It’s been a nice holiday season…we went to see my dad in the nursing home and he was actually having a pretty good day! I wished that we lived closer so we could’ve stayed longer (it’s a 4 1/2 hour drive each way…and we did it all in one very long day).
I tend to enjoy Christmas Eve more than Christmas Day…and it’s not because we open most of our gifts on Christmas Eve…but the year my husband’s father died, and then my father had his stroke less than a month later, my husband wanted to extend our Christmas Eve celebration and make it last most of the day. I’d been gone much of that fall (with my father) and we really needed some family time. So we went out to lunch, then came home and opened one gift, which was a family game…we played the game (I still remember what that first game was — space-opoly!), then watched a movie together, then had our traditional Christmas Eve dinner (lobster…the only time all year we have it), and opened gifts. We’ve continued that tradition every year ever since…we always go out to lunch on Christmas Eve, we always get a new game that we open up and play, and the last several years we’ve also gone to a movie, but it was such a nice day this year (mid-40s and sunny) and there wasn’t a movie that all of us were dying to see, so we decided to go geocaching instead!
Teen never did figure out the code on the presents…and when he was shown the code, he didn’t think it was a good one because “there wasn’t anything to figure out.” In a sense, he was right. This code was a matter of observation (and well, smart as he is, this is also the kid who did not notice for three days that I had chopped 14 inches off my hair). There’s a Christmas decoration that hangs in our house that’s, well…a house with four hearts hanging from it. Each heart has one of our names along with a little drawing — a nutcracker, a snowman, a candy cane and a stocking. THAT was the code!
There was a real code in the Santa presents on Christmas Day, though. It didn’t look like it at first because all the presents said to (whoever it was for) from Santa…but there were scraps of paper inside some of the presents that had pieces of a code that led to one more present that was hidden in the house. The first couple of scraps were overlooked, but finally Preteen noticed one. And then one of the kids said, “Oh good. I was afraid there wasn’t a code this year.” And unfortunately, I only put one of the pieces in Teen’s gifts (and even that piece wasn’t much of a code…I just wrote in Latin that the gift was also for him and he could help his brother with the clues — he’s studied Latin for 3-4 years). I wasn’t sure he’d still be in to the codes at his age…but he is. I was really kicking myself for not evening out the clues.
My brother came on Christmas Day and we had a nice couple of days together. This is only the third Christmas I have not spent with my parents. There was the year my dad had his stroke, last year, and now this year. It was easier this year than it was last year…but I still felt the absence.
I’ve kept up my 2-pages a day…even on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day I wrote two new pages each day (but that was ALL the writing I did). I did it before everyone else was up, so I didn’t feel it was an intrusion…I rather enjoyed it. After all, I AM a writer…and writers write. Even on Christmas.