Thursday, December 27, 2012

Unwrapping the Christmas Break

Well, between my laptop deciding to implode on me and finishing up the certification course and taking the certification exam before I took the final for the course, immediately followed by Christmas which included my son Marc coming into town for a few days, you can imagine how wonderfully crazy things have been. 

Okay.  So maybe the preparing for the exam and taking the final after taking the exam was not wonderful.  It was stressful and frustrating while also being a clear statement of my expectations for bigger better things in 2013.

My friend Pia sent me this quick text this morning:  I love reading about the joy your family brings you!

That is how I am feeling.  Marc arrived on Sunday and we’ve been enjoying him to the fullest.  He and Matt went out to buy Bibi a Christmas present and, on Monday morning, Joe came over and I had the pleasure of making our traditional Christmas Eve breakfast—Egg Nog Cream of Wheat.  Rob doesn’t like it because, truth be told, you really have to like egg nog to like this but it was fun to have my boys here, starting our Christmas Eve off with a family tradition with only Shira missing.

Shira came later on Christmas Eve and helped amuse Marc as I continued to prepare for the big day.  I was still making the numbered gift tags and I’ve decided that in 2013 I’m going to work on making something more permanent using scrapbooking techniques and maybe some holiday cards from previous years.  Doing this will save me the bother of making new tags each and every year.

Each and every year

(By now you’ve noticed I’m already giving myself a reading challenge and promising myself to use my scrapbooking resources.  I have more commitments coming.  I'll write more posts soon.)

Our traditional Christmas Eve dinner is pizza and Rob made some really good ones, making sure that Shira and Marc both had their favorites (spinach white pizza and sausage, respectively).  I was truly satiated by the time we were done.  Then we watched How to Train Your Dragon which Rob and I had already watched and enjoyed very much.  The “children” both liked it as well.

I was up after midnight and Rob was up later still but that didn’t keep us all from being up earlier than Joe, Erin, and Brianna, apparently.  Not that it mattered.  I still wasn’t ready when they showed up.  I should have enlisted some help but I have it all settled down into a routine that doesn’t require a lot of thought from me. 

My not being ready allowed time for everyone to settle in before we began unwrapping gifts, most of which were for Bibi but too many were also there for me and Rob.  Nothing too much but enough to make me feel badly that I couldn’t not give my children more. 

They deserve more.  Much more.  Always more.

Of course there was a moment where Bibi was frustrated and another when she cried. We expect these things to happen.  Especially when she’s had so much happening from one day to the next.  (Bear in mind, on the day my laptop left my side, we took her to Build-a-Bear where we spent the money my mother to us for the purpose of her choosing a gift for herself and some outfits and such.  That was a Tuesday and her birthday was the 16th, a Monday so we had a birthday with gifts and cake.  Then there was birthday with Erin’s family and Christmas with Erin’s family and then more Christmas so this poor child was understandably overwhelmed, over-stimulated, and exhausted.  Heck!  I was exhausted for her.)

Once again, I simply must say that the year I came up with the idea of doing a buffet rather than cooking was a brilliant move on my part.  I shall never regret that decision.  We had cheese and pâté, cookies and mints, fresh fruit and nuts.  When Thomas arrived with a box of chocolates, we added that to the buffet.  When Adam showed up with his adorable girlfriend, we settled down to play some board games.  Apples to Apples and Munchkin.

This year, everyone stayed fairly late in spite of the fact that Erin had an early start to her day.  In spite of her needing to be at work at 4am, they were all here after 10:30.  I was up until midnight, cleaning dishes and such but the place looked remarkably clean, all things considered.  You cannot imagine how chaotic things were.  It looked like several things exploded but, by the time everyone had gone, it honestly didn’t look that bad. 

The best gift I got?  Well, I’ve inserted images of the things I received but the best gift of all was having my family all here.  I wanted Rob to go home this year to see his family but, when I knew Marc would be here for Christmas, I was grateful we couldn’t afford to send him home for the holidays.  Selfish person that I am, having him her—with Marc, with Shira, with Joe and Erin and Bibi—made my holiday as perfect as perfect could be. 

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