Sunday, December 26, 2021

A Happy, Merry Christmas - Week of Dec. 20th

It was hard to believe that Christmas was only a few days only.  
Sometimes we wonder where things originate.  
The phrase "Merry Christmas" made us do a bit of research. 
The greeting dates back to at least 1534 in London, when it was written in a letter sent to Henry VIII's chief minister Thomas Cromwell from bishop John Fisher. Scholars also note the phrase was used in the 16th century English carol "We Wish You a Merry Christmas." 
It's important to note that "Happy Christmas" hasn't faded completely- it's still widely used in England. This is believed to be because "happy" took on a higher class connotation than "merry," which was associated with the rowdiness of the lower classes. The royal family adopted "Happy Christmas" as their preferred greeting, and others took note. (In fact, each year, Queen Elizabeth continues to wish her citizens a "Happy Christmas," rather than a merry one.) So when did "Happy Christmas" become "Merry Christmas" in the U.S.? Historians believe it might boil down to a simple grammatical lesson. "Happy" is a word that describes an inner emotional condition, while "merry" is more of a behavior descriptor—something active and maybe even raucous. Consider, for example, the free-spirited act of "merry-making" versus the state of simply "being happy." As both words evolved and changed meanings over time, people slowly stopped using "merry" as its own individual word during the 18th and 19th centuries. It stuck around in common phrases like "the more, the merrier," as well as in things like Christmas songs and stories, largely due to the influence of Charles Dickens. The Victorian Christmas went on to define many of today's Christmas traditions.
Gearing up for some merriment ourselves, we were excited to welcome Oma and Opa Wednesday afternoon.  Cam proudly showed off his blanket that he made in class as a present for his family.  
After a trip to Heidi's Farm stand, Cam and his grandma were on a mission to make more applesauce. Two separate batches were done in record time.

With all of the festivities, one member of the family who doesn't get as much attention is our cat, Stella. 
Cam was insistent on giving her a gift. Jane picked up a new cozy pet bed for her.  Cameron talked to Stella about it and presented it to her.
After leaving it upstairs, our feline completed a thorough investigation and deemed it worthy of her resting in the new napping place.
Christmas Eve was relaxing and spent indoors. Late in the afternoon we all watched a nearby church service online.  We dined on delicious flank steak and mashed potatoes and leisurely capped off the evening watching the classic movie "Santa Claus" with everyone.

On Christmas Day, we all slept in and took our time with gift giving activities.  Each of us always seems more excited for someone to open a gift given almost more than revealing gifts received.
Highlights included battery-operated heated gloves and hand warmers for the family, books for all, a robot hand for Cam, a smoker for Chris, a handmade neon sign for Jane's office, games for the family, puzzles, new clothes for all and a mini laptop for Jane.

Chris and Cam spent a good part of the day assembling the robot hand while a tasty ham was cooking for Christmas Day dinner.  Cam's grandparents and Jane busied themselves with putting things away and reveling in all of the goodies.  Oma read two new books with her grandson while they were both wrapped in a warm blanket.

With each passing year, moments and memories seem to carry more meaning.  Our thanks go out to Oma and Opa for their company,  delicious holiday treats, extra help and gifts!  And a big thank you to Ms. Ann who had fun with Cam in the beginning of the week while Chris and Jane finished up work activities.
Although we didn't see any extended family this holiday, we were content with our small group.  If good things come in small packages, great things come in small gatherings!

Camology Quotes:

Leading up to Christmas, Cam's excitement seems to heighten with each passing day.  During his shower one evening this week, he was almost shouting when chatting with his mom.  Jane noted that he was talking very loudly to which her son replied...
"Ok, I can turn my volume down, Mom!"

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