We were selfish this year, we did not get in a plane, we did not even get in the car, we hunkered down at home just the four of us. The husband and I pulled together a menu for all five days we had together and on tuesday I left work early to hit the fancy grocery store sans kids. Then the rest of the week we cooked, sang songs, colored, danced around and thoroughly enjoyed eachother's company like never before. We indulged in homemade samosas and curries galore (my British/Irish husband is a master of Indian food), smoothies, muffins and pancakes, fish with mushroom sauce, tomato soup, good bread, quiche and every bit was even better as a leftover. Every time we came into the house from outside it smelled of something new and wonderful. For sweets, there were an unreasonable number of cookies delivered by neighbors (thank you!) and even some baked ourselves and of course, loads of chocolate. On Christmas Eve, I didn't get out of my pajamas until 3pm. And, even then it was really just because I felt as if I should.
We drank wine, mulled wine, irish cream, elderflower water (excellent!), and hot chocolate. It will be unbearable to go to work tomorrow. I could do this everyday. During our Christmas day meal we lit a special candle and discussed the things we love...our family members (my son is always quick to remind me that our cat is in the family), our neighbors, our grandparents, our friend. My husband and I had watery eyes as our oldest went on and on about his love of family and friends. Sometimes a 2.5 year old can put it best. "I love YOU, and PAPA, and JUDEBUG (our pet name for our youngest), and NUSHI (our name for the pet). And I love you so, so, so, so much and I love you in my heart and my heart is in my hand. It moved."
The gifts piled high under our little tree. Grandparents don't seem able to hold back, even when you beg them. But our two little guys, at 2.5 years and 8 months, just didn't care. I opened most of the gifts myself because there was little to no interest. It was truly about being together and spending such a saturated time doing nothing that we got into a rhythm that was all our own. I will never forget it. I hope I never forget it, when they are older and don't want to read books and be held all day long. When we are managing complicated family situations and get distracted and can't dance to the rhythm that we found. I want to hold onto this Christmas as the one where the best gift everybody got was lots and lots of TIME together. Holidays like this weave their way into the familiar fabric of the family story...one that is just beginning for us.
Special thanks to my real and virtual friends for reminders throughout December of how and WHY to slow down and take it in. Hope there were loads of gorgeous holiday moments among you all! By the way, discovered a great new trick. Those silicone mats that are supposedly for baking on...I hate the way things cook on them but they are great for cutting cookies! Makes it much easier to pull the cookie out after cutting it.
4 weeks ago