Friday, December 26, 2014

Christmas 2014

Well, NaBloPoMo didn't work so well for me, did it?  Too much work travel and too tired at night.

I'm terrible at uploading photos and the girls scrapbooks from their baby years are a thing of the past.  I have a mild resolution to be better about keeping up with photos in 2015, but first I need to spend some time on pinterest to figure out the different techniques and how I want to manage it.

I'd like to keep this blog for my own thoughts and for a record of the bigger celebrations - so that one day, when the girls are in high school or college and I'm at a scrapbooking workshop working on scrapbooks from elementary school, I'll have some sort of a written record to look back on.

Christmas Eve was a bit of a mess - I had convinced the family to wait and go to church on Christmas Day.  Ramona spent the morning at gymnastics camp, Beezus wandered around the house moaning and whining, and Mr. Q helped me work on my back log of 12 months of expense reports.  The girls and I made Christmas cookies in the afternoon and then in the late afternoon Beezus had a melt-down which resulted in a forced walk around the block.  This sort of melt-down happens every time she doesn't have adequate physical activity and/or fresh air!  Mr. Q took them for pizza for dinner while I did more expense reports, and then we finished up the Christmas cookies and wrapping for Mr. Q in the evening.

Opening sister gifts; Beezus gave Ramona fuzzy socks;
Ramona gave Beezus a snowflake she had made at school.

When the girls have trouble falling asleep, the quickest way to get them there is so sit in the hallway outside their room.

Santa's elves organized gifts for the 12 Days of Christmas and wrapped late into the night.

Christmas yesterday was so, so lovely.  After a disasterous Christmas Eve (the by-product of too much unstructured inside time), I knew that Christmas Day needed to have more structure if it was going to be a peaceful day.

Sometimes I think that's a shame, that our family can't be cooped up inside all day without getting on each other's nerves.  Some days, it does work like that - but I can never tell which days it will work out and which days it won't.  So in order to hedge my bets, I decided to create a little structure for Christmas Day.

We woke up in the morning and opened presents.  The girls had a couple from their aunties and grandparents, 2 from Mr. Quimby and me, and 3 joint gifts from Santa.  We celebrate the 12 Days of Christmas, so several of the girls gifts will re-appear later in the week along with several family activities and outings.  We opened a few, took a break to eat a little breakfast, opened a few more, and then the mad dash was on to get ready for church.  Mr. Q and the girls went ahead without me, preparing a bigger crowd than usual (and our church is crowded every single Sunday anyway).

Girls chose their own outfits from our favorite consignment store.  Last year was the
last time for matching Hanna Andersson dresses evidently.  Sniff sniff.

I arrived on time and we were able to sit in our regular seats which is nice.  Mass was simple, we saw a few friends and then headed to Ihop for breakfast.  I was steadfastly against going to Ihop because I believe it promotes a market for businesses to stay open on Christmas when I think they shouldn't.  I acquiesed to keep the peace and it was a nice way to get a filling meal into the girls.

I knew the girls needed some physical activity in order to stave off the inevitable late afternoon melt-down, so we had some forced outdoor time.  I texted a few other families who I knew didn't have family in town or visiting and fibbed to the girls that they were thinking about coming to play so we needed to hustle to the playground.  The girls showed me all the games they played at recess and the "secret hide-outs" in the bushes where they go during recess.

We came home, tidied up a little bit, and settled in to watch a Christmas Story.  This is Mr. Quimby's all time favorite movie and the girls got some of the jokes.

The menu for dinner was a spiraled ham, turkey, mashed potatoes and green beans.  Yet again, it is always so upsetting when the girls won't try new foods and Mr. Q had asked me ahead of time to please not freak out and just let it go today.  I did, but I can't help but worry about the longer term implications of children who won't try new foods.  At least Ramona ate the mashed potatoes though.  We used one of our new family gifts which is "Table Topics."  It was fun to hear the answers to the questions and learn new things about each other.
Eating in the dining room and with china!  Proud of me and Mr. Q for letting that happen.

There was more clean-up than usual after dinner and while Mr. Q did the dishes, I tidied up the living room.  I have a new-ish strategy where each family member has a designated step on the stairs and all their stuff gets piled on that step.  It seems to make the room neater although the steps still look like a disaster!

Since we had late night on Christmas Eve, Mr. Q and I were in bed shortly after the girls.  We could look out the window and see the snow falling and it felt so peaceful.  I counted my many blessings and thought again how grateful I am for this life, even with its inevitable hills and valleys.


Tracy said...

I was a super picky eater as a kid, but now I'll eat anything. I still remember how much certain foods and textures scared me as a child but none of that matters now.

T said...

Would love to hear an update on Christmas. I'm so very intrigued by the idea of the 12 days of Christmas. How has it changed through the years? Do the girls anticipate it? How do they describe it to their friends? Do you feel it's easier to incorporate Jesus into the season? I had all these plans of enjoying Christmas this way and sadly the flu hit and our little family only made it to Christmas Eve service and we haven't been back since. I'm hopeful that we will be able to embrace the Lenten season a bit more. We so do enjoying going to Vespers together on Sunday evenings and reading through a devotional together.

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