Remembering Christmas in Dixie

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 3, 2007

I promised in last week's column to catch you up on the family's holiday celebration, so here goes.

Mama loved her stocking stuffers. I didn't make it easy on the old girl. Every little thing was wrapped and taped but she put forward a valiant effort and I was rewarded with a brilliant smile as she dug through all the goodies.

Afterwards, I helped her pick out the Christmas jewelry to wear for last Saturday's trip to Birmingham to be with my two sisters and their families.

I guess I chose well. My sister Deb declared Mom looked just like Mrs. Santa herself with her shiny red stocking pendant, matching earrings and Christmas bracelet (all courtesy of Special Finds by Janice) setting off her favorite blue and red Santa sweatshirt.

The blue brought the sparkle out in those eyes, too.

Speaking of sparkling blue eyes, my little great-niece, Abbi, has done the impossible.

She's gotten even cuter, and smarter, and more adorable. She's about 19 months old now, with a full set of gorgeous little teeth, near shoulder-length hair that's naturally streaked with gold (from her Mama) and those irresistible rosy, round cheeks.

Abbi says things like &#8220Pease” and &#8220thank oo” and the most beautiful world in the English language (according to my completely unbiased sister), &#8220Grammi.”

It was great fun watching Abbi and her

lovely big sister, ten-year-old Hope, unwrapping all their gifts. Abbi's still at that age when the toys (and giftwrap itself) are of primary interest, but Hope, a true girly-girl, also revels in new clothes and jewelry.

I got a great chuckle over Deb's gift to me. It's a nativity set - an all-cat nativity set. You don't find those just anywhere!

I swear one of the Wise Men looks an awful lot like our orange tom, Cheeto.

&#8220Good, now you can spare the poor cat the indignity of getting dressed in a robe and crown,” Benny quipped.

(Listen, I haven't dressed up a cat for the holidays in years. But you really ought to see the photos of Ginger in her younger days with that tiny Santa's hat on her head. She was so adorableŠembarrassed, but adorable.)

Sunday morning we joined Deb and her family at church while Mom returned to Foley to spend Christmas and New Year's with Sara and Tony (Sara says she's keeping her straight - but it isn't easy).

After getting back to Greenville Sunday afternoon, Benny and I had gift exchange time with Benny's dad and his brother Paul, sister-in-law Donna and nephew Jeffrey.

Afterwards, we watched the footage Benny taped and smiled (and groaned) at ourselves on the TV screen.

Following our busy weekend, Christmas Day was rather anti-climactic. We watched some of the Disney Christmas Parade; I wore my new red and white snowflake flannel jammies all day, snuggled with my cats and had a most relaxing time.

On the 26th, Mr. A.C. flew &#8220into the elements” as our late, great neighbor Minerva Leverette used to say. Papa-in-law went to spend a week with the boys down in Texas.

And so Benny and I have been feeding Mr. A.C.'s cat, Mama's two cats and our (gulp) ten cats and dogs.

That was Christmas in Dixie for this crew; hope yours was a good one, too.

Angie Long is Lifestyles reporter for The Greenville Advocate. She can be reached at 382-3111 ext. 132 or via email at