Friday, December 26, 2014

And so it was Christmas. . .

And bam! Christmas is done!  Well, except for visiting with my inlaws sometime in January.  Other than that, we are done. This is one of the best holiday seasons over all that I can remember.  My wife has been a more present and happy participant. The kids did great overall.  We had a lot of stuff,and like any family a fair amount of the crazy-busys, but at the end of the day, I would not trade it.  There are only so many times to carol for an elderly neighbor, or bring cookies to someone who has been shut in.  Holiday parties are the fabric of the youngers memories, a way to connect with friends and celebrate all through the month.

My poor wife has been ill pretty much since before Thanksgiving. She is on another round of antibiotics and still far from well.  Yet together we wrapped all the tribe's gifts in one night (and only a few left for the next night)  We don't do extravagent Christmas.  Everyone gets 4 or 5 Santa gifts and one gift from parents. Then there are 5 family gifts--typically some kind of games.  This year it was Dance Revolution 2015, a super Farkle, a dice matching game called Nada, Mario for up to 4 players, and a card game called Slamwich.  We try to make sure all levels and abilities are represented in the family games and that at least 2 of the games can be played in 15 minutes or less.However since there are 7 in our immediate family and more in extended, it is still a lot of gifts to wrap!

Fiona had a wonderful Christmas and birthday.  I thought we were headed for disaster Christmas Eve  when she got sick to her stomach at about 7:30.  However I think maybe it was just stress of the season and the emotional baggage that definately surrounds this holiday for her.  She was only sick the once and I tucked her into bed and she was fine this morning.It did mean that she could not take her meds last night and it was amazing how much better she got up this morning and how clear she was when she woke.  I do know that her sleep is more restless without them,but I am going to mention this to the director of her program.  I know healthy rest is important but last year by contrast it took the dog licking her face I had not known he snuck upstairs) to wake her up after  7 a.m.  And the littles were NOT being quiet and she slept through it all.  This year, she heard the littles and I talking quietly in the next room and was up and eager to start the day.

My Mom and her companion came down from Maine and spent the better part of a day with us.  It was really nice.  KC had made a lot of his gifts this year. For mom he made a set of 16 notecards and drew a different design on each card.  Some were birthday, some get well, some general etc.  She was ecstatic and appreciative of them.  He made calendars for her companion and my wife.  All the kids did really well choosing gifts.  They were all gifts that showed they cared and knew the persons likes and needs.  This year Rob had taken Lissa to do her Christmas shopping, and did his own as well.  Fiona made a list with me but also did hers on her own with staff from the group home.  So in many ways, that part of the holiday prep was much easier.

Stockings are always KC's favorite part of Christmas.  I was surprised when he told me that on Christmas Eve.  He can't wait to check out all the little bits and bobs that Santa puts inside.  Gloves, pens, socks etc.  Funny kid.  So it is always stockings first in our house and then the gifts under the tree and then breakfast.  We just about had time for all that, cleaning up the living room and then my mom and G arrived. They needed a snack so they had some home made cinnamon buns and muffins and tea and then G took a nap.  When he got up it was more gifts and then dinner. Fiona's birthday is Christmas Day so I always do her party at dinner.  She LOVED the photo collage blanket that we gave her.  I am so happy it was such a hit.

After Mom and G left, I started making the phone calls to Rob and Fiona's first family. We had some great calls with lots of people, and I also called my inlaws to wish them Merry Christmas.  My wife has nearly no voice so she sort of whispered it and then turned the phone over to others who could be heard.

Today will be a quieter day.  I have to mail Fiona's gifts that she brought for some friends and distant family members.  I have to bring KC's scooter to a store for repair. And late this afternoon we are visiting the kid's godparents and meeting their new kitten. But mostly it is a wide open, kickin' back kind of day!

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