Here we are a few days after Christmas on a ‘free’ week. Our Christmas went well. Not spectacular, but well. Believe me, in my life, I have had a lot worse. We’ve had more excitement, good and bad. I’ll take quiet over bad excitement any day out of the week, let alone on the day we are supposed to be celebrating the birth of Christ.
This was not a year for extravagance, but everyone got something and the kids got a bit, without it being a million toys to add to the already 10 million that are in my house and their parents’. Books, art projects, fuzzy socks, special slippers, watches, etc. dominated and yes, some toys were under the tree,(which are scattered around my living room as I type!)
This was a year of change of traditions in my decorating because I could not find all that I usually put up, but it was fine. I like tradition but I found myself being bound in by them. I simply put up a little less and some in different places than where I usually put them. I found that I was very happy with it all. It was all nice and familiar, but freeing, as well.
And the same was true of the food. Anyone who knows me, spent any time reading here, at my Facebook or my other blog knows that I am a certified,(certifiable?), foodie. I had a very good time creating good fare for Christmas, but I took my time,(most of the Christmas cookies were eaten before a week before the day appeared), and we had many of our traditional foods and goodies, but some were changed and ,(gasp!) some were missing altogether. We still had far more than enough, and a good time was had by all. Again, it was traditional enough without it being oppressive.
I went to midnight mass for the first time since before I was married. I wanted no rushing in the morning, as we had no little ones to wake us up to open presents from Santa. My husband and I arrived at the church early and we listed to the choir. The night was very cold, but the stars were brightly shining… it was truly inspirational. #1 Son came in, too, and then came back to my house for a while to wrap presents as I filled stockings for the grandchildren. I took my time…and got to bed at 4 AM, but I was happy. I got up a few hours later to put turkey breasts in the oven and caught a little more sleep,( really, I did!) I made the gravy, and put out all the foods as a buffet and the back porch as an “auxiliary refrigerator” as needed to keep the food safe. Thank Heaven for the microwave! Whoever came in ate when they wanted. It was easy.
I do love tradition, but when what should be good and comforting becomes dictatorial and makes too much work and worry, the celebration looses its meaning and that happened all too often in my family’s home and in mine. Never again. Besides, with my sons, nieces and even my great–nephew grown, with split-families and grandkids, I need to be flexible about when who arrives to eat and exchange presents. I will not be demanding; what is it worth? If a son needs to be at an in-law’s place or a girlfriend’s parent’s house, or a grandchild needs to visit or eat with the other side of their family, I want them all to have a good time. I want to have a home that everyone feels welcomed to, one that everyone wants to come to, where everyone feels comfortable. And that includes me. I had no stress, and that is the best way to celebrate.
Big changes are coming, but that is probably next week’s post.
I pray that all of you had a wonderful Christmas,( and/or other holidays), and I sincerely hope that 2014 brings you hope, health and happiness. I wish you peace and joy.
Anyone have any fun tales of this Christmas that you’d like to share?