A Merry Little Christmas

You know, I’ve always been the kind of person who wants – needs, even – to take advantage of every single moment on a holiday, and what this has historically resulted in is a lot of over-orchestrating. Especially Christmas: I love it so much, and it means so much to me, and so I plan out everything from what to wear to what to eat to what to sing to where to go, because I don’t want to waste a single second. And while it’s usually fun…it also doesn’t always leave a ton of time for things like actual relaxing.

Just being together, whatever that means.

Eating big tubs of Christmas popcorn for lunch because that’s what sounds good.

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This year, I decided to plan virtually nothing for the daylight hours.

And so we ate Christmas pancakes, drank coffee, and puttered around…

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And then settled in for a mini-My So-Called Life marathon (our son, inexplicably, loved it).

christmas eve

At four, we headed off to the Christmas service at our local church.

nativity play

The nativity play was such a hit that someone who wasn’t exactly part of the scheduled programming tried to get involved.

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We wore tinsel halos and sang and hung out in the special toy-filled corner that the church sets up to entertain those who aren’t so into the sitting-still part of church. We carried candles and hugged our neighbors and ate warm gingerbread on the way out into the snow-flurry night.

christmas eve dinner

After church was dinner at our friends’ house, with lots of people who we really only met a year ago but are starting to feel like family, almost.

christmas party

General rambunctiousness ensued for about two hours, when the smallest of us hit critical mass and needed to be deposited into pajamas immediately.

the night before christmas

We ended the night as I’d planned, with a tradition I’ve held every year since I was a little girl: reading The Night Before Christmas next to the tree.

And then our son decided that The Night Before Christmas was not a story he was interested in hearing at that particular moment, and literally took the book from my hands and hurled it to the other side of the room. He wanted to roll on the floor with Lucy and Virgil instead. And so you know what? That’s what we did.

We didn’t do what I’d planned to do, but what we did do was even better.

Just us, together. That’s all that matters. Today, or any day, really.

train set

Now, in the grand tradition of parents everywhere, we’re camped out in front of the TV (Love Actually) eating too many cookies and assembling stockings and train sets.

us on christmas eve

Merry Christmas from our family to yours.

Sleep tight.

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