Thursday, December 25, 2008

Collective Sigh of Relief

Christmas is over. It was good, no complaints about the last 24 hours. And now may I have my life back, please and thank you.

I was a Grinch this year. Not in the mood, not having fun shopping or preparing. It really all came to a head when I couldn't find "the story." My father and his father before him always read "'Twas the Night Before Christmas" before putting the kids to bed Christmas Eve. It's a cherished part of our holiday tradition. When DeuceDad became a father in 2007, my dad bought him his own book and passed on the tradition. DeuceDad read the story to his wife and infant son last Christmas, our first as a family of our own. It was really a wonderful experience for me, and I hope for DeuceDad too.

Fast forward to December 24, 2008. We moved months ago, and with piles of boxes left to unpack, I can't find the story anywhere. I tore apart the basement. DeuceDad tore apart the garage. I burst into hysterical sobbing. We had gone the better part of a month spending money and fooling around with expensive gifts and I had forgotten one of the few things I truly enjoy - the story. I unwound with Deuce for a few minutes while DeuceDad re-searched the basement, and then it came to me. An odd box of books hidden around behind some shelves in the family room. It was found. I slid down the wall onto the floor and just breathed.

That sums up the month leading up to Christmas Eve dinner. DeuceDad and I cooked together like we haven't since last year, he submitted himself to hours of carols, and everyone had fun.

Christmas morning, Christmas morning part two, afternoon nap time, and Christmas dinner where all really wonderful and we were both able to enjoy watching our parents shower Deuce with affection (and gifts. Oh the gifts.).

Next year I plan to reread this post December 1 to remind myself of what really matters. To be honest, I don't think I can put my finger on what that thing is that really matters. Maybe it's sharing something as simple as a poem read aloud, seeing smiles on faces when they got what they really wanted, biting into food someone made from scratch, sitting back at the end of it all and feeling glad it's over. There it is - feeling glad it's over. Because as important as holiday traditions are, I think the everyday is more important. Remind me of that next year.

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