Christmas Eve was super quiet: my brother and his wife left fairly early, Terry and I tackled a three-mile run (well, we walked the crazy hills that my mom kindly suggested we try), my parents' friends (the same ones who were part of the tree saga) came over for a bit, and finally we enjoyed a quiet dinner just the four of us.
Christmas morning, like the last three Christmas mornings over the last few years, was a bit different from the tradition I knew growing up. In 2009, Terry and I spent our first Christmas together at my parents' house, so we had an addition to our little group of four. In 2010, we stayed in LA for Christmas morning to celebrate with Terry's family--my first Christmas away from home. And last year, Christmas morning was a walk down Champs Elysees in Paris. This year, my brother and Ashley stayed up at their house, and Terry and I spent the morning with my parents. It was quiet but still filled with joy and love.
And homemade eggnog, specially made for Terry, because it's part of his family tradition.
Oh, and these awesome socks.
I've been reflecting a lot lately on how traditions change. I certainly miss my childhood Christmases, but I wouldn't trade my current situation for anything. I cherish those memories--scavenger hunts to find our final gift each year, cookies and milk for Santa, opening stockings on my parents' bed--but these changes also signal new traditions that will continue to evolve. Hopefully soon enough there will be a new generation, and we can create new memories with our own kids.
I assume all this insight about the past is getting to me because I'm reading 11.22.63, a book about time travel. It's fun to dream about, but I don't really want to live in the past, because I've got myself some pretty great stuff here in the present.
Okay, speaking of presents, I was very blessed this year. Some highlights:
Les Miserables audiobook; our first Dicken's Village piece (London Gin Distillery); an ice cream maker (!!!); hot cocoa and chocolate covered marshmallows; a donut maker, new iron, and 8" chef's knife; silly Superman socks for Terry; comfy slippers; "Exercise Girl" gift bag
And for Scout:
A new scratching post! Does it get more exciting than that?
We received so many thoughtful and generous gifts this year, and we had a lot of fun finding gifts for others, too. We'll be celebrating with Terry's parents and brother this weekend, so I look forward to seeing them open presents as well!
Christmas day ended with dinner at my parents' house with two of their close friends. We had a blast chatting all night and eating a phenomenal lamb dish prepared by my dad.
The day after Christmas, another mellow day, Terry and I ventured out to Target and Kohl's to shop the after-Christmas sales (nothing too exciting, but we each bought a winter coat and found some ornaments for next year). That evening we stopped at my aunt and uncle's house to visit with them and my cousins before heading to my brother's for one more family dinner. One of the best parts of Christmas, a tradition that I hope will continue no matter where we are each year: checking out Christmas lights!
Yes, that is really a leg lamp from A Christmas Story. Amazing lights, huh?
And today, I hit the gym with my mom before Terry and I packed up and headed back to LA. It's been a long day, and this post is more than enough detail, don't you think? But I leave you with some extra photos.
Happiness is when your wife hands you the bowl--to "clean"
What's your best memory so far this holiday season?