It was such a lovely holiday with all the requisite last minute shopping (done by Tim, bless that man) and last minute making. I tried my hand at homemade almond roca (with Andes mint chocolate melted on top), finally rolled out the gingerbread dough I mixed early last week (the cookies might have tasted better for the wait) and almost finished my home sewn gifts (there were a few given yesterday that were held together by straight pins and missing buttons).
This Christmas Eve we stayed close to home, using the time to play and prep and not take ourselves too seriously. I love that Christmas in our home is about the people gathering, dropping in and out and tinkering and eating and hastily wrapping presents until the wee hours. Tim actually told me that his favorite part of Christmas is the Eve when he does all his shopping and wrapping. Funny that I never knew that before yesterday. And, yes, I will hold him to it for all the years to come. He was invigorated by the quick forays into the crazy stores, I was by the homey tasks and it all seemed to come together as it should.
And we had a Christmas Eve visitor, but O did not quite make it long enough to see him.
Our Christmas morning is deeply steeped in a tradition, that of meeting our local Santa Claus out on the chilly morning street. He rides by on the shiny fire truck, waving as the handsome firemen hand out bags of unsalted peanuts and candy. We have done this since we moved into this home when I was five. The tradition part comes in with our extreme hyper-vigilance in waiting, we gather outside the minute we hear a distant fire truck, wait with hot coffee and cold hands, realize he is not anywhere near, start back inside, think we hear the sirens, turn around, go back, turn around. I think we do it because it makes it more fun. I know Grandpa Jim thought we were looped, and laughed right along with us when Santa finally came.
The presents were given and I am really glad we did not get the boys anything much because all the aunts and uncles and grandfolks ignored our entreaties to limit the toys and literally showered the boys with stuff. All really cool, non-batttery operated stuff, but WOW, those kids are set FOREVER. Not one person can pass up and hobby horse and a tool set, right? Mason's favorite, the trash truck with trash can included. Owen's...his new two wheeler bike. That he rode around the park without much help. That kid is unstoppable.
My favorite part of the day is always the family hike where we load up and head out. I love the bluebird sky and crisp air and long talks and running kids and sleeping kids. It just feels so right to celebrate the holiday in this way, honoring what we love and who we love. There was a lot of rides hitched and a little knitting time in order to finish a very last minute gift. The best part is that the gift may not be much needed as we found out a cousin is no longer being deployed.
And we actually found just the right bench to prop up the camera for a group shot (only one missing is my big brother and his wife).
The boys slept too little, ate too much candy, have so many new and very stimulating things (yeah, yeah, toys...just so hard to say it when we were aiming so low, you know?). The spirit of the season embraced us all. And it was a good day, a very very good holiday indeed.
Happy Holidays to you. However it came and went, I hope you found delight and magic in the small spaces and large surprises. Sending love and hopefully a few yearly recaps into this place.