We had a lovely holiday, with a big, beautiful tree that reached the ceiling, lots of presents, good food, and the joy of being together.
True, we missed our extended family members who were far away and could not be with us, but we had a wonderful time with our newly combined (and therefore enlarged) immediate family.
On Christmas Eve we sat together on the couch and read the Christmas Story from a set of little books that The Boy was given when he was very small. The kids asked what frankincense and myrrh were, and to their manifest surprise, I had samples available! Several years ago, I went to Frankenmuth, Michigan, where there is the most wonderful Christmas shop called Bronners. I had picked up a small package of "the first gifts": it had charcoal (wrapped in gold foil: to keep things affordable, there was no actual gold in the box) and small bags of frankincense and myrrh. We had a fire going, so we used charcoal from the fireplace to heat up some frankincense and the smell filled the house. Next year I think we'll try the myrrh.
Before bedtime came we ate some of the cookies that Gram had sent to us, and picked out two for Santa to eat. The kids were very concerned that the reindeer might feel left out, so we promised to tell Santa that the reindeer should help themselves to the hay outside. After being tucked in for the night, I could hear Princess Girl fiercely whisper to her brother "SHHHH! We have to go to sleep so Santa can come!"
Sure enough, Santa did come ... the kids said they were sure they heard Bob and McKenzie barking in the night, and it must have been because Santa was here!
Santa, being the smart man that he is, put a bottle of ibuprofen in my stocking. You see, Santa knew that this was the first Christmas morning that I'd have three small kids in my house - two of whom wake up *very early* all by themselves. I took one about an hour and a half after I got up ... but to be honest, the headache was coming on even before I got out of bed. Still, I sure appreciated finding that magical stuff in my stocking!
We had a wonderful morning enjoying the chance to give and receive presents - we all really enjoy giving just the right thing to someone, and there were a few of those moments this year.
My Boy gave me a set of rosewood double-pointed knitting needles (the kind you use for mitts and socks). I received a bag of alpaca fibre, ready for spinning, from Princess Girl and Dinosaur Boy. Right after I opened that, Princess Girl opened her present of two scarves, hand knit from fibre that she helped me dye. Her exclamation was priceless: "Oooh! I got fibre tooooo!"
Dinosaur Boy was suitably impressed by his Dragon Scarf ... The Reluctant Farmer was pleased with the new digital photo frame he received from his kids ... I was ecstatic to receive a new iPod of my very own ... The Boy was amazed to find a quadripedal robot under the tree for him ... and the dogs were all spoiled rotten with snacks and treats and leftovers.
All in all, it was a lovely day.
Merry Christmas to you, too!