For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows grace and favor and glory - honor, splendor and heavenly bliss! No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.

Psalms 84:11

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Deconstructed

Yesterday was a crazy crazy day, and the days leading up to it just as crazy. I am so tired now that I feel that if I blink for just a little too long that I'll fall completely asleep. I'm sure that this is compounded by the fact that the wind here is extremely gusty and woke me up several times last night.

Christmas morning started with us rousing the girls from their slumber an hour before they usually wake up, getting them ready, and then loading them and all our gifts into the car for the drive to Grandma & Grandpa's house. And when I say WE what I really mean is ME because I'm the only member of my little family who is allowed to lift anything. We took two cars since we couldn't fit all the gifts plus 3 adults into one vehicle (yes, my MIL is staying with us for two weeks).

We got to Grandma & Grandpa's house all in one piece, and ON TIME to boot! That pretty much never happens!

Next was breakfast. I brought homemade cinnamon rolls and my mom provided coffee, juice, yogurt, and quiche. I shared my breakfast with Ziva, and she ate most of it, which left me a bit hungry, but there was no time to think twice about it before diving into presents. I did get 2 cups of coffee though, so I was good to go. The girls did great with the presents, although we forgot our camera lots of other people had theirs so hopefully within the next year I'll get pictures. They were VERY excited about them. Ziva kept saying, "Presents? Birthday? YAYYYY!!!!" She also delivered a few presents before she couldn't stand it any longer and started opening! They got some excellent gifts from the fam: new clothes, art supplies, wooden cars, grocery carts complete with "food". The tutu's I made for them were a bit of a bust, they were AFRAID of them! Seriously?! I can't catch a break with these girls being afraid of inanimate objects. Did I tell you that we didn't get professional pictures of them this year because although I took them TWICE to the studio they were AFRAID of the backdrops and would scream bloody murder every time they were asked to get within 10 feet of them?? Just thinking about it almost makes ME cry, that's how traumatic it was.


As I've mentioned before, we decided to do homemade gifts this year instead of store bought in an attempt to make it more meaningful. Overall I think it went pretty well. The gifts that were given were given with thought and purpose and meaning. My mom made some amazing gifts for people including aprons for me and my sister and photo albums for Hubs. But the sheer volume of gifts was still a bit overwhelming for me. We still spent the majority of the day opening presents, which is what has also happened in the past. Somehow I feel that the presents should be a side note rather than the main event, but I really don't know how to get this to happen. One comment my mom has made (and I think it's probably a common thought), if we don't spend the time opening gifts then what do we do? My first thought was play games, but as my mom pointed out, some people don't like games and we don't want to leave them out. And how do you come up with NEW traditions after 50+ years of doing the current ones? Especially without upsetting people who have helped create those traditions? So much of Christmas is about nostalgia, and if we revamp how we do things it will inevitably involve stepping on toes. If anyone out there has ideas please share!!!

The major bright spot in the day for me was when the girls actually NAPPED at Grandma & Grandpa's house! It was a Christmas miracle!!! During nap time we were able to sit and chat and believe it or not... RELAX! My Grandma & Uncle Butch were able to be with us yesterday, and it's the first Christmas that they've been able to attend so that was very fun. My grandma is 93 years old, and she and my Uncle Butch told stories and cracked jokes and generally made the day very entertaining. At one point they were talking about my Grandma going to visit her sister down in Fresno, CA this summer and my Uncle said he'd be willing to drive her as far as Woodburn, OR but then she was on her own. But he'd be kind enough to drop her on the side of the freeway with a sign saying: Fresno or BUST! How kind of him, don't ya think?! But don't you worry Readers, my Uncle Butch loves his momma and would never do such a thing, he just likes to talk trash and get everyone laughing. Growing up I never knew what to make of Uncle Butch. When I was in college on the East Coast he'd always tease me about not bringing home any lobsters home with me for him. "Where's my lobsters? You didn't bring me any??? Well you better get on back there and bring me some next time! Put 'em in your carry on luggage so they stay nice and fresh." So his presence yesterday kept us laughing, and we desperately needed it what with all the other family drama goin' down that I can't discuss here. Thankfully the drama was kept to a minimum yesterday.

So today I'm tired. Very tired. Hopefully a nap for me is on the agenda.


Kristina P. said...

Overall it sounds like a success. And that's an interesting point about traditions. I think it's one of those things where it may be difficult to expect everyone else to want to do the same things this year. It's a tough balance.

Brooke said...

drama free always makes for a better holiday! :)

Becca said...

My family often plays a card game called Shanghai when they get together. Everyone likes it and is willing to play :) (And no, there is NO other game everyone is willing to play)

Helene said...

I totally know what you mean about gift exchanges becoming the main event. It gets so overwhelming. My son said the other day that he couldn't wait for Christmas to come around again and I asked him what is favorite part was and he said "the presents", which made me kinda sad. But then again he's only 5 so hopefully as he grows older, he'll realize that it's not all about the presents.

I had to laugh about your daughter's being afraid of the backdrops at the photo studio. My little twins are the same way!! Everything in a studio freaks them out, even the props.

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