Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas 2014

I love, love Christmas. This was a great year. A few things I want to remember:

  • Watching Elf (I love Buddy the Elf, he makes everyone feel special and has no guile or ill-will towards anyone. I wish I could be more like him.) while I made our traditional Christmas Eve dinner of french dip sandwiches, brown rice, and clam dip. Ben even said, "Great dinner, Mom," as he got up from the table. A true Christmas miracle.
  • Laughing with Shane's dad and grandma on Christmas Eve as we visited in her kitchen. I didn't ever think we would have Christmases like that again. I'm so grateful.This picture is priceless.

  • Visiting the mall, just because, on Christmas Eve day. I love to be out in the hustle and bustle, especially when I know I'm only there for fun, not for necessity. We found a shirt for Shane to wear on Christmas (because he likes to wash his clothes before he wears them, so he rarely has a Christmas shirt.) We attempted to cash in on some sub-$2 gas at Costco, but the line was insane.
  • Watching Shane play with his toy: a Keurig 2.0 coffee maker that his friend gave him for Christmas. 
  • Had a Coke (or two or three) for the first time since Halloween.
  • Ben's excitement when he saw his Christmas presents. He jumped for joy on more than one present. He didn't sleep at all Christmas Eve, and tried to get up at 1, 3:30, and 4:45, before succeeding at 6am. Yawn.
  • Observing Thomas. He understands Christmas now. But he still gets excited, and is a good kid about not letting on about the gig. He got one of his big presents early - like October early, so it I kept wondering if he was sad, or felt disappointed. But he rallied and had a great Christmas. I still remember Christmas when I was in 8th grade - I got a brown leather jacket that I can still smell, and some green stretchy pants and a big sweatshirt - but what I wanted was a Nintendo so I could play Mario Brothers like my friend Amber. I still remember how sad I was but trying to not let on. Christmas is hard when you grow up.
  • Eating breakfast with Shane's mom and stepdad.

  • Driving to my mom's in a beautiful snowstorm.
  • Having a nice, teary, one-sided conversation  with my dad in the quiet of his backyard. The snow was falling so softly on the trees. He would have loved the way they looked. I could feel him right there. I'm glad he had some time on Christmas, and that I found a quiet place to feel him.

  • Driving home in the second worst Christmas Day storm we have ever weathered.
  • Taking silly bow pictures with my sisters. I love them!

  • Admiring the beautiful Nativity set my mom gave us.
  • Thinking about the fact that next Christmas, it could all be so very, very different. My mom is having a pretty serious and complex back surgery in January, and things might have to change. I feel so lucky to have spent all my Christmases (except for one!) in my mom's home, with my family. I love them all so much.
  • Sitting with most of the boy crowd in the living room during dinner at my mom's. All my boys, Amy's sons and husband, and my oldest nephew Zack, and my great nephews all chatted together over the traditional ham, potatoes, green bean casserole, Brussels spouts casserole, and homemade rolls.
  • Embarrassing Thomas with an inappropriate conversation with half of the family. It's so fun to embarrass teenagers. Just mention their parent's having sex and they lose all composure.I love it. And my older sister is really good at it.
  • Being zen about it all. I didn't let anything get to me (or I tried really, really hard.) I didn't even rush everyone out the door the way I usually do. Or fussed about what was going on in the kitchen. It's true that the cat throwing up noises that Ben made (nonstop!) in the car almost put me over the edge, as did the hustle and bustle before dinner, but I did it. Oooommmm.
  • Wearing the running skirt, Deathly Hallows necklace, and slippers Shane bought me all morning. I've asked for slippers for years and years and he finally bought me some. The running skirt I had him buy in September when they were on sale, and the Deathly Hallows pendant was a wild card that I threw at him at the last minute after I realized how much I was envying Amy's. (Every time I think of it I think Amy's story about library patron who saw hers. Amy, you should put the quote in the comments so I can get it right!)
  • Perfecting the Christmas morning pull-apart rolls, which have been slightly undercooked for years and years until I realized that you have to put them in the pantry, instead of the fridge, overnight. Thanks, Pinterest!

Merry Christmas! I hope yours was lovely.