Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Back to the basics Christmas!


For the past couple of years our Christmas Eve celebrations have grown to be very grand. While so much fun and wonderful, it was quite exhausting to my husband and I. Not only have we increased the number of people who attend our celebration, but we have increased what we serve. It is no longer just dinner and some dessert. It is now rounds of appetizers, many, many desserts, of which I do all the baking for. It was especially hard to get all the baking in as we spent most of our weekends leading up to the holiday away with our son at his wrestling tournaments. Trying to squeeze in the holiday on top of his hectic wrestling schedule was challening, not to mention that I teach at the college on top of my other job and the semester would be finishing up so I would have that added pressure on top of the holiday. The past two years my husband who drives for UPS and works on Christmas eve has asked that we skip the Christmas eve festivities at our home and move them to Christmas Day. However, no one in our families would hear of it. They were devastated that we would even think of getting rid of doing Christmas Eve. It is tradition they would say. You have been doing it for 20 years. We can't possibly stop coming to your house. It is always so wonderful. I could not agree more. Each year I look forward to it but each year it gets harder and harder to pull off all that needs to be done. As our children got busier and busier it was harder and harder to keep up with all the traditions that we threw in our Christmas eve. The evening would not end till about 3Am and then it was time to finish wrapping and put out all the gifts under the tree to only wake up 2 hrs later to unwrap the gifts that were only finished being assembled a few hours before. The next day I was completely exhausted and we would do it all again at my sister's house. I started to think that my husband was right, we should only do this one day, not two! This year I began planning for our festivities in October, buying all my baking goods, planning what weekends I would bake etc. I know, sounds crazy right, but if you had to bake as much as I did, you would need to bake that early too! I began the madness early and I was glad that I did b/c as usual, there were very few available weekends that we did not have something going on that I had a whole day free to bake! Then I found out in late November that I would be having surgery on December 23rd. It was nothing serious, but the surgery would require me to be off my feet and in the hospital till the 24th and afterward, no lifting, driving or anything for at least 10 days! Oh boy! What will we do about our celebration on the 24th I thought? I know, I will cook ahead of time and freeze everything. So I began preparing for doing our holiday that way! Then my sister said, "no way!" There is no way you will be able to do Christmas eve! We will just have to cancel it. I was shocked. This was the same person who refused to consider it the year before. I tried to protest. SHe would not hear of it. So that was it! Christmas eve was canceled at our house. I had my surgery and it all went well. My sister was right, there was no way I could have or would have been able to pull off the holiday at my home that evening after coming home from the hospital. I had stitches across my whole stomach. I had two drains coming from each end of my stomach. I had pain and getting up and out of the chair was painful. It was the right decision but I really did not know how right the decision would be till later that night. My husband arrived home that evening around 7PM. He came home with dinner from our favorite Italian pizzeria. We had all the candles lit in the house, turned off all the lights and ate by candle light. It was just the three of us. Glenn, Michaela and I. Kyle was off at the firehouse playing Santa Claus on the firetruck. He would be arriving at our house shortly to give his sister a gift. It was so lovely, peaceful and quite beautiful to eat with my family. Our lives have been so chaotic these past couple of months. Our holiday is always so wonderful, but it is never peaceful. Tonight was just that, peaceful and I am so grateful for it. It was just what we were craving these past couple of years and we got it! Shortly after we ate my sister and her whole family showed up so they too could get gifts from Santa. Santa arrived shortly after my sister, sirens & all, the peace was shattered by the sirens, lights and the laughter of the kids when they realized that Santa had arrived for them on the firetruck. It was the perfect blend to make a perfect holiday. I may just ask for it again next year....

4 comments:

Mrs. V said...

It sounds like a perfect night. It is always difficult to give up a time-consuming tradition. At our school the parents and teachers have created a float for the winter parade each year since the school opened. Last year we had a meeting with parents saying that we did not think it would be feasible anymore, but they did not want to give up the tradition. They ended up doing it one more year but this year decided that it had been a lot of work and decided that it was okay to shift their attention to other projects.

This year it sounds like you were able to find the perfect balance - some peace and some family time!

Bets's Blog said...

What a sweet little holiday you had. I understand what you mean when you say the simple somehow turns into complicated. We continue to add to our company each year too, somehow the little dinner get bigger and bigger! That's the holidays for yah, exhausting but moments of peace and grace mixed in!

twowritingteachers said...

Katy:
Not sure if you saw my email last week, but you won the Cinco Puntos Giveaway (http://twowritingteachers.wordpress.com/2010/12/23/charro-claus/). Would you please send me your mailing address (home or school) so I can pass it along to my contact at Cinco Puntos Press? You can send me a secure email by going to http://twowritingteachers.com/contactus.aspx.

Happy holidays,
Stacey

onesunflower said...

Grand celebrations are a way for families and communities to come together. Your enterprising festivities create wonderful memories I'm sure!