Our Christmas was so nice this year. We eased into it. I had some downtime and the kids and I were able to prepare the house, little by little.
We spent some time stamping our own wrapping paper, making star ornaments for gifts, and making decorations for our home, like this evergreen garland that we hung above our front door and decorated with ornaments and a bow.
We had our traditional sushi dinner with Ian’s father and his lovely girlfriend, Miriam (whom we call Mimi). Always a high point of our Christmas season—a moment of relaxation juxtaposed with great antici—-pation.This year we got to hear a little more about their recent trip to Peru, when they visited Machu Picchu and climbed to—I forget exactly—umpteen thousand feet above sea level.
Our boys woke bright and early on Christmas morning, just as they always do.
Stockings and presents from Santa came first. Santa brought Asher this cool soccer ball in his favorite color!
And he brought Lucas a calligraphy set, with three pens, and several different ink colors and a book to learn how to make fancy letters. (Waldorf sixth graders study the Middle Ages, you know.) Santa also brought a family present, one for the four of us to enjoy together: Castle Ravenloft, a Dungeons & Dragons board game!
And some Magic the Gathering cards came in each stocking. These are a huge hit around here lately.
Then an amazing and touching thing happened: The boys allowed me to open my present first, and it turned out to be a scavenger hunt that they put together with Ian. I had to find notes and pieces of my present all over the house. Each note had a clue where to go next. Canvases in sizes I’ve never used before (two big ones!) and a beautiful HUGE paintbrush. It was delightful and such a surprise!
The rest of our morning at home was about exchanging sweet gifts. Asher gave me a beautiful rose quartz crystal, wrapped in a rainbow silk—both his own precious belongings. He gave daddy a fairy jewel. Lucas was pleased with his gift to Ian: a copy of Fortunately the Milk, by Neil Gaiman. He sure knows his dad!
One of my gifts to Lucas was a collection of prints showing Lord of the Rings actors and Tolkien quotations. I hope he likes them. (We still haven’t put them up yet.)
Such abundance! Books, modeling clay, LEGO Chima (Asher’s favorite!), new running shoes for active boys, sketch books and art supplies. Daddy and I both got some workout gear. I guess some families do just one or two gifts each. We do a bunch of smallish gifts that support each other’s dreams and hobbies. I like it. But this year was a departure from normal: The boys opened a big box containing Mickey Mouse ears and travel brochures. We are all going to Disneyland in February!!!
It took a little while for this information to sink in …
(Many, many thanks to my uncle Mike and aunt Julie for procuring the hats and brochures from the Magic Kingdom itself. They helped to make the deferred trip seem real.)
I love moments like this one: Ian relaxing in his favorite chair, with his fluffy dog, a new book, new slippers on his feet, and a cup of joe.
On Christmas day, we also visited family at Ian’s parents’ home and my parents’ home. We were grateful to see grandparents, cousins, and aunts and uncles at both. More gifts, good food, and silliness were the orders of the day. Can’t beat it! Asher received a toy bow with nerf-tipped arrows that fly far and don’t hurt anything when they hit; it’s one of his favorites. Grandma VoVo gave the boys such a clever thing: a money-saving jar with a counter and a bunch of coins. She wrote Disneyland on it so they can save up for our trip next month. Lucas received what I think is one of the hottest toys of the season: a rainbow loom for making rubber band bracelets. Grandma Sydney sewed them each new pajamas and knitted them hats. Such lucky, lucky boys. Truly, we are all so very blessed in every way.
The days that follow Christmas are always some of our favorite days of the whole year. We are together at home, snuggly warm and content. We have lots of wonderful new diversions. We can play together. Slowly we clean up after the holiday party at our home; slowly we eat up delicious leftovers. The boys pored over many, many new Magic cards from Uncle Tate.
It has been unseasonably warm here for the last two months, as you can probably see in this photo. We played soccer with Asher’s new ball at the school field at the end of our street—in shirt sleeves and shorts!
The new ball drew a crowd of neighborhood boys. 🙂
And we played our new family D&D game. Thanks Santa!
There’s much more to say about the two weeks of Christmas vacation, I’m sure. But I’ve sat on this post for too long already. So I’ll sign off with this gorgeous winter sunset and say simply, we are happy and so blessed. I hope your winter holidays were equally magical.