Sunday, December 18, 2011

A Very Callahan Christmas

Aside from fugly sweater contests and eggnog shooters, the Callahan Grange Christmas Party is one of our favorite traditions.  The Boliver crew puts together a terrific evening that's heavy on Christmas cheer: great food, tons of desserts, and a visit from Santa.  The Santa visit is my favorite part, not because he lets me sit on his lap (Which he doesn't, anymore.), but because of the commotion he creates.  The older kids start buzzing around like smacked tuning forks as soon as someone mentions that he's on his way.  The mid-younger kids are the most fun, because they are the most confused.  Santa is still just a big freaky stranger to them, but he's also the dude who doles out gifts.  And the littlest kids really have no idea what's in store for them.  One minute they're chilling with a sippy cup, the next minute someone plops them on a stranger's lap and tells them to smile for the picture.  I'd be pissed, too, if that happened to me.

Because this is a Callahan event, we can always expect something unusual to happen.  One year Santa seemed to be a sixteen year old boy.  Jolly, yes, but chubby and hairy, no.  Another year I think Santa had braids.  But this year's Santa nailed it, right down to the genuine home-grown white beard and Mrs. Claus entourage.  Dylan was in awe.  Fortunately, she's quit asking Santa for random items (2009: a turtle), but now has a "go-to" toy whenever anyone puts her on the spot (2010, 2011: a dolly).

The fear of Santa torch was passed smoothly from Dylan to Grady and the boy did not disappoint.  He didn't necessarily cry when we plopped him on St. Nick's lap, but rather howled and looked like a man fighting for his life.  He squirmed, twisted, and fought like a cornered wolverine.  Santa maintained composure and said, "Ho, ho!  He's wiggly!" while he looked at me with eyes that begged, "Please help."

But, like I mentioned, it wouldn't be a Callahan Christmas without a twist, and we were treated to an extra-special one.  This year, we ate upstairs in a building that probably was around when Jesus was born.  Eating upstairs is a lot like getting stuck at the kids' table for Thanksgiving.  There were a handful of adults who were "supervising," and a whirlwind of kids, all running around at full speed.  I kept thinking, "Some kid's getting stitches tonight."  I would have been right, I'm sure, but just when the energy peaked, the power went out.  The room instantly turned dark as the inside of a cow (that's dark).  Kid's screamed, parents scrambled, and soon everyone was rounded up and hurried downstairs.

Luckily, what Callahan lacks in population, it makes up for it in ingenuity.  Candles, flashlights, and maybe even a flare, were lighted and the Grange transformed from a dark cave to a cozy Christmas.  We stayed and the soft lights and power outage made everyone a little giddy.  It felt like a real Christmas party; we didn't break into any spontaneous caroling or pause awkwardly under the mistletoe, but the kids got to visit with Santa and Regina and I got all the benefits of a great Christmas party without the nasty eggnog shooter hangover.  Win-win.  Merry Christmas.

1 comment:

Jstar said...

And by 'dolly' I am SURE she means Blythe!!