I was a little surprised that the kids wanted to spend Christmas at the beach again this year. Last year, we made the decision based on a lot of things hitting several fans, and the fact that we wanted to get the kids away from all of them. V was absolutely supportive of this; she encouraged us to do it and to just sequester ourselves as a family for the weekend. It was absolutely the right decision, but it does alter the norm of Christmas morning at home, opening gifts while having our traditional breakfast, and such.
But we do all agree that “Christmas” isn’t a single day for us. It’s always a time period of about two weeks or so, so really, the day we open Santa’s gifts doesn’t have to match the calendar designation of “Christmas.”
I’d gotten the family a “message center” that has a white board, Post-It notes, and a little video message recorder. It was definitely useful for us, but also a lot of fun for the kids, who love to leave goofy videos for each other. That arrived on the 16th, and I allowed them to open it and set it up. We celebrate Solstice, so on the 21st, everyone got their “cool, surprise” gift. I try to get one “big” gift for each person, that’s not on their wish list, that they don’t expect. Yule is an important day in our family, so that gift was opened then and a little celebration was had. On the 22nd, we did Santa. My living room looked like a cyclone of wrapping paper and boxes had hit it, but it was a blast. The kids and the Scientist loved their gifts, and I did too. I love having them open the things I chose for them and get excited. It’s such a rush for me. Stockings, however, weren’t touched; those came to the beach with us.
Christmas Eve was spent together watching movies, especially A Christmas Story, just hanging out in the living room enjoying each others’ company. We woke up on Dec 25th to crashing waves and a gorgeous sunrise. The Artist and the Scientist came down to the beach with me to photograph it – the Scientist then went out geocaching while the Artist and I went upstairs and back to our cozy warm beds! The place where we’re staying has a full kitchen (as well as a LOT more space than last year’s place!), so our traditional Christmas breakfast of bacon, hot cocoa, and cinnamon rolls/orange rolls (yes, from a can!) was easily made. We opened our stockings and reveled in more fun gifties and then spent the day relaxing. The Scientist went back out geocaching, and I’m glad he did. Shortly after he left, the Artist mentioned that she might be brewing a UTI – crud!! I texted him and he found an open Rite-Aid and got her unsweetened cranberry-pomegranate juice and Azo. It seems to be working, thankfully. We hit the pool, lazy river, and hot tub later that afternoon, and then I worked on my project and we watched more movies. Dinner was a fantastic lasagna that I’d made and brought, along with salad and garlic bread. Yum! The Ambassador and I weren’t feeling great, so we went to bed around 10ish. We all crashed and slept in a bit, which helped us all, I think.
At home, there’s about 6-7″ of snow on the ground from the storm, but it’s just swirling around here. I was pretty stunned, though, to look out the balcony door to watch the waves for a bit and see surfers in the water! Alejandro and I bundled up and went down; that was too good to miss. Yeesh. It was really cold! I got some good pics, though, so it was worth it. We’re going to play cards and watch football for the rest of today; we thought about going out originally, but it’s cold enough that we’d all rather just stay cozy and warm instead!
Maybe this is the last year the kids will want to do this, maybe it’s the start of a new tradition…either way, it’s been a blissful, nearly-no-stress holiday season. Success!