I am at work now and had grand plans of getting a bunch of stuff done before I leave at noon. I was productive and got what I HAD to do done in an hour and since then I’ve been wasting my time. So instead of writing 11 evaluations I am playing on line. Oh well, that’s what the first week of January is for, right?

Not too long from now, we’ll be in my parents cozy home, and getting lots of nephew time! It’s been a few days since he’s called me. The last time we visited, he saw the car pull into the driveway he stood in the door jumping up and down yelling “Auntie, aunite!” He melts my heart. I love that even though we see him about one weekend a month, he knows who we are and really loves us. I can’t wait to see him on Chirstmas morning this year. He’s still too young to “get it” but he will know something is going on and I imagine he’ll be quite funny.

It’s taken us several years, but I think we’ve finally gotten my mother to scale Christmas way down. It used to be present explosion. And we all would spend way too much money. Three years ago my grandfather died five days before Christmas and that year was crazy because we burried him on the 23rd. This brought lots of family to town, and while still mourning we tried to figure out how to have Christmas. It just didn’t seem right that five days after he died, we’d celebrate, open presents, and be jolly. The whole thing was a bit of a blur. I just remember days of people at our house, never ending food, rivers of tears, and endless bottles of wine. At one point on Chrsitmas morning my mother was so upset while we were sitting on the couch together. I held her like a child while she wailed. Next to her crying at the funeral home saying she didn’t want to say good bye, this is my sadest memory of that Christmas. The next year my mother was still really depressed from his death and tried to overcompesate by buying a ton of stuff, hosting three Christmas dinners in three consecutive days, while super moody. That year ended in us having one of our worst fights ever. Last year was a bit better. We scaled down the gifts and she was starting to get her holiday spirit back — I think the birth of the first grandchild earlier that year helped. We also planned to have a small dinner with just the seven of us, and then invited family for dessert—this also helped to keep things managable. This year we picked names and only have to buy one present, plus gifts for our partners (and of course for the boy too)! The dinner will be a little larger but, it will be fine. A. and I are going to the UU church with with my aunt in my hometown on Christmas Eve, which has become a tradition for us.

I hope those of you traveling for holiday celebrations are met with good weather and exciting journies. Peace and joy to you.

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