I sit here in the calm after the storm.
The kids are in bed, the wrapping paper in the recycle bin, the garbage is awaiting pick-up by the curb, the leftovers put away and dishes washed. I sit here with a glass of wine able to finally reflect on the day.
I love Christmas, I just hate the work that comes with it. It is a whirl-wind event beginning on Christmas eve that doesn't end until right about now!
We usually "go Catholic" on Christmas Eve and this year was no different. We did, however, manage to go to the early 4:00 family service to get a jump on things. It took quite a bit of coercion to get Megan dressed and out the door, but we did it. We then went to dinner at local Italian restaurant. Dinner was great and despite one spilled lemonade, the girls (baby Emma included) were well behaved. We got home with plenty of time for bath and for the big girls to wrap the presents they had bought each other. We allow them the opportunity to open one gift on Christmas Eve and they decided to open their gifts to one another. I read them the story of Jesus' birth and then Twas the Night Before Christmas, we set out cookies, carrots and milk and they were off to bed!
We waited a bit and then the mad dash to get all presents wrapped and under the tree began. I was paranoid this year that we would get caught, but we were able to get it all done and in bed before 10pm!
Sarah couldn't sleep well and ended up in our bed sometime around 1:30am. The dog wanted to eat around 6:30 so we were up. Megan continued to sleep and didn't join us in bed until after 7am. I went down first with the video camera to capture the moment. We spent the morning opening presents and having breakfast. As soon as I got Emma down for her morning nap, my preparations for dinner began. It was a meal I had made before, so it really didn't require a lot of work, so I went about things fairly relaxed.
My family arrived around 5 and it was so nice to spend time with them. I do feel like I spent way too much of the evening in the kitchen, but what can I do, dinner required my attention. We ate, then opened gifts during dessert. The kids had a great time, and I think the adults did too!
Despite the chaos, I think this was our best Christmas! The kids were well behaved and no one was disappointed with gifts. All were received with great joy and lots of thanks! I loved being able to spend a little time with my brother before he heads back to Dallas tomorrow. He is a great guy and my kids love him. My secret (not so secret anymore) wish for him is that he finds love again and can be happy (anyone know any super terrific, down to earth girls in the Dallas area, let me know)
Well, my wine is almost done and I have been left alone to watch the Christmas lights. It is time to drag my weary self to bed.
"Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!"