Our gifts have been of an incredibly practical nature. We put up a tree for the first time in probably ten years. (Thank you Target staffer who pointed out the display tree was 75% off. $7.50 for a tree? Why not?)
There are no more markers of having little kids in the house - it's more like when MathMan and I first started sharing a life. Although Sophia is ten going on twenty-five and still a child, of course, there is a distinct lack of things that need assembling. There were no stickers to stick on Barbie things, nothing that needed to be cut out of packaging using the Jaws of Life.
Christmas Eve started what, I hope, will become a new tradition. This year, we used the wonders of technology and the Spirits of Skype to converge on MathMan's oldest brother's house for carols played by the Golden Family Concert Band. There we were, us in our Georgia living room and MathMan's youngest brother and his family in their house in New Jersey, enjoying the sights and sounds of Christmas Eve, just like the old days. It was quite nice, actually.
We put out our own version of a holiday spread and will probably just eat leftovers all day and save the turkey roll (hey, there are only five of us) dinner for another time when the food is running low and we've got more month than money (The joys of a once a month paycheck for teachers. Ask any educator you know, they'll tell you that January seems to stretch on forever, especially when even the Ramen Noodles have run out.)
The point is, we've fussed more than usual with the busyness of the holidays, but the fussing has been in ways that have been more rewarding and less frustrating. I keep telling myself - write it down, this is what the holidays are about - being with the ones you love, being good to them and yourself, spreading the cheer where you can and having some fun that doesn't feel squeezed from the last little bit you have to give.
Okay, so now I've written it. The trick is to remember it, right? Right.
From all of us here at Golden Manor, may you and yours have a very happy holiday season. Thank you for sharing yourself and your thoughts here. I'm honored that you come here to read and be a part of this happy madness.
Here's a little sampling of the music from Christmas Eve (with special guest, MathMan's sister)