Now that we're snugly between the two holidays--Christmas and the new year--I'm feeling a bit of a tug toward normalcy. The Christmas remnants are still lingering in my house: the decorations stare cheerily at me, the new toys litter every nook and cranny, and the lazy days grow long and boring. The festive hangover has commenced. I need a holiday detox, beginning with Project De-Christmas My House. I say this like a big fat Grinch, but, really, I loved every minute of the holiday and I'm already looking forward to next year.
Ours was filled with celebrating our family of four. We inadvertently discovered last year when the weather ruined our travel plans yet another Christmas that we'd really rather prefer staying home anyway. So we made plans to see the extended family before or after Christmas, and then spent Christmas Eve and Day holed up in our house, save for the excursion into town for the Christmas Eve candlelight service--a definite tradition I'm not willing to sacrifice.
A few days prior to Christmas, it snowed. We all rejoiced: a white Christmas, after all! Then it melted. Gone with barely a trace as a reminder. The lack of snow seems like such a inconsequential thing, but I'm fairly certain it contributed to our constant state of denial that it was indeed Christmas. Dave and I kept reminding ourselves and each other of that fact. And Spencer mourned our foiled sledding plans. Last Christmas we had more than enough snow and sledded the afternoon away, thinking a new tradition had been born. Hopefully next year we can resurrect the Christmas day sledding tradition.
On Christmas Eve the boys opened the gifts from us, separating the ones from Santa by a day. The favorite gifts were definitely the ones the boys picked out for each other. Toys, of course. After setting out cookies for Santa and grain for the reindeer, the boys snuggled into the sleeping bags I made them, rolled out on their bedroom floors. Ashton lasted a few minutes on the floor before he retired to his bed, but Spencer spent the entire night nestled inside his "army" sleeping bag.
Christmas morning buzzed with sweet anticipation. We made the boys wait while I prepared the monkey bread for baking. I wonder if Santa ate all the cookies. I can't wait to see what he brought me. Is it time to go downstairs yet? Finally, it was time, and they ran downstairs. Spencer grabbed his stocking off the hook faster than I could ready my camera and was digging in it with wild abandon. Ashton took his time mulling through the stocking and Santa bag treasures. We had to keep urging him along to discover more of the goodies. When all the gifts had been unearthed, Spencer took stock of his loot, and suddenly exclaimed, "Santa shops at Walmart!" (Note to self: remove all stickers, tags and other "evidence" next year. Otherwise my Santa rights may just be revoked.)
We spent the day in our jammies, eating, playing with new toys and puzzles and games, watching movies and singing along to the constant stream of the Frozen soundtrack in the background. Once the boys were tucked in bed that night, Dave and I played a few rounds of cards before snuggling under blankets to watch a movie.
Although we enjoyed being hermits on Christmas, we were equally excited to emerge the next day. We did something so atypical of a December in Minnesota. We had a picnic. Outside. Without freezing to death. It was a little chilly, but the novelty of a December picnic was too hard to pass up. Then after we "fed" some deer and played at the park, we hurried home to trade in real clothes for jammies and resume our hermit status.
Now that Christmas is over and we're sluggishly detoxing, we are preparing to celebrate the end of 2014. Happy belated holidays!