Monday, December 26, 2011

Smucker Christmas Stories

Matt got a text a week or so before Christmas. From Amy, it said. "Can you get me some temporary tattoos for Christmas?"

He thought this was just a bit odd but maybe she wanted them for a fun project for the kids in Jamaica.

So he turned the town of Corvallis upside down looking unsuccessfully for temporary tattoos.

And just a day or so before Christmas he found out that Steven has been using Amy's phone ever since she went to Jamaica.


Emily has of course had A Christmas Carol on the brain, since the play dominated her life for the last three months.

Like Bob Cratchit and Martha, she had to work on Christmas Eve but came home in time for supper. In our case, instead of a goose (or, as Emily says, "The goose! The goose! Yeeaahhh, the GOOSE!" [yet another ACC quote] ) we had our annual Kenyan supper in honor of Steven coming home to us seven years ago on Christmas Eve.

But unlike Bob and Martha, Emily stopped at Fred Meyer after work. In front of the store she found someone giving away free kittens. She felt so sorry for them, trying to give away kittens on Christmas Eve, that she took one. Oddly, she felt sorrier for the people than for the cats.

"I knew there was always room at our house for one more kitten," she said dreamily, like we are just such a loving and open and warm family, like the Cratchits.

She named it Ebenezer.

On the way home the kitty turned on the windshield wipers, landed on Emily's head when she hit the brakes, and pooped, but graciously right on a paper napkin.

Since it's been here, the kitten has yowled. That's pretty much it. It yowls and yowls and yowls and tries to climb up the screen door and yowls and yowls and yowls some more. The girls wanted it inside but I said you have no idea if that cat has lice or fleas or worms or who knows what else. So it's outside with the other cats. It has food and water and a warm place to sleep. But it just yowls.

I venture that even the Cratchits would have run out of warm, friendly, always-room-for-one-more feelings by now.

Aunt Allene says she has barnacles on her skin. I am serious. She got a bad sunburn when she was a small child. They went to the coast and it was cloudy but she still got a bad burn, and now she has these rough barnacles on her face and back.

I have never heard such things described in such a way before, but Smucker aunts have a way of putting things like you never heard them before.

We all went to church together on Christmas morning, and the family obliged my cool-mom-fantasy by all sitting together on one pew. It was wonderful, all these amazing young people all in a row. But of course life never lets itself get too perfect, and the cost of my fulfilled fantasy was that a woman who innocently sat on the west end of the pew before most of us got there kind of got squished.

Steven took notes on the sermon. He does this for his Bible class at school, I hasten to add, lest you get too impressed. He wrote down the preacher's name and the sermon title, then he whispered to Matt, "What's the date today?"

"Dude. What is it?" Matt whispered back.

Steven couldn't remember.

Matt refused to tell him.

Matt says it took 2 minutes and 38 seconds for Steven to figure out what the date was.


  1. your stories are so funny. I especially like your deadpan about the Smucker aunts!
    and the family beautifully together in church.

  2. Your family never fails to crack me up. Keep the stories coming!

  3. Steven! ROTFL...

    Oh. And the temporary tattoos...I have seen them in those gumball machine thingies. I think it would have been hilarious if he'd have found out it wasn't Amy AFTER sending them to her. lol

  4. I, too, have what I call "barnacles" on my torso. I grew up in So. California and had way too many sun over exposures. Plus, my husband and I lived on a boat in San Diego for 15 years with lots of sun!

  5. Love the stories especially the brothers...I think the tattoo "gumball" machine should get a visit and the tattoos delivered to the requesting party with a suggestion that Amy be sent something SHE wants!

  6. we too did the cool thing of our family all sitting on the same bench in church on Christmas day. except we now need more than one bench due to boyfriends and such.
    Just found out my son is your son's roommate at EBI or your son is my son's roommate. what a way to bring the west and east together.
    Nancy Lapp

  7. Well, Nancy, I suggest we keep each other informed if there's stuff that either boy might decide not to tell his own mom but his roommates decide to tell theirs. :-)