Someday, when our kids are grown up and independent and trying to find polite ways of spending their Christmas holiday with their own families or in-laws or friends, I like to imagine Carl and I will rent a cottage in the middle of nowhere and spend Christmas reading books by the fire and catching up on movies and letting the snow settle into deep, unshoveled drifts.
But we are thick in the years of merry mayhem now, and I’m soaking up the special kind of magic that comes with hearing Iris, big-eyed, whisper “ho ho ho” to herself when she catches sight of one of the nursery workers at church dressed up like Santa or seeing Ollie snuggled to sleep on his aunt’s lap, an island of perfect peace while the holiday party roars around them.
These are golden times.
Not perfect times, because there will always be someone doing something requiring, at the very least, an eye roll. But good times. Happy times. Times of cavalierly setting aside an hour or so to assemble the new play kitchen on Christmas Eve and staying up until your eyeballs hurt, trying to figure out how to hold the screw-driver, the cabinet door, the thingumabob, AND the nut all at the same time (why did I think hanging the cabinet doors would be the easy job?).
The weeks leading up to Christmas were tough for me. But I had some good conversations and saw some good friends and got the help I needed around the house and otherwise. I’m feeling more hearty, and the prospect of another long weekend ahead is nice too.
Not to mention the brand spanking new year that’s about the drop. I love new years. I love the celebrating and reminiscing and resolution forming. Besides all the usual rigamarole about drinking more water and implementing a schedule, I think I’m ready to try again with my creative Project 52. I did my first watercolor painting over the break and LOVED it. I also have Ollie taking most of his naps NOT in my arms, so I now have nap times to work with. Am stoked to give it another go.
Plus I have a new secret weapon for quick blog updates!
Carl has ALWAYS outdone me at Christmas time. If you’re into relationship health books, you’ll know what I mean when I say my love language is not gifts. I have trouble feeling confident about what people will actually want (I don’t want them to be politely grateful! I want them to get what they want!), so I put off buying anything until it’s too late and then I grab a gift card or just let the moment pass in a slump of embarrassed regret. Or I just buy from a list… but that’s kind of lame too, you know?
This year though I’ve known for months what I was going to get Carl. Between the house and kids, we’ve been trying not to spend much lately, but I decided to blow the budget and send Carl to the NHL Winter Classic. I was so proud of myself.
Until I opened my last present Christmas morning.
He got me the iPhone 5s.
Gone are the days, people. Gone are the days of toting my ancient flip phone (inevitably low on batteries). Gone are the days of carrying the big camera everywhere… and then tracking down the mini drive thing to plug the card into the laptop to download the photos and write the post.
I can even take video of our kids!! Our big camera has great video capabilities, but the focus is manual. Me + manual focus + subjects under 2 was such a foredoomed equation I had stopped even trying. I have a couple brief clips of Iris at 4 and 9 months and that’s about it. Nothing of Oliver.
Am so stoked. Feel so lucky.
Best Christmas ever.