Here I sit, still riding high off the luxuriant fumes of the Christmas that WAS. The Christmas that could, the one that DID.
You’ll have to pardon me if I sound overly reminiscent as I (sort of) wax poetic about the current state of bliss that I’m floating around in. It’s been rather a trip to get here, where all of the hard work is starting to pay off and my little family is still intact. With toddlers in tow, thus rowdily so; imperfectly so.
Last Christmas, as much as I tried to pretend it wasn’t, it was indeed one of the darkest times my relationship had ever seen and we we’rent sure if we’d come out of it together. Well, we did and this family thing is everything it’s cracked up to be in those movies with the sappy, happy endings and then some.
I’ll take my stereotypical, near-matrimonial, parent-hood happiness with glee. Acknowledging that with our (not-so) everyday privilege comes such benefits as being given the time, resources and environments to nurture our little family. To create such magical memories and scenes that I’m now day-dreaming about in 2014.
The Family That Could 1 of 13
This past Christmas truly was our most wonderful time of the year!
New Traditions 2 of 13
I've always been on the fence about getting a real tree. You know, that silly, pesky environment of ours and all. That and trees being sacred. Clean oxygen is good, right? But then, not much compares to the experience of cutting down one's own family tree. And the smell. Not all of the evergreen scented candles in all the land can replicate that smell. Besides, upon deeper reflection I realized fake trees are made of ghastly, mostly toxic things and real Christmas trees are farmed specifically for our North American desires. So. Bring on the real trees forever-more.
Tree Trimming 3 of 13
Lots of sawing and watching. Lots of hot chocolate with marshmallows and coffee with bailey's consuming. Putting up a real tree is a pain in the arse every time and worth it every time. Even when disaster strikes. (More on that later.) In fact my tree is still up and while I know I have to take it down sometime this week, the thought does pain me. The house will seem so empty and when I told the kids last night that it had to come down and all of the decorations and lights around the house had to go back into their boxes, they were at once shocked and totally unimpressed. Can't Christmas just last all winter long?
The Tree That Could 4 of 13
So about the disaster. Our magnificent tree fell. I was in the kitchen prepping dinner and the kids were elbows deep in markers, crayons and stickers when I caught the quiver out of the corner of my eye. (Another coup for open-concept homes.) Instinctually, I ran over to where she began her great descent and caught her just inches before eating floor. We got it back up as you can see. It was all quite traumatizing, admittedly humorous upon retrospect.
Carols and Feasting 5 of 13
All of the very best parts that make up a superb holiday, AMIRITE? (As long as I'm not singing the carols I'm good.) Also related, lots of movie watching, specifically of the Christmas kind, was in popular demand all throughout our break together. I'm satisfied to report that my children are officially obsessed with the holidays. My work in that department is done.
Baking and Gifting Handmade Presents Together 6 of 13
Lots of baking happened over here during the holidays, as it does in many a home. This year my little ones were old enough to really take part in helping, from the baking to the packaging and wrapping of for teachers and neighbours. That's the stuff right there, the moments that make all the meltdowns, food flinging and drop-kicks worth it.
Cuddle Parties 7 of 13
Seeing so many friends and family that we don't get to see very often meant for lots of occasions that called for dressing up, twirling in party dresses and sweet cuddles at every turn.
The Family That Dresses Up Together Stays Together 8 of 13
It's true. Also? the family that sits on (or near), Santa's lap together is also destined to stay together. I think my most favourite things about our holidays together was watching Abby and Wyndham's friendship as siblings really start to develop and all of the cute little games they made up and played together that didn't involve a single toy. Just they and their imaginations.
Play Knows No Gender 9 of 13
Little girls who play with planes and trains and little boys who bake and rock little babies to sleep. All of their own inquiry and/or volition. More of that please!
Seeing Friends Old & New 10 of 13
Ringing in the New Year with newer friends and travelling for miles to see old and dear ones. We've made a tradition out of treking about once a year to see those who live far away and I love that we're staying connected all throughout our kids' lives. Makes for special friendships to last a life-time, two generations deep.
The Night Before Christmas 11 of 13
These two definitely weren't silent and the excitement was full-blown. It took us a bit longer than anticipated to get Wyndham and Abby into bed after writing Santa welcome letters and leaving out cookies and milk and carrots. As much as I loved my babies' respective 1st Christmases, this year topped the cake for me. This was the year that they both really 'got it'. Full-on magic mode all to do with family, love, and Santa. It's the sort of thing you daydream about during the holidays when your babies are wee and then all of a sudden, BOOM, you're in it. I'm particularly feeling warm and fuzzy about our families heirloom (to be), Pendleton stockings that I made. Treasured and coveted on high those are.
The Big Morning 12 of 13
We unwrapped presents slowly and majestically. Everything was amazing to them, right down to a pack of dollar-store stickers. That first glimpse of the tree and the presents as they turned the hallway corner into the living room is pretty much tattooed into my brain.
And The Winner Is… 13 of 13
There were many loved gifts, but when asked what they loved most about the holidays at dinner last night, Abby and Wyndham both agreed that Daddy taking a break from work to, 'hang-out lots' with them was the highlight. Then came the 'oh yeas', over the drum set, the train track extension set and roundhouse, the calico critters, The Wizard of Oz and World Map family jigsaw puzzles, and the Living Sands sensory bin. They've been immersed in going back and forth between these activities and toys non-stop.
More Babbles From Selena…
- A Daddy’s Love
- 10 Things I’ll Never Regret Doing With My Kids
- 7 New Year’s Resolutions I Hope My Toddlers Make For 2014
- 10 Ways We Stay Sane With Toddlers During The Winter Break
- 20 Unique Challenges That Parents of Toddlers Face Everyday
Selena is a crafty, culinary mom. Regular writer here and on Disney Baby. Part-time mischief maker, all the time geek. Elsewhere on the Internets … Via her humble beginnings, mastering in general mayhem: le petit rêve