We didn't do a huge Christmas this year, by our standards. I mean, there was no "big" gift for either kid; no bike, no scooter, no expensive electronics. DH and I agreed to a no-gifts policy and mostly stuck to it (he grabbed a CD and stuck it in my stocking). But the kids LOVED their Christmas. I am so happy to say that we got them several things that were in their letters to Santa -- books, games, smallish toys -- and they were just as thrilled as any kid who got a "big" gift.
Kids don't notice things like being sick putting a damper on Mommy's general mood (or maybe my mood is the same whether I'm sick or not... don't answer that): but I was sick over Christmas. It started Friday night before we had packed. We were supposed to all go together, to buy a few more things for Gam and Pop and then have a nice dinner out, but I begged off and let them watch a Disney tween-com marathon while I fevered out under a blanket. I managed to help DH by wrapping those new gifts, and pulled clothes out for myself and the kids, for the suitcase, but otherwise I was worthless.
And the garage door broke that night, nearly preventing us from even going to south GA the next day.
So it started out auspiciously. There was a bit of, how shall we say... melancholy and distress over the health of a loved one. (It's not my story to tell here.) But there was some genuine laughter around our Christmas Eve dinner table. There was soft light from the tree, and three angelic kids -- my two, plus their new baby cousin -- sitting by the light, oblivious to anything but excitement over what was still to come.
When Santa hangs candy canes on the tree, that's how you know it's really and truly Christmas. At least that's how it is in my family.
It was Christmas, therefore, in Savannah. :)
We had brunch with DH's brother and his wife, and their 4-month-old. Aside from the physical relief I felt when her mommy set her in her swing -- I remember so well that relief, of finally getting to put the baby DOWN -- I was so glad it wasn't me with a tiny baby anymore. I did change a diaper for them, and Gam joked that I hadn't forgotten how. Huh! How could I have? Feels like just yesterday in so many ways. BIL has grown so much. For the first time, he and I have something in common, and it's a revelation. I honestly feel for him in ways I never have, and I know that he understands something about me that he didn't before. We've never been able to really relate. But now we can. And we are, related. :) He said, both in person and on Facebook, that he really treasures time spent with family. I think it's the nicest thing he's ever said.
The kids were excited, too, because we had "three Christmases." Santa, first thing in the morning; then BIL's house; then after our 4-hour drive home the same day, we opened the rest of the presents we'd left at our house. That was fun. It was weird driving on Christmas Day (night), on the back-end of a trip. And it's been kind-of a letdown of a week off, since I'm still somewhat sniffly and coughing a lot, and KT is too. (DH got it a day or 2 ago, so we start again.) Today we went to WalMart to let the kids spend some Christmas cash burning holes in their pockets, and I bought a 4-pack of tissues and some cough drops. That's about as exciting as it's gotten. But they've been playing with their new toys, and with their cardboard spaceship, and that's enough, you know? It's good.