I have been trying to write a dang Christmas post for well, pretty much most of December, and then again the last few days. I am going to finally try to hammer it out short and sweet (not usually my style, I'm a rambler).
In a nutshell...IT WAS AWESOME. But I have never had a Christmas that wasn't stellar. A good Christmas includes the right amounts of family fun time, tasty food, thoughtful gifts, and of course some spiritual reflection.
Leading up to Christmas we had some fun activities, art and crafts and little outings. There was the setting up of the tree. The making of the gingerbread house. Of course there was also the Fort Garry Brunch. We had a Christmas light drive. And because I am a smart Christmas shopper there was very little time spent in the malls. I enjoyed a few Starbucks holiday treats and snagged a few Davids Tea Christmas teas.
Christmas itself was the usual run down. Mass in the city with the kids early. Load up and drive to the farm. This year we managed to get to the farm even before the rest of the family was back from Mass in small town. I got the appy's fired up and once we were all together on the farm the Christmas Eve noshing began. Before bed we all stuffed each others stockings with some goodies. I even came up one more trip later to switch my mum's stuffers into the stocking that I made fore her. That and also set out some prezzies from Santa. Daddy put out the cookies and milk and the boys were met with a special treat in the morning...a note from Santa.
Christmas morning was perfect. We went through our stockings first. Marvelled over the awesomeness. My mum loved her stocking. My sister wore her headband I made her all morning. The kids LOVED their trinkets and toys and of course their Santa presents. Viktor received Luke Angry Bird and an exclusive Angry Bird K'Nex Set. Max received a Batman costume set complete with cape, mask, chest plate and a stocked utility belt. Evelyn was treated to a Merida doll (from the Brave movie, we love it). I wish I could list everything the kids and us received in our stockings but with the immense generosity in our family it would be a pretty big list.
After the stocking carnage we always have breakfast. My mum makes this stuff called Land of Nod bread. She also always has those little boxed sugary cereals for the kids. There were boiled eggs and fruit. There was coffee, of course coffee. Once, after what seemed like forever (and not for just the kids) breakfast was finished and we moved into the family room where the tree and big show were. Everyone grabbed a spot and then the passing out of gifts began. Once all were given the opening began. The kids each got a perfect ratio of clothes to toys to games to books. One of my favourite gifts was the aerial framed photo of the farm. My sisters and I each received one. We brought home some pretty cool stuff. A clump o lump. A Perplexus. A few new Wii games (Hot Wheels and Brave). A stack of gift cards. Toms shoes for the kids. Star Wars stuff. Three pairs of jingle bells. A 4 in 1 grill. And a partridge in a pear tree. No not really that but you get the picture. That is just scratching the surface. Christmas in our family has always been a big deal.
Christmas day lunch is always fend for yourself. I fended for myself by making up a plate of leftover goodies from the night before. In the afternoon we mostly just sat around and played with and went through all the new stuff. I LOVE going through all the presents and thinking about how perfect and thoughtfully picked everything was. My family is full of generosity. Viktor and I set up his K'Nex set and it wasn't long until it was knocked down by the Angry Birds. At least it was set up to the directions once. My younger sister had a nap with Evelyn, my dad started his Double Double book that we got him. We also got in a FaceTime session with my older sister in Victoria.
It wasn't long until it was time to start cooking again. Christmas dinner was the usual. I love the usual. There is a lot of comfort in normality. We had turkey, dressing, potatoes, rutabaga, peas and carrots, baked perogies (in cream and butter and fried onions), sweet and sour meatballs, coleslaw, and can't forget the jello salad. My sister and I thought did give mum a hard time about no Angela's dessert though, only half joking though, we did miss the Angel's dessert. There was a very tasty lemon and lime torte for dessert.
After dinner we had our 2nd annual family bingo. The Sanfords cleaned house and took home all the prizes (except one which Rachael got). The grand prize was a whoopee cushion which Max won. My mum also read the kids one of their new Christmas stories. It wasn't long until everyone was ready for bed after a long and excitement filled day.
On boxing day we spent the morning getting things sorted around and repacked. Lunch was turkey and fixins leftovers. After lunch we loaded up the van and started the drive home. It is always nice to get home after being away a few days. While I love going to the farm there are stressful elements so being home is always more relaxing than the time away.
The last few days have mostly been lazing around home. We did have one trip out to spend some of our gift cards. I used my Davids Tea card to buy a little teapot and cup set. Daddy used his Mark's card to get a new pair of shades and a new wallet (he said something about starting a new year with a new wallet). I still have a Joe card and iTunes card left to use up.
Two things that have super sucked since coming home are:
A) Our sewer drain pipe has an issue. It is either broken completely or backed up or the top piece is broken. Either way it is going to cost a lot to fix. Either way it means we are on low low water usage. We aren't major water users in the first place but it mostly means limiting how much goes down the drain. Too much and we get overflowage. Looks like 2013 will be the year of a plumbing repair (in addition to an updated furnace and hot water tank).
B) We are sick. Like SICK. Each kid has cycled through the fever. We are all coughing, and sneezing, and sniffling, and congested messes. So far it has hit Max the hardest, poor guy was up to a fever of 103.5. Seems like the fevers have broken though. I'll be making up some hot lemonade soon.
Today is Daddy's first day back at work in a week. It was nice having him with us straight for that long. It will be nice too though to get back into our routine. I haven't worked out in about a week and the house needs to get back to it's regular daily mess (as opposed to holiday mess).
Oh and if you are wondering if Santa was good to me? Well, I was spoiled as usual. Daddy, I mean Santa, brought me a new pair of 8 lb dumb bells, the Brave Wii game (which I only have one level left) and a special something sparkly, a lovely Swarovski bracelet that is the perfect combo of rocker and sophisticated.
Just a few more days and we will be hitting the New Year. I am looking forward to 2013.