Monday, December 27, 2010

Three Weeks of Christmas

What a joyful Christmas season we've had. I'm so thankful that we were able to spend quality time with each and every member of our immediate family, as well as some extended family that we hadn't seen in a long time. All these celebrations meant that we started our Christmasing early in December.

We joined the Petersons and Jeff and Susie for Christmas #1 in Colorado Springs the weekend of December 11-13. It was also a great chance to celebrate Doug's birthday. The weekend was full of kisses, giggles, tickles, a new word in Spanish (Tia!), meatballs, Sadie's very own sling for her baby, movies, chatting, knitting, reading, naps, and a delicious homecooked Christmas dinner!
The most lovely gift of all was a very special, handmade wooden rocking chair that Doug and Chris gave to Sadie (Doug made it himself!).

What a treasure this chair's so sturdy and just perfect for our rowdy little girl. I can picture Sadie's great-grandchildren using this chair!
The following weekend, we were so excited to pack up the truck and head for the hills for Christmas #2 with my family. We settled in at their house, which for me means a pile of books and a basket of knitting in front of the woodstove. I was most thankful for the following things: my lovely, crazy family of course!;. the aforementioned woodstove; being out of the suburbs and a little closer to nature for the weekend; a house full of very rambunctious dogs; a beautiful Christmas tree; card games; Dad's annual reading of Dylan Thomas' A Child's Christmas in Wales; mom's homemade cooking; late night pickin' with Brian and my dad; and some solitary mama time in the hottub with a good book. I love that my family makes our Christmas day traditions last as long as possible...stockings, crepes, open a few presents, break for bagels and lox (we have to put our Jewish twist on the day), open some more presents, take the dogs for a walk, model a new piece of clothing, open a few more, etc... you get the idea.

After all this excitement, we decided we would set aside a special winter night for our very own celebration with the just three of us at home. We had some special things for Sadie and for each other and were really looking forward to carving out some time for our own traditions.
On the winter solstice, I picked up Chinese takeout on my way home from work. After a great takeout picnic in the living room (a special treat for us), we enjoyed some gift giving and receiving.

A word on the tree...we almost skipped having a tree all together this year. We were gone for so much of the month that we couldn't justify getting a real tree (our preference) that would probably just die while we were out of town. My friend Heather came to the rescue by lending us a small, but very lovely, artificial tree. We covered it with cloth, indestructible, toddler-safe ornaments and we were instantly in the Christmas spirit!
The most exciting gift of the season was a Radio Flyer tricycle that we bought for Sadie. And we topped it all off with a custom-made bumper sticker..."Earl Scruggs for President". The sticker pays homage to my childhood bigwheel which my hippie parents adorned with a "Willie Nelson for President" bumper sticker. Awesome!

What a lucky girl Sadie has been this year, and we're so thankful for our generous friends and family who obviously put a lot of thought into her gifts (and respected our wishes too!). Last gift of the season came from her dear buddies "Aunt" Amanda and "Uncle" Ryan....her very own ukelele!

But we weren't done yet! A couple days before Christmas, we piled into the car with Doug and Chris, and headed to Holdrege, Nebraska to celebrate with the extended Peterson family. What a wonderful treat it was to finally introduce Sadie to some aunts, uncles, and cousins that she had never met!
And although she was rather shy for most of the weekend, she did warm up to her great-grandpa Peterson a bit. It was so special to see him with his first and only great-grandchild.

It was actually really nice that the majority of the gift-giving for the season had already taken place on previous weekends. It meant that Christmas weekend was really just about the things that matter most to me, and to us. ....spending time with loved ones, visiting, remembering, telling stories, enjoying Sadie's every move, eating delicious homemade food, games, rest, quiet times of reflection, a beautiful candlelight church service, singing and reading, knitting, and lots and lots of laughter.

It is at these times that I love to take a step back and reflect on how thankful I am for the family I am lucky enough to have married into. The Petersons are so welcoming, supportive, and loving, and I am so grateful for them.

Hope your season was as lovely as ours has been and Happy New Year!

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