A friend of mine included this quote in her Christmas card this year, and I found it fitting, especially this year.
For the past 14 years, travel has been involved for us for either Thanksgiving or Christmas. Last Christmas was the last one we spent at my Mom's house, and all of us were together, she has since sold her house and moved on. So this year my family came to us for Thanksgiving, which meant a travel free Christmas for us at home. No hiding presents in the car, no battling bad travel weather or traffic, just staying home. And we were very excited for that.
I had great plans for Christmas Eve, we were going to Mike's sisters house, for her big Italian fish dinner. I wanted to go out for a run that morning to participate in the Santa Hat run that was organized on Daily Mile. But the one thing you can count on with kids, is that one of them will get sick. Poor Lukie got the stomach flu the night before Christmas Eve, and he and I were up all night. So instead of a morning run, I slept. Luke was feeling much better later in the day, but he hung out at home with Mike while Eliza and I went to the dinner, but we brought goodies back for them.
It was so nice to be home Christmas Eve. Here are the kids and Frank putting out food for the reindeer:
Christmas morning was nice and mellow. Frank was zonked out on the couch in the living room, so the kids could open gifts in the family room in peace. I got a lovely new purse, as well as a stocking full of chocolate:
Santa brought the kids a new toy kitchen, to replace the one that "was for babies." He got a really good deal on it, and now I know why. There were so many friggin' pieces in that box, it took me HOURS to put it together.
The day was full of various toy assembly, a visit from Mike's parents, and snacking. We rotated Christmas movies for background noise, and stayed in our pajamas. I didn't shower until the afternoon, and got right back into my pj's. Then it was time to tackle dinner, Mike took control of the prime rib roast, and I handled the side dishes.
Cauliflower gratin from Ina Garten, I used half the milk and butter that the recipe called for, and it still came out perfect:
"Perfect Roasted Potatoes" from Nigella Lawson. Nigella says in her cook book that when they are finished roasting, you put them in a dish to "bring to the table with pride in your heart" and I really did.
After the kids went to bed, Mike and I sat by the tree, having cocktails and being lazy. Can you hear my sigh of contentment?
It was a different Christmas, a lovely Christmas, just hanging out with my little family.
Which is what Christmas is all about.