So I can say that I made it through the Holidays unscathed. It was touch-and-go there for a bit, as my last post not-so-subtly alluded to, but I had an amazing Christmas. I feel the need to admit that a few things from my “list” got dropped. First of all, the cookie thing just did not happen, I simply never made the time, especially after many days of indulging myself on chocolate and homemade cookies courtesy of others. I still have the ingredients to make my planned cookies, so maybe after all of the chocolate that Santa left in our stockings is gone, I’ll think about doing some work in the kitchen. Baking and sharing sweets with others could actually be a welcome respite from the drudgery that is January/February in Minnesota. (Do we not all agree, the worst months ever? Just more cold to look forward too, the holidays are over, and the snow starts to really feel like an inconvenience rather than all magical and cheery. Plus it means the end of all those wonderfully horrible made-for-TV Christmas movies on ABC Family, Lifetime, and The Hallmark Channel. Did anyone else watch Snow 2: Brain Freeze? Certain to be a classic! [Sarcasm.] )
Also getting back to the items on my list that didn’t actually get done… shhhh, I haven’t really cleaned my house yet. I know, I’m terrible. THIS WEEKEND though, I swear!
Our Christmas involved lots and lots of family time, which I can say is usually both wonderful and exhausting. Dan and I still try super hard each year to give every side of the family equal time, but it can be so trying. Believe it or not we actually hit up two separate celebrations on Christmas Eve, plus church, after both working half the day. I don’t know how this is going to continue to work when we have kids, since it’s barely working now. When we first got married it felt like there was nothing to question; of course we’d just cram it all in because neither of us could imagine not seeing our respective families on Christmas Eve. However every year that we do it, the idea of switching off year-to-year between his family and mine sounds more and more appealing. My Christmas season mantra needs to be, “You can’t make everyone happy.”
Just to make you all realize that I am not kidding with the overwhelming-ness of family commitments over Christmas, this was our schedule for those few days. I MUST reiterate that I am not making this list as a complaint, because I love how awesomely large both of our families are, and I love being able to spend time with everyone. What gets to me is how condensed all of this family time is. It constantly feels like we’re running somewhere new, and not able to enjoy the place we’re in.
Night before Christmas Eve:
8:00 – 2:00 Work/commute (and a sneak-out for a bit at lunch to finish my shopping)
3:30 – 9:00 Dinner and presents at Dan’s parents’ house
8:00 – 1:00 Work/commute
4:30 – 5:30 Church
5:45 – 8:45 Dinner and presents at my aunt’s house
9:00 – 11:00 Presents and dessert at Dan’s grandparents' house (his mom’s side)
8:00 – 9:00 Open presents at home with Dan and Bella (& COFFEE!)
10:00 – 3:00 Brunch, presents, games at my parent’s house with my immediate family
3:00 – 8:30 45 minute drive to and from Dan’s aunt’s house for his dad’s family
8:30 – 9:30 Stop by at my grandparent’s house for games
10:00 – 12:00 Crash on the couch watching Love Actually
Sunday after Christmas
12:30 – 2:00 Drive to my aunt and uncle’s place up north
2:00 – 6:30 Football, sleigh ride with real reindeer, dinner, coffee, chit-chat
6:30 – 8:00 Drive home.
After making that list, I feel like I should suck it up and shut up, because that is probably what most people’s holidays look like.
As far as gifts go, the holiday has definitely become less and less about the presents. I still LOVE shopping for presents, and wrapping presents, all of that, but for me, I really have no idea what to tell people when they ask what I’d like. It’s not that I am this great person who does not need material things… no I am all about the material things… total Material Girl. I love clothes, love makeup, love shoes, books, iPods, home décor… basically I love stuff, and love being given it. I just have no idea how to answer that inevitable question, which of course leads to me telling multiple people the same thing almost every year. This year, it was the small point-and-shoot digital camera. I already have a big honking camera that has an incredible zoom and takes great photos, but it is bulky, a bit confusing for some, and quite simply is tough to use for those long arm self-portraits that we ladies love to do. Anyway, so I asked for said small camera from both my mom and my husband without realizing. Of course they each got me one, and I had to admit this to my mom when I opened her gift. I felt like a total ass.
This is becoming very rambly, so I think I’ll bring it to a close. All-in-all, a great Christmas, but I’ve come out of it on the other side a very very tired girl. Tonight is New Year’s Eve at Liz’s place, and I can’t wait to see all my friends and commiserate over our shared exhaustion. Cheers! Be safe tonight!