Isn't the week between Christmas and New Year's Eve the best one of the whole year? You have a perfectly good excuse to hit the stores (because the sales are so great) AND a perfectly good excuse to stay home (because it's the holidays). There's still New Year's Eve to look forward to (the food, the outfit, the HANDBAG!) and, most importantly, the insanity we parents call "Santa" has passed for another blissful year!
So, here are the highlights of our crazy Christmas. I doubt there will be any heartwarming made-for-tv movies based on it next holiday season, but it was all ours and we liked it just fine.
The kids let us sleep in until 8 yesterday, and they were still pretty excited about the moderate number of gifts under the tree this year (we pared back all-round in an attempt to not set a precedent of shameful excess for future holidays). Firstborn's favourite stocking stuffer, the lowly whoopie cushion (a name he was simply unable to grasp, preferring the more obvious "fart bag") only lasted an hour before someone sat on it with a touch too much enthusiasm and split the seam. Frankly, no one was that disappointed.
Firstborn did his Christmas shopping at a kids' Christmas party at our local MFRC, where volunteers had raided the thrift store. The Captain was thrilled with his "I Love Bingo" mug (I'm pretty sure the Captain has never actually PLAYED Bingo) and I'm looking forward to a quiet evening watching my VHS copy of "Save the Last Dance" starring the lovely and talented Julia Stiles. I think this hilarity may have been the highlight of my Christmas.
The turkey was delicious (dark meat, anyone?!), but it became apparent 5 minutes before dinner was served that we had no more jars of my homemade cranberry chutney in the pantry, and no fresh or frozen cranberries to even whip up a quick batch of homemade sauce, so we had to make do with extra gravy. The Captain sarcastically thanked me for ruining Christmas and life went on, sans canneberge. A search through the fridge later turned up 3 tbsp in the bottom of an old jar. Note to self: clean out fridge more regularly.
After our early Christmas dinner, we all waddled back to the living room, stuffed to the gills, and flopped onto the couch. I enjoyed a pleasant read of my new knitting magazines (thanks Mom!), the Captain faded in and out of consciousness, and the kids plotted world domination. Or something.
By the time Rosemary's Baby's bedtime rolled around, we were all ready to put this Christmas behind us. I've never seen Firstborn so lippy. Both kids, in gorgeous new fleece pyjamas from Sister #1, went to bed crying, completely overstimulated and without dessert, not that any of us had room for it anyway.
And this is where the fun began. We poured ourselves a drink, flopped back onto the couch (I'm hitting the treadmill today. Seriously.) and watched some of the new TV the Captain brought back from his course with him. I was already enamoured with Alton Brown, so it was fun to be reacquainted with him, and to learn how to make a decadent 4-layer coconut cake. Then I was introduced to someone new to love, and his name is House. I'm not sure what took me so long to see this show. I've also for many years loved Hugh Laurie. The English, silly, funny Hugh Laurie (fun fact: Hugh Laurie and I were born in the same city). But this is a whole new Hugh Laurie. Brash, arrogant, American. You'd think that might be a turn-off, but I found myself completely besotted. Who knew?!
And now the celebration continues. We have almost a week of working up to the big par-tay, which will include a fake countdown to midnight at 7PM for the benefit of the children, and then several hours of the Captain and me desperately trying to stay awake in front of the TV to ring in the new year properly. We have failed 2 years in a row now, so despite the mounds of food and drink I have planned, we'll need something really good to keep us up that late.
I'm putting my money on House.