Here’s a new writing task I hope to do well with – a running diary of the Christmas Eve’s events which I hope to capture well in the moments they happen.  If for some crazy reason you have this set to RSS, be prepared to get a lot of update notifications.  Here we go:

Christmas Eve, December 24

2:30am – Pulled in to my sister’s house in Georgia after an 8 hour drive.  It was a fantastic drive in my brother’s brand new Toyota Camry.  I got to listen to all my favorite Christmas albums.  Really need to blog about favorite Christmas songs at some point.

3:00am – Settled in for a long winter’s nap…or so I thought.  No sooner had my head hit the pillow than Westin, my little nephew of 2, woke up and was in quite a perky mood.  I mean that literally.  He was happy.

7:00am – Woke up to a light touch on my hand – my nephew again.  He has learned in my absence how to get out of the crib without dying.  He climbed into bed with a couple of noises.  That drew my sister in.  Then my oldest nephew Will woke up and started joking around.  Then the nieces Melissa and Macie came in.  So much for that long winter’s nap.

9:00am – I did eek out a little more sleep after the group had gone.  Came down stairs to one of my dad’s great breakfasts: eggs, bacon, and buttered toast.  I then presented my nephews and nieces with a Christmas present that could not wait – A Slugs and Bugs Christmas CD.  It is children’s music and I have already found some that do not like it particularly, but the instrumentals are incredibly and artistically done.

10:00am – I was sorting through my phone and came across a music video that I apparently picked up in a music download that I was unaware of.  It was Relient K’s Sleigh Ride.  Just plain funny.

11:00am – Showed said video to Westin, along with videos for Owl City’s Fireflies and Coldplay’s Christmas Lights.  Couldn’t help it – he kept asking for “mah” (translation: Let’s watch more incredible music videos on your cool iPhone, please).

12:15pm – Listened to the S&B Christmas album with the kids.  They danced a lot.  Their mom liked them for the most part, too – though one song does reference blowing up the mailbox with a cherry bomb.  Her kids would need little encouragement to try such a thing.

1:30pm – Watched Charlie Brown’s Christmas with the kids.  That has long been my favorite.

3:30pm – Dragged the many boxes of presents I had shipped ahead of me downstairs for wrapping.  Mom had occupied the room I need with her own, so there went any surprises.  I know how to wrap gifts, but why keep my mom from the pleasure of doing it herself when she has far greater skill?

5:00pm – Left the house for supper with my mom and two brothers.  Nice little meal at Fazoli’s.

5:45pm – We had over an hour to kill so we decided to embark on a new Christmas tradition – go to Walmart and buy a cheap item for ourselves that we had to be able to play with when we got back.  I found a little battery operated speaker for my iPhone.  I quite need some soothing sound as I sleep with my nephews.

7:00pm – Went to the theatre to watch Voyage of the Dawn Treader.  First off, I’m used to previews, but the movie didn’t actually start until about 7:30pm.  That is a bit much.  Secondly, I knew going in the film would be nothing like the book.  There was no way that book would lend itself to the screen unaltered.  Having accepted that, I came wanting to see the film on its own merit.  The result – I left quite downhearted.  The acting and writing were none particularly good, save for William Poulter’s portrayal of Eustace.  What parts of the book they did use, they completely robbed of all its splendor.  Eustace’s transformation back into a boy is one of the biggest highlights of the book every time I read it.  It felt so rushed and completely ordinary in this movie telling.  The films have increasingly ripped the spiritual themes of the books out.  I’m not saying they should spell them out as such – they simply need to be there.  I do carry on, but after I read and blogged about such an amazing story this summer, I left the theatre rather sad.