It’s been fourteen days since Christmas and I’m finally getting around to blogging about the holidays. I haven’t posted about the holidays on time for the last five years and I don’t see that changing in the years to come. 

We celebrated our family Christmas the Sunday before Christmas. We went to church in the morning, swung by CVS because nothing screams festive like a three-foot long receipt and opened our gifts after lunch. I had all the gifts we were bringing on our trip separate from the gifts that still needed to be mailed separate from the gifts we would be opening that day. To me, they were organized as each group had its own wrapping paper. To the uneducated, it was a jumble of gifts and the labels on some had fallen off. Thanks to this clear as mud system, half the opening time was spent having conversations about not opening the wrong gifts. Christopher and Annabelle gave me a Downton Abby bell. I knew they had gotten it because AB kept telling me, “Mama, you’re going to love what we gave you. I can’t tell you what it is, but it starts with a B and came all the way from England. I’ve never seen anything that came from England!” Sometimes she’d go so far as to add “It goes ding ding!” 
Lucy keeps climbing up the tree so the angel is constantly crooked.

The next morning we blissfully and ignorantly set out on what was to become a horrific travel day. The plane that was supposed to leave at 6:21 in the morning wasn’t there because nobody remembered to fly it in. This is a tiny airport that only has two flights at exactly the same time every day. It’s wasn’t as if the flight was a surprise. When the plane finally arrived hours late, we were delayed waiting for flight plan and gas approval. Just as we got started taxiing down the runway, there was a thud at the front of the plane. “Ladies and gentlemen, we’ll be experiencing a small delay. The wheels on the front of the plane fell off and maintenance will have to come look at it.” Merry Christmas, everyone! We were about to take off in a plane with wheel issues! A while later, “Ladies and gentlemen, maintenance has suggested we turn the engine off for about five minutes then turn it back on.” I’m no plane expert, but I know WITHOUT A DOUBT that turning it on and off won’t fix a wheel that fell off. The plane was towed back to the airport where we all deboarded and Delta was flooded with calls from upset customers. The people at the desk didn’t know what to do besides call in backup maintenance from an hour away. They wouldn’t give us access to our gate-checked bag so Christopher couldn’t get his keys and we couldn’t leave for lunch. We could see the spot under the plane where the bag was so I almost skipped out there and grabbed it myself. 
This whole time we were barely 20 minutes from home but we couldn’t leave the airport. Several hours later, a plane sent to rescue us appeared like an angel from the heavens. The pilots from the new plane walked in and wondered why no one was on the runway to greet them and why they didn’t hear anything from air traffic control. None of the workers at the tiny airport knew the rescue plane was coming. They were completely clueless. God bless the pilot who looked like a Hallmark actor for rescuing us. If not for him we’d still be in that tiny waiting area. 

What felt like years later, we made it to Williamsburg. Annabelle was THRILLED to be with the cousins. Ever since she listened to the Kirsten stories she’s wanted to do a Saint Lucia day celebration. Stephanie happened to find a white dress with red sash is exactly the style Saint Lucia wore. The girls went along with AB’s idea and they brought us milk and cookies. Seeing them together was one of my favorite parts of the trip.