As we rolled into Toledo to do Christmas with my dad (we alternate years and this year is a Koproski Christmas) I got a touch nervous.
I just didn't know what to expect as we celebrated with out my mom this year. She always made Christmas super special and was very much into *tradition*. I guess the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.
But once we walked through the doors, I realized my dad had gone out of his way to make this first Christmas without her really special. He had decorated the outside of his little apartment (and I think my mom would have actually approved.) The inside had some special touches as well. he had put up all the decorations my mom had recently used. And he had his own little touch. This cute little candy dish that had 3 of each kind of candy. The kids obviously loved this!
He had painstakingly chosen candy they would love.
My dad could barely wait to open gifts. He has been working on getting *just the right stuff* since Thanksgiving. (Secretly, I think it has given him a project to work on and he enjoyed getting it just right.)
He did not disappoint. Turner was in love with his Transformer.
The boys also got remote control trucks and Olivia got a bag full of art stuff. All three kids were occupied the whole time we were there.
Later that evening my dad took us out for a steak dinner. It was delicious and the kids behaved and it actually felt like Christmas.
But perhaps the BEST part of our Christmas celebration was my gift. (Because let's face it, I'm still an only child at heart!) As I mentioned before, this is the first year without a stocking. I'm not going to lie, its been a bit tough to swallow.
And at the risk of making Santa sound like white trash, one of the staples in my stocking since I was about 10 has been an Ohio Lottery scratch off. Over the years I have won about the total sum of twenty bucks.
Tucked inside my gift box of Gap gift cards was an Ohio Lottery scratch off. Which shows how thoughtful my dad had been. The sight of that alone nearly made me fall into a heap and cry as I thought of how happy my mom would be that the tradition continues.
Then I began to scratch. I won $25 off the bat. I was like, "All right, I just won twenty five dollars!" Then I scratched some more. "Woah, I just won another $25!" then it was, "Oh man, I just got another fifty bucks!" Then I got positively giddy. I revealed $100. When all was said and done I declared myself a $450 winner! The whole time Steve kept saying things like, "Are you sure you're doing it right?" He's such a buzz kill. Finally my dad said, "Let me see that!"
They all think I'm a moron.
Which apparently I am. Because after further inspection, we found I had actually won FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS! At which point I had to excuse myself from the room because I nearly tinkled in my pants. So think what you like about Santa being shady by providing lottery tickets in a stocking, today I'm thinking he's the bomb!
And PS... I'm currently hiding the five hundred dollars in a very safe spot so it doesn't go to paying bills. Because I know that's the way my mom would have wanted it!