Monday, December 29, 2008

Holiday Thoughts: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

It's December 29 already!  I'm not sure where the last five days have gone!  It's been a blur of activity.  As usual, there are a few things I'd like to record here so that I don't forget them.
  • N is an amazing friend.  When she and her hubby couldn't make it to her in-laws for Christmas due to a storm, she offered to come watch BB on Christmas Eve while I worked on my final preparations for Christmas dinner.  And when BB napped, she helped me in the kitchen.  I was having a bit of a panic attack over everything that needed to be accomplished, and then DH had to work on Christmas Eve, so I really wasn't sure how I would possibly be ready for Christmas day.  But she completely saved the day, and I am so grateful to her!
  • Another storm threatened to arrive on Christmas Eve, so we almost didn't make it down to mom & dad's to celebrate my brother's birthday.  I'm so glad that the storm wasn't as bad predicted, because it was great to maintain our usual tradition of being with my family on that day.  My brother brought his Johnny Cash Christmas Special DVD, which was nice to see and gave us a few laughs too.
  • While we were at my parents' place, Santa's Elves visited our place and left BB a pair of pyjamas to wear to bed for Christmas!  He wasn't old enough to understand what was happening, but I think it's important to start our family traditions now.  :)
  • A tradition that we started two Christmases ago was to watch 'A Christmas Carol' starring Patrick Stewart over the holidays.  Normally we watch it Christmas Eve night or Christmas night, but this year we watched it on the afternoon of the 28th with BB.  BB normally doesn't get to watch TV but we made an exception and he managed to sit still for about an hour of the movie.  Okay, so he wiggled and squirmed, but it was happy wiggling and squirming.  
  • My brother helped BB open several of his gifts Christmas morning.  It's a memory I will keep forever.  
  • We hosted a very large Christmas dinner.  Not normal for us.  All of DH's family, all of my family, plus my friend N and her hubby joined us.  Everyone seemed pleased with dinner, which makes me happy.  I made my own cranberry sauce with blueberries and pecans, I found an awesome dressing recipe online, and I made three glorious pies--rhubarb-strawberry for DH, coconut cream for my FIL (I used the coconut cream filling from the Purity Cookbook and the cream topping portion of this recipe.  The whole recipe looks yummy, but I didn't have time for it) and apple pie for my father (I used the filling portion of this recipe.)  The coconut cream and apple were amazing.  Seriously.  I've never had such a yummy apple pie, if I may so say myself!  And I'd never had coconut cream before, but wow, was it good!  By the end of dessert there was only two pieces of that one left!
  • It is wonderful to be with your family on Christmas.  But I think it might be even better to also be with your close friends on Christmas.  You know, the people you choose to have in your life, rather than the people who are there because they are blood.  Not to say anything negative about my family, but it was a lot of fun having N and her hubby here too.
  • I wish I could be nicer to people.  I can be a snippy witch sometimes.  I've been rude to a lot of my family over the holidays.  Sometimes when I get a bit stressed or tired, I open my mouth and the words come out.  Sharp words.  And then later that day I feel really bad about it.  I'm a lot like my aunt that I tend to have negative feelings towards for this exact reason.
  • My mother washed a LOT of dishes here on Christmas day.  I'm very grateful to her for it!  
  • I tried turnip for the first time on Christmas day.  N brought a turnip casserole and rolls.  I don't think turnip is something I would go out of my way to eat again, but it wasn't bad in this casserole.
  • My two BFFs are having a crappy holiday this year, both for completely different reasons.  I feel terrible for them, especially since I think this might be the best Christmas I've had yet.  I wish I could do something to make things better for them, but I don't think there's much I can do besides just being there if they need me.
  • BB was a very good boy Christmas morning.  By the time my in-laws arrived that afternoon, he was a bit overwhelmed, and was done.  Done done done.  
  • Christmas evening, after everyone had left, DH and I spent the evening on the floor playing with BB.  BB was finally at peace with the world again and we were happy to just be the three of us again.  It was so nice.  Another memory I will always keep with me.
  • BB received some wonderful gifts from his family and our close friends.  A very lucky and loved little boy, he is.
  • Everyone always wants so much from BB, but he only has so much to give them all, and then he wants to be with me or DH again.  I think that was a big reason for his Christmas day crankies.  They all want cuddles from him; they all want to play with him.  When he has had enough of the constant mauling, he cries.  And then they all seem hurt.  My MIL, especially, has a hard time with this.  And my FIL keeps teasing me, telling me that I'm spoiling BB.  I know he's just teasing, but he says it over and over again.  A little voice deep down tells me that he means it.  So then I want to explain to him why I hold BB when he cries, etc. etc.  But I know he won't understand.
  • Another memory I will always keep with me is serving pie with N on Christmas day.  She scooped ice cream while I sliced up the pie.  Nothing remarkable happened, I just doing it with her.
  • N and I exchanged gifts on the 23rd.  I think she liked her Booga Bag.  I was very nervous about giving this to her as a gift.  She claims that she was hoping I'd make one for her.  However, the negative, self-doubting voice in my head tells me she was just saying that.  I hope she did like it though.  S's gift wasn't mailed until that same day, so hopefully she will receive it this week.  I don't doubt for a second that S will like her bag.  I only worry about N liking hers because it isn't her usual 'folky' style.
  • N gave me a beautiful purple sweater as part of my Christmas gift.  I love it.  She says that she knows that I won't buy myself clothes anymore, now that I have BB.  It's true, clothes are pretty low on the priority list these days... they used to be top on the list.  N knows me well, and is so thoughtful.
  • We made the two hour trek to visit my in-laws on Boxing Day.  BB slept in the car both ways, thankfully.  We were late getting out of the house due to the car having issues, and BB having a massive poop after he was buckled into his carseat.  It exploded out of his diaper, through his clothes and even onto me, but we did make it there eventually!  
  • I don't believe for one second that Christmas is all about the gifts.  But that being said, I do enjoy the gift giving part.  I'm noticing that the kind of gifts I enjoy receiving has changed drastically.  Some of my favourite material gifts this year include two hooded sweatshirts, socks, a gift card for a pair of jeans, Anne of Green Gables DVDs (I've wanted these for YEARS).  Oh, and I received a Magic Bullet Single Shot, which I'm hoping will come in handy for making BB's food.  Notice a theme here?  With the exception of the DVDs, everything is useful.  
  • This is the first Christmas ever that I have gone to bed on Christmas night and not been disappointed with the day.  I remember as a kid, crying when the day was over because it felt like something was missing, something wasn't right.  It wasn't perfect.  It wasn't all that it was built up to be.  As an adult I usually didn't cry about it, but that feeling like something was missing was even more intense.  This year nothing was missing.  The difference?  BB.

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