Holiday Musings

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The Christmas holidays have come and gone. Before I leave them behind, I’d like to reflect on a few special moments so I can savour the magic one more time.

A New Kind of New Years Eve
This year, we hosted a New Year’s Eve Party for ourselves and two other couples. We all have 2 year olds so we celebrated New Year’s Eve with Dick Clark at midnight eastern time; that’s 9 pm our time and the party broke up soon after. We had a blast, feasting on Greek food, drinking wine and champagne, and celebrating with party hats, noise makers, activities for the kids and a Canucks hockey game. I never would have imagined enjoying a party like this before I had kids but it was fantastic! Happy New Year!

Christmas Day
We weren’t up at the crack of dawn; the dude woke up at 7:40 and off we went, to find out if Santa had eaten the cookies and milk we left out for him. Then the moment I had been waiting for. The dude spotted the bright red fire truck under the tree and pointed to it from across the room, speechless. That was a magical moment. Then he raced over to the Christmas tree to explore. We had lots of fun opening the rest of the gifts and unloading the jam packed stockings. My son “helped” everyone out – he loves opening presents!

Here’s where I brag about the yummy Christmas dinner I cooked: turkey, stuffing, gravy, sweet potato bake, cranberries, cranberry mold, honey glazed onions, bread pudding and an assortment of cookies and chocolates. My table was set with my beautiful Royal Albert china, crystal glassware, silver cutlery and the always entertaining Christmas crackers that make a loud bang when pulled open to reveal crowns, jokes and a small gift! Yes, we wore the crowns! To fully understand my sense of accomplishment you would have to know the background behind the name of my blog (read my post Half Baked Banana Bread), and also know that my nickname prior to marriage was “the lean cuisine queen”.

T’was the Night Before Christmas
On Christmas Eve, I made a last minute trip to Toys R Us following a conversation about Santa and presents. In my family, Santa gifts were always unwrapped and assembled in front of the tree. In my husband’s family, gifts were wrapped and tagged from mom and dad. My mother in law commented that when my husband was a small boy, if someone asked what Santa gave him, he would say he got an orange. The intention was that the children would know that their mom and dad were giving them gifts.

I realized that it was important to me that the dude experience the magic of Santa including getting Santa gifts! I was pretty sure the dude would notice if the giant box (containing a wooden train set) disappeared from under the tree though so I couldn’t just unwrap it. He is very observant. T’was the night before Christmas, and off I went to find another Santa gift to park in front of the tree. In the end, he was a pretty happy boy.

Memories to Treasure
We are still establishing our traditions as a family of three. I imagine this will change and evolve over time. I don’t think we need to pick one family’s traditions over the other, but we need to make choices that work for all of us even if it means creating new ones like celebrating New Year’s Eve on eastern time!

The moments I treasure this year are simple ones – family gathered together to share a meal and reconnect after time apart; my son’s eyes lit up with wonder when he first saw the Christmas tree; festive lights in the neighbourhood and at Stanley Park; walking hand in hand with my husband downtown on the Woodwards Christmas Windows walking tour; and the laughter of our friends and children as we gathered together to ring in a New Year full of love and friendship.

What special memories do you have of this holiday season? What traditions do you follow? I’d love to hear your holiday musings!

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