Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas itself...

On Christmas Eve, Dan and I sat in front of a cozy fire chatting and enjoying some yummy beverages. The house was quiet and dark.  Cookies and carrots were laid out for Santa and his reindeer. Packages were wrapped and under the tree.  Cinnamon rolls were ready for warming in the morning.  All that needed to be done was done.

It was amazing.  We had been to Christmas Mass at 4:00, and then shared clam chowder with Dan's family before coming home and getting ready for bed. It had gone fairly smoothly, and instead of having hours of rushing left to do, all we had to do was enjoy the time.  I'm not sure that's ever happened before or that it will ever happen again.  But for now I am going to revel in the perfect calm that it was.

Now, that may lead you to believe that Christmas itself was the opposite.  That sitting by the fire was the calm before the storm.  I was afraid of that, myself. Instead, the opposite happened.  It seems that entering Christmas with such calm allowed the calm to just continue and flow through the whole holiday.

We all slept until just after seven, when both boys started to squirm in our bed (they had both joined us at different points in the night) and whispered, "Mama, it's Christmas. Can we get up now?" I had already been lying there awake, so it was easy to respond in the affirmative.  We discussed the plan: 1. Stockings 2. Santa Presents 3. Breakfast.  And off we ran. The boys were so excited that Santa had listened to them so well - they each got exactly what they were hoping for - a baby for Luke and Legos for Max.

Breakfast was protein-filled eggs and sausage, with my favorite cinnamon rolls as a special treat.  We've learned over the years that both Dan and Luke need that to help them get through the excitement of the day, and the time spent eating a solid breakfast is more than worth it for stable blood sugar! After that it was on to opening presents from Aunt Erin and Uncle Alex before we iChatted with them.  It's always tough to be away from my family on Christmas, but it was nice knowing that they were all together and having a chance to talk with them. The boys were also lucky enough to get to open gifts from Grandpa Robert and Grandma Mary.

This year was our year to celebrate with Dan's family, so Aunt Carrie (Dan's sister) joined us mid-morning.  She is such a fabulous person to have around - sweet, funny, helpful and brilliant.  The boys happily showed her their new gifts and started right into playing.  After a light lunch and quiet time (yes, even on Christmas the boys have 1 hour of quiet time), Dan's parents came over.  The laughter and conversation grew right along with the present pile. 

While dinner was cooking, we opened some  presents.  The boys did a great job this year of reading tags and delivering presents to the right people (most of the time!) , allowing the  grown-ups the chance to just sit back and relax.  Around 4:00 we stopped and had our dinner (a marvelous beef tenderloin, mashed potatoes, salad, rolls, and broccoli), before returning to the gifts.

It really was a marvelously laid-back day.  The shorter bursts of present opening worked better for the boys than one long session.  Eating our way through the day wasn't bad either.  And I think we all ended the day feeling very spoiled - both by the gifts and the love.  I really can't say enough abut how nice it all was.  We are all so very fortunate.

Here are a few more shots from the day:

Brown paper packages, tied up with string

Luke sharing stories with Aunt Carrie

Max loving his remote control car

Grandma reading stories

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