I’m sure the title makes you think that there is more than 1 edition to how our family celebrates Christmas…but before you start looking through the archives for a similar post, I’ll spare you a few minutes and tell you that this is, in fact, the one and only blog post of its kind.
Another monumental fact about this post is that for the first time ever, I’m posting about Christmas only one week after Christmas actually happened. Typically I either bypass writing about our Christmas altogether, or it gets written about a solid month after the fact. This is called growth, people.
So, Christmas. What a great time it was. I kept remarking to Ben what a great Christmas this was turning out to be, and it truly was. I’m not sure if it’s because we did the same traditions that happen most years (which is always an important part of Christmas – the traditions), or if it’s because we got to experience things through Ellie’s excited, 1-year-old eyes, or if it’s because we had an entire week off together as a family, but whatever the reason, it was great.
We started the holiday off on Christmas eve, wherein we had wonderful, whimsical plans to have a lazy, cozy, family day together. Ben and I would gently wake up Elliana singing happy birthday to her, then we’d all make a family brunch together and spend some time opening up just a few family Christmas gifts and some birthday gifts for Ellie. We’d then have a slow-paced afternoon while Ellie napped, perhaps watch a movie or read a book or something of that nature. Then we’d put Ellie in her Christmas dress and head off to church for our Christmas Eve service, while big fluffy snowflakes fell all around us. Sounds wonderful doesn’t it?
What actually happened is that Ellie came down with a fever the day before (which coincidentally, was a whirlwind of a day as we had another birthday celebration for her…followed by a dinner out), and so had a TERRIBLE nights sleep. This was after she refused to take any Tylenol, and when we did manage to get some down her throat, she gagged it all up and barfed on me and herself. We were all awake from 3-5 am, just hanging out in our bed. Thankfully, Ellie wasn’t miserable, but just not feeling great and quite warm, so at least we were all smiling in bed! (That girl, even when she’s sick she’s grinning). This meant that we got a later start in the morning, as well all slept in longer than was planned. Well, THAT meant that everything we had planned for the day got pushed back, and we hadn’t *quite* left time for all of the other things that our day had to entail. Such as: cleaning the house, doing 6 loads of laundry, packing a weeks worth of stuff for our time at my parents, finishing a sermon (yeah, I was preaching that night at our service), skyping with all of the far away family members who wanted to wish Ellie a happy birthday, and getting groceries.
We did still have our brunch, but pretty much everything else we’d hoped for the day fell by the wayside and we whipped around all day trying to get out of the house on time for church. We had to bring our gifts with us to my parents, we had to wrap said gifts (and all the other gifts) at my parents, we had burger king for supper, and we got grumpy at each other.
BUT, we also played Christmas music all day, we laughed with each other, we made an excellent team as we loaded up our stuff, we got to skype with far-away family members, we got excited for Christmas being just around the corner, we reminisced about LAST Christmas eve and how I spent the day in labour and then how we finally met our baby, we experienced a very holy, precious Christmas eve service with our church family, we drove out to my home town where we immediately went to a dear family friend’s house to carry on a 15 year Christmas Eve tradition of our families being together for the evening, and we made it to my parents, where we ate a few more snacks, wrapped some gifts, and revelled in the twilight of the Christmas lights intertwined with garland on the mantel. (My favourite Christmas decoration at my parents)
It was the beginning of a wonderful week, and I think the beginning of what many of our Christmas eve’s will look like. Hopefully with a little less chaos, and a little more serenity. How do you celebrate your Christmas Eve?