Another Christmas has come and gone...although we are still basking in the afterglow of this one. We've celebrated 30 Christmas's together...more than each of us ever spent apart. It's interesting though because while we have created so many incredible traditions that are 'ours', we still strive to hold on to the traditions that we grew up with.
The whole not wanting to let go of the past...but wanting to forge ahead into the future thing.
We moved away after our 2nd year of marriage and after that lived far away from any family, which meant any holiday traditions we had needed to be recreated by the two of us. We were both so young and this was before the internet had even begun, so we were truly on our own. The traditions we've created are the perfect marriage of our two childhoods...and I have to say, they pretty much rock.
New this year?
This dog. Seriously...can we love anything more???
The best part about Christmas falling mid-week is the fact that we were both off work for the whole week. Brian's basketball schedule was in full swing so we have spent a lot of time on the road, but it's been fun. Lots of time in the car, lots of time sitting in bleachers, lots of losses (sadly) and lots of time grabbing food after as a whole family.
Matteo has been in town and so our house has truly been a houseful of boys once again...
and it's been fun.
Loud, but fun.
The weather in SoCal has been rather perfect...warm and sunny and fair. I actually considered having Christmas dinner outside...we could've easily done that with the help of the outside heaters and sweaters, but it was just a tad bit too chilly.
It was still flip flop weather though.
The shopping and the wrapping were all done a few days ahead of time, as was the cookie dough making. There is so much work that is put into making the holiday seem effortless...so. much. work. Lists and shopping and prep work...it's exhausting. Anyone who's done it before gets what I am talking about...and on the actual day, while running around like a chicken with your head cut off and smiling and reapplying your lipstick a few hundred times, you just make it all seem so simple.
Like it was all just thrown together.
But then everyone eats (in two seconds flat) and leaves and then the clean up happens and you finally put your feet up and think...wow. It's over. All that and it's over.
I love all of it...the planning and prepping and dabbing of lipstick and the cleaning up, but man oh man, the exhaustion that settles in afterwards?
So Christmas Eve...there was a candlelight church service that left me (sadly) wanting more. We came home and opened the standard Christmas Eve present of matching pj's
and toasted in Jesus's birth with champagne.
My mind is always on Mary on that night, on riding a donkey and delivering a baby in the cold and then of the knowing....the knowing that he didn't really belong to her.
My human self cannot even imagine how she did it.
The present opening happened rather late the next morning...our boys aren't young anymore and sleep is more important that anything right now, so we made breakfast first and then opened gifts. And then I did the whole thing where I've become my Grandmother and I can't help but wonder if this will be my last Christmas?
Life...it just seems so fragile now. Will we all be together next year? Will all my boys be home?
The rest of the day was a bit of a blur.
Cousins came over. The volume grew and more presents were opened.
More food was cooked.
Football was played in the sunshine.
Cars were dented.
Cookies were eaten.
Many, many cookies.
And now...now it's all over. All that work...all the preparation and planning and worry
and it's all over.
Time to plan the New Year's party.
I'm thankful for much this year...for a houseful of boys that were all here, for the rest of the family that filled our little house on our little street, for good food and champagne and super great gifts both given and received, for sunshiney weather, for sleep that came at just right the time.
This week leading up to New Years is here. We're off of work and school and aside from a quite a few far and away basketball games, we'll be home. We began a huge new project...an attic clean-out project that seemed like a great idea in theory, but is now making me completely stressed out because we pulled lots down and are reorganizing and repacking and purging.
And, truth be told, swearing...because seriously,
where did all this stuff come from and why did I feel the need to save it all?
Ah well...it will feel good once it's all done. Soon, I hope.
First up is sleep though...wonderful, glorious sleep.