The unofficial verdict is that this Christmas was one of the best. Two of my three girls joined my hubby and I for our Christmas Eve with his parents and sister. MIH had the house awash in bright lights and silver sparkle. She worked her magic and created a magical Noel cocoon. Hubby's family is much smaller than mine so the experience is enjoyably different and I was going to say "quieter" but then I remembered that Kidlet was there. MIH spoils everyone rotten and my father-in-law prepares a feast for us -- keeping mainly to the kitchen, appearing now and then to refill our wine glasses or offer a preview of something on the end of a fork. It is always delicious. This evening is our traditional kick off to the Christmas season.
I have vivid memories from my childhood Christmas' and most of them involve having aunts, uncles and cousins around. Our house used to reverberate with the sounds of fun that came with having family together in our home. I've tried to duplicate this experience and tradition with my own kids, and although we don't have any little ones in our family right now, our coming together is still the highlight of the season. My sister and her family made the 5 hour trek and nieces, nephews, sibs, kids and family elders congregated to share Christmas morning ... just as we've done for my whole entire life. I think that equates to more than half a century! The affection is undeniable; there is no obligation here -- we truly love being in one another's company. We like it so much that we come together for a second round at dinner. This is when Hubby says "I love you" with a meticulously prepared feast.
This year was extra-special with my dad, true to this word and plan, not only making it to our Christmas events after only 4 weeks since his spinal surgery, but managing it all without the use of a walker or cane (swinging his cane only as he jauntily walked to and from his car).
For a few brief days the house was packed with daughters, boyfriends, fiancees, and dogs! The table was covered with copious amounts of sugar and starch and the house was alive. It made me feel the same.
Who are we kidding; Christmas is a season to be carefully created **sexist and gross generalization alert** mostly by the women in the family. Yup Virginia -- there is a Mrs Claus who organizes Santa and probably does the shopping and wrapping for him. Just a hunch.
So tonight marked the season closer with the open house at my MIH's for hubby's larger, extended family. It was supposed to be a three hour deal that turned into a 5 hour event after the family decided they really enjoyed chatting with one another. After the
It's been a long but good day. Christmas has been a blessed holiday with so much to reflect upon and to be grateful for; so very much.