Sunday, December 26, 2010

Getting the most out of the season

I can't believe it's the day after Christmas already. For the first time in about two years, I took consecutive days off from work (on purpose and planned ahead!) and did nothing but run around like a mad woman and fight with my family. In other words, I prepared for the holidays.

In the midst of the madness, P and I took a look at each other and realized we were going to miss it all if we didn't slow down and soak it in. Because of custody agreements and crappy logistics, we only get our Boy Wonder every other if we spent this entire past week bickering and stressed...well, guess what? It would be another two years before we got to celebrate with him again. (Oh, gosh, I even hate reading those words.)

So long about Wednesday night, we called a time out. We ate dinner, gave the kids their baths, and loaded everyone up in their pjs into the truck. We stopped off and got hot chocolates from a coffee stand, and we went out in search of adventure. We found crappy light displays, great light displays, living nativity scenes (our personal favorites). We listened to the Christmas music station and we had a contest to see who was the most excited about Christmas. ("Me!" "No, mee!" "Meeeeeeeee!")

By the time Christmas eve rolled around, we were happy and in love with each other and the season again. Which is probably the ONLY reason I didn't freak out and cry when there were no seats at the Episcopal Christmas Eve mass and we had to leave. (Trust me, church is the LAST place you want to feel like you don't fit or belong. I hate it.) Packed back into the truck in our fancy church clothes, I made the off-hand joke that maybe we were a little like the first family thousands of years ago trying to find a place that had some room for them. So we kept going. And we found a church that I used to go to years ago and there was plenty of room and they were happy to see us. The feeling was mutual.

We stayed up late putting together plastic kitchens and basketball hoops and wrapping more presents than I remember buying. As I had just closed my eyes (at least it seemed that way) I heard a tiny voice saying "Mom! Santa came!" It was 3:30 a.m.

By 6:45 a.m., the destruction had hit and the boys were love drunk with new toys and stockings full of chocolate and match box cars. P was exhausted and had blisters on his hand from the 12-hour stint assembling toys. I was comatose and hid underneath my new electric blanket (yes!). My mom took a four-hour nap. But we had made it a beautiful Christmas with a little help and a lot of faith.

Merry Christmas and here's looking forward to an incredible new year.

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