift of the night, especially since Clark opened his first and Ben thought it was so cool and so special, then he had one waiting for him when he opened his gifts too.
They also gave him an encyclopedia of millwork and cabinetry from the early 1970s that he was in love with.
Since Walker’s got a major obsession with all things trains and trucks, we gave him an old-fashioned wooden train whistle. When he first heard Clark make that intoxicating choo-choooooo, he was in love. He walked around all night blowing his whistle and asking to watch the Thomas the Train DVD mama got for him.
Joanna’s marketing manager also sent along a size small Magnolia shirt for mama, which she was tickled about.
And I got one of Clark’s old Golden Books, aptly titled:
We gave mama a sweatshirt with one of my favorite Walter Anderson prints:
And then… Walker opened the big gift from us. When he tore off the paper and found Chewbacca in the box, he got so upset that he was trapped in there! He said “you okay? you okay?” to Chewie’s gargling howls from inside the box. As Clark tried to cut him free from the twist-ties holding him inside his cardboard prison, Walker was petting his head.
Free at last!
But Clark may steal him.
Mama also found Clark’s old E.T. toboggan from 1983, which made us all jealous and Walker wore it all night.
Merry Christmas from 1983, y’all!
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I’m Erin Napier, co-owner of Laurel Mercantile Co. and Scotsman Co. with my husband, Ben. I’m an artist and he’s a craftsman and we help people moving to our town find and restore old houses on HGTV’s Home Town. In an effort to count my blessings, this journal has documented only the good things that happen on each and every day of my life since January 1, 2010. I am a wife, a daughter, a homebody, a bubble bath lover, a book reader, a sentimental, stressed out, slightly obsessive southerner. Welcome!