December was a whirlwind – of activities, children, making, and fun (and quite a bit of craziness). Our children have the whole month of December off from school, so there was a lot of planning on my part to have something to do most days (not that they did the activities I had planned, but there was a plan). I was not able to really relax and enjoy the holiday season until about 4 days before Christmas, but then, I did relax into the busy-ness, the magic, the love. The decorating of the Christmas tree was pretty early on in the month. William and I got no relief from the question “when are we getting our tree”. It was a constant barrage of the question from the time they got up until they went to bed, and since they were not in school . . . it was all day. So, we got a great tree from a friend’s garden business down the road (I traded her the tree for soap!). And, the children decorated the whole tree by themselves, with some help from cousins. William also set up some Christmas lights outside, which I love and kind of wish we would keep up all year. While the tree and lights were done early on, I did not do much else until the week before Christmas, when I finally made some cookies and my favorite Christmas Cake (similar to fruit cake, but less rich and less dense and less boozy – I love it). We also had a table centerpiece with greenery, that everyone contributed to, but the plants had faded after Christmas so I cleaned it up. When I did, I discovered that we had set out a Santa, a nativity scene, Advent candles, and a dreidel. Multicultural – maybe our children are confused, but I love it. On Christmas Eve we waited for Santa to come visit the Big House, Steven spotting him first. And, the enthusiasm and excitement built until the morning – and Christmas morning was a bit magical. Our children amazingly sleep in until about 7:30, then we all went go downstairs together. The amazement of these little ones is so special. I mean, look how excited Hythe was to find an orange at the bottom of his stocking! Santa has always left an orange at the bottom of each stocking. I wish I could have half that enthusiasm sometimes! Getting pictures on Christmas morning is nearly impossible with 4 little children – there is a head, or arm, or leg, or knee popping in the the edge or corner of every picture. Understandably, it is impossible to stand still! After a wonderful Christmas lunch with my mother, brother, sister-in-law, nephew, and grandparents, I walked up to the Big House (I wanted a little exercise), where we all spent Christmas evening singing carols, exchanging gifts, and eating supper with the larger group of William’s family. It was chaos, but always fun.
With Christmas day over, I felt not the disappointment that one can feel after a big, exciting event, but a bit of relief – like a deep breath let out with a smile. We invited some friends over a few days later to make tamales, and with the weather so warm, children played outside all evening and adults got to chat and hang out.
I hope your holiday season has been pleasant and you also feel some easiness in your heart.