Wednesday, December 26, 2012

On Christmas and lifted spirits...

It's Boxing Day at 8:45pm.  The girls - for the first time in several nights - have actually gone to bed at a decent hour. Hubby is happily back in the world of Skyrim.  And I am sitting next to my tree of memories reflecting upon the last few days...about Christmas.

It's no secret that these last few months of 2012 have been - well there really isn't a better word - truly shitty. Stressful and frustrating and anxiety-ridden.  And my mood has been so bitter and low that not even Christmas - my favourite holiday of the year - could pull me out of my funk.

I tried - I tried ever so hard - and planned all the usual Christmas activities for the family hoping they would help.  But to be honest I simply resented eveyrthing that I had to do.  I didn't want to bake or wrap or decorate gingerbread houses.  I wanted to curl up in my bed and sleep.  And to wake up when it was all over.

God...what a horrible thing to include in a post about Christmas...but there is no way to sugarcoat how I was feeling. And so when Christmas Eve finally arrived I was glad.  I was ready to get it all done.  

Hubby & I are very lucky that our families celebrate Christmas at different we never have to pick one over the other. But it also means that there is no real downtime until Boxing Day.

Christmas Eve is always spent with hubby's family. All of his aunts, uncles, cousins etc gather together at one house and everyone brings amazing dishes for the Christmas dinner - Mexican style!

I will admit - when I first started dating hubby I was less than enthused by the food choices available at their family functions. Probably because the only dish I recognized was rice. But I soon learned through trial and error what I did and didn't like and now I love that I get two very different culinary experiences during the holidays.

So when we arrived at the house I pasted a smile on my face, held the hands of my littles and headed in to face everyone.  And you know something...I had a really good time.  Actually - to my surprise and delight - I had a great time.  And I felt my spirits lift...ever so slightly.

Both girls fell in love with their newest little cousin...
After the chaotic fun of a house bursting at the seams with people - we headed back to my in-laws for a quieter time.  And that too was highly enjoyable.  I sat watching my girls marveling over their gifts and talking so animatedly.  And I felt a lot of love in that room...not just for my kids but for hubby and I as well.

And those darn sprits...well they lifted again.

Finally - at 11pm - we headed home to do our own Christmas Eve tradtiions with the girls.

We put out cookies and milk for the big guys.  And 9 mini-carrots for the reindeer - we figured they probably get a lot of full-size carrots over the night so this would be like an amuse bouche:

Then I settled down in my favourite chair - with my children on my lap - and read them the very same version of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas that I was read as a child.

And after tucking them in I was thinking this Christmas thing was actually pretty cool after all. And we still had a full day with my family waiting for us in the morning.

And Christmas Day didn't disappoint.  It took up where Christmas Eve left off and kept getting better.  I won't pretend the whole day was perfect.  Or that my kids didn't act up.  Or that there was deftinitely more than one time where I wanted to crawl into bed.  But on the whole it delivered.

"He ate the cookies and took all the carrots!"
Santa brought "Guess Who?" for M...
...and Princess Play-Doh for little T.
"Shhh....don't tell Daddy what it is!" It was a light saber...he was pretty happy.
These menus (25cents at Michael's) were the fave stocking stuffer by far!
Kids table at Christmas Dinner...
Hubby's plate full of Xmas dinner...first round.
Dessert buffet...pure gluttony.
Someone loved her new sweater with the fur.  Modelling like a movie star.
spoiled rotten...
...but they deserve it.
And so - after 3 days filled with family, friends, love and laughter - I am feeling somewhat renewed. And at this point - with so much negativity around me in the form of things I cannot change - I am going to take what I can get.

I look forward to seeing the end of 2012...and hoping that 2013 has a lot more good to bring than bad.

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