Thursday, December 29, 2011

A Truly Lovely Holiday (part 1)

Ahhhh Christmas.  I just love it, everything about it, the twinkly lights, the mad mall shopping, the little girls in their twirly church dresses, the gifts wrapped in pretty satin bows, the cookies outrageously decorated with sprinkles and red hots at the hands of excited little children hopped up on sugar, time spent laughing with and enjoying family.

This year it was great, as it always is.

Our Christmas family time schedule was jam-packed, of course, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.  Though now that it’s all over I have to say, oh my goodness, I am SO. TIRED.

Just… it’s a lot.  I say that every year, but this year it feels especially true, since I spent the holiday carrying around what feels like a massive bowling ball in my shirt and chasing after a toddler that just continues to do very naughty things to his cousins when we let down our guard.   

(So frustrating, trying to stay the course… remove him from the situation, give him “time-ins” talk about why we don’t hit or kick or pull the hair of other children, or dogs for that matter… but it just sometimes feels so pointless.  He looks up at you and in the sweetest of sweet voices says, “Gus be nice to Abby!  No hitting!”  Oh goodness.  So we know you can say it, but do you get it?  AT ALL?)

Anyway, the exhaustion didn’t really hit me until it was all over.  The joy of the holiday, the adrenaline, the sheer loveliness of our surroundings, it got me through it, but now with four family Christmas celebrations behind us, it’s like all of a sudden I totally feel 38 weeks pregnant.  This lady is spent, and ready for some quieter days to prepare for her little bundle of sweetness to make his grand entrance.

So Christmas started with my immediate family last Wednesday, it began with brunch at my parents house and then we spent the whole day together, which we don’t often have the chance to do.  It was really great to not be rushing around, to just be and enjoy each others' company. 

Dan had to go in the office for a few hours that morning, and I had an appointment with my midwife at 8:30 AM, so Gus hung out at grandma and grandpa’s in the early morning while they prepared the egg bake and potato pancakes, and baked delicious apple cranberry muffins.

It was really a decadent meal, absolute perfection. 

Gus thoroughly enjoyed his kiddie mimosa in a dinosaur cup, but he did not like bacon.  He spit it out in my hand and made the most disgusted face, declaring it to be "spicy".  Crazy foolish child, who doesn't like bacon?  If I didn't know any better I would have doubts about him actually coming from my loins.

The morning was just, quaint, lovely, relaxing.  Wonderful.  And beautiful, of course, since it was at my parents house.

After the meal we all needed some fresh air, and since it is the brownest of Minnesota Christmases and there is no snow and it is averaging something like 40 freaking degrees these days, we decided to go across the street to the park for a bit.  I really thought long ago that we had said our goodbyes to the swings at the park until springtime.  Minnesota weather has proven me a fool once again. 

Naptime soon followed, and my dad agreed to stay home with a sleeping Gus while the rest of us went and saw a movie.  Awesome.  This is something we’ve always talked about doing on Christmas, but never have done because we’re always running around like maniacs to multiple family gatherings.  Another reason why we were so lucky this year to be able to just set aside a day for our immediate family to celebrate together.  It was just us, and we just had all the time in the world to do whatever we wanted.  Having read the whole Millenium trilogy, I was totally pumped to see The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, however inappropriate for Christmas its disturbing premise may be.  It did not disappoint. 

After the movie it was back to my parents’ place where Nathan was joining us after work for Chinese food and presents.  We ordered too much of course, from our favorite little hole-in-the-wall down the street, and feasted and lounged and laughed and then opened gifts.  Gus clearly had to help everyone open each gift, and he reveled in the new trains and toys he received.  He’s a very lucky nephew and grandchild, that is for sure.     

And that was just the beginning of the present and sugar mayhem for the little guy, there would be many more gifts and Christmas parties to come…


Lisa said...

Sounds lovely, buddy! What a perfect way to spend the holidays with family, not rushing around and worrying about having to move on to the next thing.

Can't wait to read part 2!

Angela said...

That sounds like the perfect day. Merry Christmas!

Mandy said...

That does sound like the perfect day! Looking forward to reading more about the rest of the Christmas Get Togethers. It is a busy time of year that is for sure but it so much fun to see everyone that it makes it totally worth the run around!