Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas 2012

Despite having been married for ten years, Neil and I have only spent one Christmas (the very first year we were married) on our own, (and even then it comes with a caveat, since we were living about 15 minutes from his parents' home and headed over there to actually do the celebration bits).

So this Christmas was a bit different for us--I didn't realize how different until the children were asking what time we were opening presents, and were we doing it before or after breakfast, and could they wear their pajamas, and were they allowed to touch their stockings before we started the present-opening...Neil and I did some very fast talking and tradition-combining to decide how "our family" does things.  (Note:  we ate breakfast before opening presents but we will never do so again!)

My very favorite thing about Christmas Day was how low-key it all was.  Christmas Eve felt a little crazy to me--Neil spent the entire day at the lab and came home just before dinner.  I realized halfway through the day that I had not fully considered the equation of Neil gone + kids home from school + huge Christmas Eve meal.  It was a little stressful and I ended up writing a timetable for myself (and taking a break mid-run to go stick things in the oven) so that I could keep it all on track.

So Christmas Day was lovely.  I didn't cook any meals, do any laundry, supervise any homework/piano practice, etc.  (I even took the day off from running!)  We just hung out in our pajamas ALL DAY and Neil stayed home ALL DAY and we had the most delightful time together playing with new toys (we got lots of board games so that was super fun).  We even rented Brave and watched it together as a family (sweet little Jules had tears running down her cheeks by the end) and just generally had the most wonderful day relaxing together.  Neil and I decided that we need to make this a more regular--perhaps quarterly?--event, where nobody in our family is doing ANYTHING but just having fun together.  I love our little family so much, and it was so, so, so wonderful just spending the whole day enjoying each other's company without having to do anything more spectacular than all being in the same room playing games together.

And random break into some really darling pictures of Luke opening up his stocking.  He was so thrilled!

 The Hot Wheels track was a huge hit...
 ...and Luke wore this Yoda costume most of the day.
 So one of the things my dad used to do when I was younger was to buy everyone cereal for Christmas.  This may not sound very exciting, but we NEVER had cold cereal in my home growing up, so it was a real event.  In our home now, we do have cereal, but it's nothing more exciting than Quaker Oatmeal Squares (which I do love) or the occasional box of Life.

So I bought a variety of cold cereals to wrap up for Christmas--like the really junky colorful kind that they've never eaten in their lives but always ask about in the grocery store.  Totally backfired!  Juliet stared dubiously at her box and told me, "Mommy, I don't think Santa knows about healthy food.  This is so bad for our bodies!"  Luke and Isaac refused to eat theirs and instead insisted that they wanted to share my box of Cracklin' Oat Bran (next year I'm just buying 6 boxes of that, because that's what all the kids wanted and ate).  They did eat the marshmallows out of the Lucky Charms, but I made my third unfortunate discovery about the cereals in that the Lucky Charms, for some reason, absolutely will not be vacuumed up.  The vacuum's rollers just slide right over the cereal bits, and with 4 kids who are only interested in the marshmallows, I'll let you imagine what the floor looks like.  Yikes!  For some reason it was still funny, fortunately, but that's one tradition we'll have to alter (Cracklin' Oat Bran is still a rare enough treat--I only buy it when I have a new baby and I'm in the hospital--that it's very exciting nonetheless).  And it amused me that the children were far more excited about the Box Tops (since their school collects them and we never buy anything with Box Tops) than the cereals themselves.

 Jules and Isaac midway through a rousing game of Battleship.  Isaac was so thrilled!
 I love his little blurred hands.
 While Juliet and I played an hour-long game of Battleship, Neil and Abigail assembled the new LEGO set.  Actually, Neil asked Abigail if she wanted to help him, and she quickly took over and did the whole thing with practically no help.  I think Neil felt a little mournful about the need for his help becoming obsolete.  It made me realize how old Abigail is getting.
 I had never played Blockus before, but I bought it on the advice of quite a few friends, and we absolutely loved it!!  We still have a couple of new games to try out and I'm excited for the upcoming family game nights--the kids are at an age now where it's really fun to play games with them, since they're interested in something beyond Candyland (which I really loathe...sorry to any Candyland fans out there).

I have reached the end of the pictures I wanted to post, so I suppose I'll stop here (which is good because I'm all light-headed and dizzy again.  Fortunately it held off yesterday, but boy, today was a doozy.  Originally I was feeling melancholy because Neil went back to work and I was kind of like, but hey, it's our 10-year anniversary, shouldn't we do something special? but then I felt so awful that I had Abigail sitting next to the shower with orders to call Neil if I passed out [in retrospect maybe I should have cut back on my run today but I have been sick so much lately that if I only ran when I was healthy I would never exercise.  And on that sidenote I'm starting to wonder if I have mono or something like that totally killing my immune system, because I have seemed to catch every tiny bug that comes along this winter].  So I was glad he was at work doing something productive).  And I am really hoping that I'm feeling much better tomorrow, because we have an exciting slate of activities planned for every day until school is back in session!


Mary Beth said...

It sounds like a lovely day. All-day-in-pajamas-with-board-games are my favorites, too. (In fact, that's pretty much what I did yesterday...)

Thanks again for sending Dad DixIt. It was so much fun!

Kayli said...

Yes, that sounds like a very great Christmas.

Just a thought, maybe if you just rested and cut out the exercising when you are this sick-- just for a little while-- it would help your body be able to get better a bit quicker? (But that's lazy me talking, but really, isn't rest one of the first recommendations for getting well?)

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