I have been meaning to post for the last couple of days, but I have been enjoying a time of peace and serenity lately that has been sorely lacking. I am off work this week, and have been doing things that I want to do, rather than what I need or have to do. It is a refreshing break.
The holidays here were wonderful, I am pleased to say.
Friday, December 23- my last day of work until the new year. It went relatively smoothly, and I got much of what I wanted to get done, done. My boss (the one I am not fond of) irritated me a bit, with a bunch of last minute demands, and the frequent check ins, to see how far I had come, because he wanted to be logged off at a "reasonable time." So, he logged off at 230ish, and I worked until 530. Not fair, but what are you gonna do?
I made a major (in my mind) mistake, when I forgot to have gifts ready for my son's class at school. I had gift cards for the bus drivers, made a donation in the teacher's name to the Kid's Help Phone, but completely forgot to do something for his classmates. I managed to save it, by getting a cookie bouquet and delivering it to the school. There were enough cookies for each kid to get one, plus left overs for the EAs.
Christmas eve was a little crazy, with running out to the grocery store for last minute meal "must haves", to the beer store, and to Chapters, for last minute gifts. To be honest, I dreaded going, but every store I went to was well prepared and had lots of cashiers available. It was relatively painless.
Geoff spent the day at home, doing last minute tidying, and started wrapping presents. We hadn't wrapped anything- NOTHING- prior to that point. So, Geoff wrapped for about 10 hours. I helped towards the end, and we got it all done.
I stopped by my mother-in-law's, for some help in finishing one of Sebastian's Christmas presents. What was supposed to be a quick pop-in turned into a 2 and a half hour visit. We had some great talks, about different things, and we both seemed to be a little more settled and centred afterwards.
When I got home again, I started prepping for the next day. We always have breakfast on Christmas morning, with my mom and dad and brother, and this year, we were hosting the Rousseau's for dinner. I prep as much as I can ahead of time, in order to minimize my time in the kitchen on Christmas. I made 2 quiches, cooked bacon, and peeled potatoes. Geoff kept wrapping.
In the middle of this, we got a phone call from my nephew, Roan. He wanted us to come over RIGHT NOW.
Holly had the idea to release balloons in honour of her father. She had bought helium filled balloons, and was originally planning on doing it before dinner on Christmas. However, the store said that they couldn't guarantee the balloons for anything over 12 hours, so we ended up releasing them on Christmas Eve. Sawyer really liked letting the balloons go, and watching them float away.
Later that evening, my mom, Kathy and I went to Christmas Eve service at a United Church here in the Falls. It is the first Christmas Eve service I had attended in probably 15-16 years. It was very nice, and I am really glad I went. I took communion and sang the hymns. It was a candlelight service, and that part is always lovely. It was only an hour, but well worth it. I will go back again next year. It was nice that my mom and mother-in-law came too. I think we were all looking for a little something different, it means a lot that we were able to find it all together.
Before I had left for church, the kids and I set out Christmas cookies and chocolate milk for Santa and carrots to the Christmas Pony. All day, we would log into Facebook and track Santa on NORAD. Both kids were super excited and psyched up for the holiday. When I got home from church, both kids were in bed and asleep. We made all the necessary preparations- made sure there was a landing strip for Santa on the roof, made sure the stockings were hung by the chimney with care. Earlier in the day, Sawyer had had a minor panic attack at the thought of Santa coming in her house. So I called Santa and the Christmas pony right away, and told them that they weren't welcome to come in the house. They had to use their magic to make the presents fly down the chimney. They graciously agreed, and all was well.
About 2am, Sebastian was awake. When I heard him humming and went to check on him, he told me he was too excited about Santa for sleep. He had asked Santa for pictures of the Nick Jr. Animals. He had written a letter and had specifically asked Santa is he was bringing the pictures. And now, he was so, so, so excited about what Santa was bringing. He ended up coming to my bed and sleeping with us.
So, comes the morning. We ended up waking Sawyer up around 8am. We headed to the living room, and looked at the plate of cookies and milk. The kids lost it when they saw that it was all gone. We went to the basement and the magic began.
There were stockings full of fun, and gifts that only Santa could have brought. Sebastian got his Nick Jr picture book, and his eyes got so big and full. It made me well up and I was so happy. It made my day. Sawyer got her guitar with a kitty on it. She serenaded Geoff with Twinkle, Twinkle later in the day. Geoff got me a great container for all my knitting, and 2 buffet servers, that came in super handy for breakfast and dinner. I got lots of books and some beautiful pictures of the kids. I got Geoff Satellite Radio and some books. The kids and I had made Geoff a gift, but I will post about that later.
My mom and dad and Adam came for breakfast. The kids got lots of new movies and some beautiful shirts and sweaters. They got me a new comforter set for my bed, and Geoff got a panini grill. We had made my dad a birdhouse, that Sawyer painted and made a set of gazing balls for my mom (I will post pictures later). It was a nice visit, as always. We eat quiche and bacon and eggs and chat and chill. What a nice way to start Christmas.
I cooked through the afternoon. My turkey was enormous and I couldn't get the cover down on the roaster. I was getting a little worried that it wouldn't cook, but it did, and it was delicious. I made mashed potatoes, gravy, corn and stuffing. Geoff's mom brought broccoli and cauliflower, sweet potatoes and buns. Holly brought salad and Dawn made a scrumdilliumptious pie. The house smelled like home cooking and wonderful. The smell of turkey makes me happy.
When everyone came over, we did our presents first. Sebastian was super engaged, and wanted to keep opening presents. He did great and was very into everything he got. Sawyer sat with Auntie Dawn and was a gracious little girl, loving her new dress up clothes, her Strawberry Shortcake and Ponies. Everyone seemed to love their gifts and it was lovely and mellow.
We sat down shortly after to dinner. Everything was good and I hope everyone had enough to eat. Geoff and I had gotten a small bottle of Coke for everyone, including the kids, as a toast to Kit. We ate, drank and were merry.
Yes, Kit was an undercurrent in everything we did. And I think because of that, everyone had a good day. It's what he would have wanted and we honoured him with laughter and love.
We had a full day and the kids were more than ready for bed. They each crashed hard when the time came. They were lovely and wonderful, and I love them all the more for it.
Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "nice and lovely holiday".