This is the fourth Christmas I have spent with my husband and by far the best. And I know that is directly related to how much time I was able to spend with Little K in December.
Until this year, Little K has spent the entire month of December with her father. Let me tell you that being away from her during the holday season is the hardest thing I have ever done. But this year, it was different: she didn't go to her father until December 21st. We put the tree up together, made and wrapped Christmas presents, sang Christmas carols, and looked at Christmas lights. We finally had the chance to begin making Christmas memories.
There are things I will add next year: we will start the crafts earlier, make Christmas cookies, put on John Denver & The Muppets Christmas cd while we decorate, and do an advent wreath. I may even let her wrap a gift or two all by herself. But this year was absolutely wonderful all on it's own.
My stomach bug lasted through lunch on Christmas Eve, canceling our plans for salami, cheese, and artichokes that night. Instead, we watched the first Sherlock Holmes and Scrooged while nibbling on a baguette. Christmas morning was a little better, although I still was not the least bit hungry. We did stockngs together, Skyped with my folks, and cleaned the house. R went outside to finish the kids' playhouse while I got started on Christmas dinner. We went to the movies for Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows and came home for dinner.
Back from the movies, I observed to R that I liked this Christmas. While it would be even better with Little K home, I finally feel like this kind of Christmas is enjoyable and maintainable. It was low-key and full of grown up stuff we can't do with the kids home. What a surprise to find that Christmas can be enjoyed!
We still can't do Christmas Eve service (too many kids) but overall we were able to appreciate the holiday season. That was the biggest gift of all.
I wish you all a Happy Boxing Day (and Little K's 6th Birthday) and leave you with photos from our meal last night:
Osso Bucco with Lemon Gremalata on Shitake-Chantarelle-Oyster Mushroom Risotto
White Chocolate Banana Mousse filled Crepe Cake with Dark Chocolate Ganache