We're having a Hanukkah party with my family with a "Secret Santa"-type exchange. Then we're spending Christmas with my husband's family. Should be fun!
Quietly at home! But we will have a week of fun activities starting on the 19th to get in the holiday spirit! Visiting Santa, making cookies, sledding...can't wait! :)
I'll be spending time with my family and friends.
Staying at home as usual!
Christmas is a melancholy time for my family as we lost my mom on December 28,2001 due to cancer. We always take time to remember her gifts to us; ability to see the best in people, to love no matter what, to remember our blessings. We celebrate God's greatest gift to us, Christ's birth by giving gifts that express our love and by joining together with family and friends making new memories.
Last Christmas we moved on December 17th which meant unpacking the necessities took priority over unpacking and putting up Christmas decorations including a tree. It was a humbling year and the move only added to this humbling revelation.
This year, after a second move in April, a broken collar bone and surgery for our 16 year old, two broken vertebrae from a mountain biking accident for my husband on our wedding anniversary in May, a surgery for me in July, and our 19 year old son in college for his second year trying to study, work, and pay college expenses we find the family excited about our Christmas traditions, again. And more completely than before this last year. We realized how tenuous our lives are and the condition of our family.
An independent child (teenager) who was never really ill or injured now relied for his mom for everything. Food, beverages, pain medication, dressing, undressing, comfort, love, a sounding board for his pain and anger were now bringing him back to when he was just an infant needing his mother again. The prodigal child (going through puberty wanting very little from his family and his family not wanting to be around the hormonal child either) returned realizing just how much his mother loved him and was willing to do all he needed to have done without holding a grudge for his past behavior. I consider that an incredible gift, one that I will cherish this Christmas.
My husband struggled with the fact he was away for our anniversary on a mountain biking camping trip and received a concussion and fractured vertebrae. He realized just how much his family relied on him when we could no longer expect him to do the same things he had always done. He fully recovered and for that Christmas reminds us of the gifts we receive throughout the year.
Our oldest son gave me a very special Mother's Day letter that spoke of his great learning he did in the first year of college about the sacrifices that I made throughout his life. He realized that while we may not always agree, there is a love that cannot be broken between us. A better gift than this I do not know what it could be.
So this Christmas, the family is full of joy despite the year of _ _ _ _ we have been through. We are making only those treats that are special to us and are not trying to match all the other expectations to top last year or two years ago. We are concentrating on the experiences rather than the gifts. That does not mean that I did not get them the coolest gifts, purchased in one day online and from the comfort of my home office with Christmas music elevating the mood even more. Both of our boys will be here and Christmas will be wonderful no matter what happens to the family.
Hosting Christmas Eve dinner for the family. Seven Fishes Italian tradition has been celebrated by our family for over 80 years. Hosting was passed to me in the 90s. With the passing and relocation of family, this year 26 will be attending.
Preparations are now underway. This is an enormous amount of work but something I would never decline!
I will be spending it with my family,with a big turkey dinner of course!
We will have a brief family get together to exchange any gifts. I then go to my best friend's house for Christmas. I have done this for over 20 years. They are family to me. We have a huge turkey & ham dinner with all the great sides. Then we all join in to do dishes. We hang out, talk, watch movies, and we exchange gifts. With so many people we draw names at Thanksgiving. Plus, I have 17 days off over the Holidays, which will be spent cleaning...lol, and taking my daughter to swim team. They practice a lot over the school break.
We are going to my mom's for Christmas!
We have a fondue dinner and go to mass on Christmas Eve. On Christmas day we open stocking then have breakfast then exchange gifts--and then play with the gifts! We are having a Yankee swap with the extended family this year, so that will help cut down on excessive gift-buying for aunts, uncles, cousins, etc!
With my extended family, church and lots of good food!