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Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

With one hour and four minutes left to the holiday, I feel like I can still make this post to wish all my blog friends a very Merry Christmas.

This year, our family had one of the best Christmases ever.

Absolutely nothing special happened.

Which is why I think it was the best.

Christmas Eve, we stayed home and had a simple and quiet candlelit dinner. I made potted beef, which is a traditional meal my Italian grandmother used to make for Christmas. I can't confirm it's an actual Italian dish, and in fact, can't find a recipe that matches what we make, so I have no idea what it would be called. Still, it was really wonderful to enjoy a family tradition from my side of the family. Then, we read the Christmas story from the Bible and had communion for the first time as a family. It was really wonderful. My eight year old loved it and the four year old sang Christmas carols about Jesus being on fire. But that's pretty typical for our family and I think that was part of the charm.

Then, we let the girls open one gift each, and they both ended up pulling out gifts they loved. We were bratty to the 8 year old and had wrapped a stuffed dragon with the tail sticking out of the box, and it was fun messing with them over the present.

After the girls played with the new toys, they went to bed and I worked on cleaning the rest of the house. This was the first Christmas I can remember where I wasn't up until midnight wrapping gifts. Number one because we bought less, number two because we weren't traveling (wrapped gifts take up more space), and number three because I've been doing more wrapping as I go. Believe it or not, cleaning house was really relaxing for me... it felt really good to do something nice for myself. And to realize that I was going to wake up in the morning and do nothing more than enjoy our time as a family. I even pre-prepped breakfast so all I'd have to do is pop it into the oven.

Oddly enough, I couldn't sleep Christmas Eve. Partially because I was so excited to see the kids and how they'd react to their gifts. Mostly because I drank half a Dr. Pepper and caffeine at night is never a good idea for me.

The kiddos got up before the sun. Those of you who know me well know this, in my opinion, is worse than Chinese water torture. But I got up anyway, and it was super cool to see how much they loved their presents. We took our time, savoring the unwrapping of the gifts. We really hadn't spent all that much money... most of the gifts were super on sale or secondhand. I buy throughout the year, so I'd gotten most of my shopping done early. But the girls loved them and thought they were the best ever. Love that!

I did get a nap in, talked to the out of town fam, and only had to make a few items to take to my FIL's girlfriend's house for the family dinner. She has cats, so the kiddo and I had to mega dose on allergy meds, but it was worth it. We had a delicious, simple dinner that everyone made a small portion of, so it wasn't a lot of work for anyone.

The gifts were great, and it was fun to see how much everyone loved them... my FIL and I have talked a lot about more intentional gift giving and de-junking our lives. It was so cool to see how everyone accomplished that. I got two amazing presents that bear mentioning. One is a teapot with built in tea press and some loose tea. I've been wanting something like that for a long time, so I'm really excited about it. The other was from my SIL. This year, when I took up knitting, she got excited because she's also a knitter. She gave me a beautiful knitting basket (and I've been thinking of buying myself one at an after Christmas sale) filled with all sorts of knitting stuff. I've already read the knitting book, am using one of the patterns to knit a scarf with the yarn and needles she bought me.

I did have a mild allergy attack, but the meds really kept it from being horrible, and once I got home, had a cup of tea, and took a bath, I'm feeling 100%, and ready to get a little shut eye.

I am convinced that because our family took so much time to simply our holiday, we made it a really enjoyable time. I think this is going to be our new Christmas tradition. The productions most of us turn it into is just too much. And really, it's so not worth it. The girls got a number of lovely gifts, all things they wanted, but how can they play with them all at once? Watching them with their one gift Christmas Eve, it was apparent that they really are just as happy with one really good gift as they are with a hundred. I'd even be so bold as to argue that the one gift meant a lot more than getting just a bunch of stuff.

I'm not sure what your holiday looked like. But I hope it was as lovely as ours.


FantasyAuthor RobinDOwens said...

Sounds wonderful! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

kalea_kane said...

Danica, it sounds like you had a lovely Christmas. :) I am hoping to get a little knitting lesson one of these days.
My favorite gift was this awesome clay creamer pot and sugar bowl that my husband got from SERVV.

Have a wonderful weekend!


Jessica Nelson said...

Ours was very nice. Lots of family over. I like how you had communion and talked about Jesus. We had so many relatives over who aren't Christians that talking about the true meaning of Christmas kind of got lost in the shuffle. but it was still a wonderful day!!
Glad you enjoyed yours. :-)