And so this is Christmas…
“And so this is Christmas.” The first line of one of my favorite Christmas songs. Do you know it? It’s by John Lennon. It’s in my head as I sit down to write this. There are a ton of Christmas songs that I love! Stevie Nicks singing Silent Night. Annie Lennox singing Winter Wonderland. O Holy Night and Carol of the Bells by anyone.
Henry and I just got back from Christmas eve dinner at his mom and dads with his two brothers, John who’s younger and David who’s older. It was just the 5 of us with a really low key dinner. Really relaxing and fun. This year we brought Glühwein, hot spiced wine we grew to love while in Germany at the Christmas markets last year. You start by putting sugar and water, orange juice and clove and cinnamon (or mulling spices) in a pot to simmer and then add red wine. The caliber of wine doesn’t really matter here, in the end you’ve got hot, yummy wine. I mixed some of mine with champagne too.
We’ve just put Groundhog Day on for our Christmas movie (it reminds Henry of Christmas, I’m thinking it’s more of a winter movie) to watch tonite…while I’m writing. So far this season, we’ve already watched The Muppet Christmas Carol, Love Actually, The Holiday and the Charlie Brown Christmas special. Still to go, Holiday Inn and Meet Me In St. Louis 🙂
We still have 2 days of Christmas to go! Tomorrow, Christmas Day, we’ll go to my mom’s. I’m so fortunate that my mom is still the same woman I’ve always known. She’s 85. She’s smart and funny and involved in everything. I’ve had Christmas morning at my mom’s every year of my life! I’ve got so many memories. I’ll get a special picture of my brother, sister and myself and post it tomorrow. I don’t have it in my computer, drat!! Anyway, I can’t imagine Christmas morning anywhere but at my moms! I will cherish them for as long as I have her around!!!
We’ll be a small gathering tomorrow too. My sister Jenny (I’ll write a whole story on her another time cause she’s really special to me!) and my brother Jimmy and his wife Barb with their daughters, Kacie (yes, he named her after me!) and Caroline. Just lunch and opening presents for the girls afterwards.
Christmas number 3 will be at my dad’s on Saturday. That’s my sister’s birthday. Last year we had Christmas there on the same day. After we ate, we celebrated her birthday and sang happy birthday to her. She said she didn’t remember anyone ever singing to her on her birthday. So we’re going to make it an annual tradition!!
This year we’re all taking a new look at Christmas. Our step-mom asked us over the summer if we wanted to stop exchanging presents. It’s had me thinking ever since. In the end none of us “need” anything. I found it a little jarring actually. Because for as long as I can remember I’ve LOVED getting presents. I’ve talked to Judy, our coach, about this. What’s great is asking for what we want. So hooray to our step-mom for asking for what she wants. And hooray to me for asking for what I want. In the end, we’re all agreeing that we’re going to think about experiences that we can share. Memories are the best. And they come from shared experiences and they don’t have to cost anything!
In the end, I still do love getting and giving presents. Sometimes I might be somewhere and find something I’d really like to get for someone. And then I’ll give it when I find it rather than waiting for Christmas. We want to work some sort of charitable component into the celebration so the girls have that awareness and experience.
A for Henry and me, we’re working on how to make the time special. Lots of childhood Christmas memories are about wishing for snow, seeing cousins and being excited for presents and putting up the Christmas tree. When you’re an adult and it’s warm outside and there’s not really any presents, you don’t do big family gatherings and we don’t have a tree, it takes a special effort. One that’s about finding joy, peace and love inside that grows so strong it touches people all around us.
Oh and by the way, the reason we don’t have a tree is because our whole apartment is Christmas all year. We have 2 small Christmas trees with ornaments we’ve collected from everywhere we travel. They’re up all the time. We’ve strung Christmas lights all over our loft that we replace whenever they burn out. And we have ornaments hanging from the ceiling. So really we celebrate love and joy and creative expressions of Christmas year round I guess! Not a bad way to live life!
Isn’t it great that once upon a time Henry answered my text?