Our First Christmas Home

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

We had never done a Christmas at home before, so at first the thought kind of weirded me out. No packing up the car for a day at my grandparents' place, no "premade" breakfast, and no "premade" dinner. We were on our own this year. As odd as it felt, things went as well as expected, if not better. I am not one to break "tradition" and I'm not great with dealing with change, but I took a deep breath and went for it anyways. Didn't have much of a choice in the matter.

Cher joined us for Christmas Eve Service at our church, which was one of the most beautiful and spiritually satisfying Christmas Eve services I've ever been to. We sang songs, heard a fantastic, Gospel-filled sermon, and then finished up with a few more songs by candlelight. Beautiful. Absolutely beautiful. A lovely reminder of the true reason for the season. We all went our separate ways, stopped off at McDonald's (nothing says "Merry Christmas" like McD's) for dinner, and then heading home to get Robby to bed. This little elf had some more sneaky business to do (I had one more gift to pull out - not from Santa, of course - just too big to wrap). Matt and I had our nightly cup of tea, watched a little of the 1984 version of "A Christmas Carol", and then toddled off to bed.

After a rough night of uncomfortable sleep for me and 7:00 considered "sleeping in" by Matt, we both decided to get up - both before the child, mind you. We put on some coffee and opened our gifts to each other, enjoying our own private little Christmas before Rob had toys scattered from one end of the living room to the other. This year marked our seventh Christmas together, so it was rather nice to enjoy our quiet time. We then decided to go rouse the Robster, who gave us most unpleasant glares from his bed as we turned on the light. He soon changed his tune as we took him out to see what we had woken him up for. He had gotten used to the wrapped presents under the tree, but one was unwrapped and sitting out in plain sight - a brightly-colored Elmo chair. After watching him drag his booster seat from the kitchen to the living room over and over again, I finally found him a chair of his very own for reading and TV-viewing. He was thrilled. $15 well spent. I then helped him unwrap his other gifts as Matt recorded video (seen here). Lots of books, trucks, and his very first train set. The poor kid was so overwhelmed, he didn't know what to play with first. Here I will admit that I went a tad overboard, but I had to reasonings: A) this will be his last Christmas as an only child and B) last year was such a let-down since he was so little. Reasonable reasonings? Don't know. I had fun shopping for him, though. Breakfast of pancakes and sausage was made and eaten and then we all went back to playing with our Christmas toys, waiting for Cher to join us and for our food to settle.

Cher came over at about 1:00. We opened more gifts with her, let her try her hand at the Wii for the very first time (quite entertaining...our TV barely survived the ordeal), and I started dinner. Yes, I had to make my very first Christmas dinner. Honey-glazed ham, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, rolls, and an apple pie for dessert. Cher was kind enough to buy the ham and make the pie, but the rest was up to me. Slightly nerve-racking? Yes, but I survived and nothing exploded or caught on fire. The ham was my deepest concern, but I found it to be quite fool-proof. Everything turned our great, if I may say so myself. We sat and digested for a bit and then Skyped with Matt's family in Colorado for awhile. Cher was very unsure about being "on display" at first and quickly sprinted out of view, but my father-in-law called her out and made her join in on the conversation. We said our virtual goodbyes and then had to say our goodbyes to Cher, as all of us were growing quite sleepy.

What a long, wonderful day. Nothing like I expected, but better. Still, I don't know if I'd want to do it again anytime soon. I'm looking forward to next Christmas, with lots of family and food, and a two-year-old and an eight-month-old. I guess I kind of took the holidays for granted and this year made me appreciate them more - not that I didn't enjoy our holidays on our own, of course. I'm really glad Cher was willing and able to join us. It was really nice to kind of "reconnect" with her, as we've somewhat fallen away since her and I lived together. This year was a nice break from tradition and I look forward to next year when we'll go back to "tradition as usual". I pray you all had a good Christmas as well!