I sat down yesterday to write about our Christmas and 24 hours later this is the first I have written but my iPhoto library is fully organized for the first time ever. It’s weird what all of a sudden not having a schedule does to me. Also, maybe organizing my technology (I also spent a while sorting and updating the apps on my phone) is the form that my nesting is taking. But I feel sufficiently organized now and so, our Christmas 2013.
When we decided a few months ago that we would not be traveling for Christmas, I felt a little panicky. Just Ted and I on our own? Could we make the season sufficiently jolly? We did miss family, of course, but lots of video chatting made it better. On Christmas Eve, my brother Will had it going on his end and my parents wandered in and out and Christian played on the computer next to Will and sometimes friendly neighbors stopping by the house would even come in and say hi. It almost felt like we were there, and it helped that my mom and I were both making our traditional Christmas Eve falafel. And then getting to see the Rysers the next morning eating their sticky buns when we had just finished ours. It was important to us to continue some of the traditions of our childhoods and traditions for us often involve food. We got to talk to Emily in Austria for half an hour and it filled my heart with joy to see her looking so happy and good.
There were parties to make everything feel extra sparkly and festive. First a backyard dinner soiree at our friends house where we got nice and cold so that when we went inside for the hot chocolate and caroling portion of the evening, the warmth felt especially good. Another friend who does event planning as part of her job threw a girls only mocktail party and it was impeccably done down to the last detail. Sometimes it is just so fun to get fancy, even when you’re 7 months pregnant. There was the party at the church, where there was a fun photo booth set up and lots of treats. There was a night out to a showing of my favorite Christmas movie, It’s a Wonderful Life at the Dryden Theater in the old Eastman House and it felt so good to cry along with a hundred other people in that theater. There was a brunch at our friend’s parents’ house on Christmas morning where we ate the most delicious french toast and enjoyed being around a big family.
On Christmas Eve, after making and eating our mediterranean feast, we bundled up and walked down the street to a neighborhood church that was doing a Christmas program. We really had no idea what to expect, we had just seen a sign outside the church when passing by and thought it would feel festive to go somewhere on Christmas Eve. And it was festive and nice to be with other people from our neighborhood and also kind of weird to go to a church so different than our own. Afterwards we walked around the block through the beautiful snow then came home and set up our blow up bed in the living room next to the tree. We snuggled down under the covers and turned on Muppet Christmas Carol and proceeded to fall asleep. The air mattress has developed a slow leak, unfortunately, and so we both woke up a little after midnight having rolled to the low point in the middle of the mattress. It was kind of lucky that we did, because we both remembered then that we had yet to play santa, and our stockings were still empty. So we had a little midnight scramble to stuff stockings and then turned on The Polar Express to fall asleep to. Except at that point, I was weirdly awake and stayed up for the whole stupid movie, even though I didn’t even like it. Finally around 3, I fell asleep again and stayed asleep until Christmas morning. It was such the coziest slowly opening presents and eating our sticky buns and feeling completely full of love.
What started out as me being all panicky about Christmas not being enough this year ended up with me feeling overwhelmed with how good we have it. Future Christmases are definitely something to look forward to and I am so excited to have our little guy there with us, but one thing they won’t ever be again is just Ted and Elise.