Anyways, I rushed around most of the morning, cooking, cleaning and chasing my son out of the gifts. Early in the morning madness I caught my 3 year old son unwrapping all of the gifts! It was a very good thing that I picked up 6 rolls of wrapping paper the day after Christmas so I could re-wrap the gifts.
As the relatives began to arrive I was just hopping out of the shower. My carefully selected outfit and make up were discarded and I grabbed jeans and a t shirt and towel dried my hair as best I could so I could get out there and see my family. No one seemed to care that I went for the casual look, so it all worked out.
From my relatives, only my parents had met Harper. It was fun to show her off to my sister and her family. It touched my heart to see each member of my family holding her, cooing over her and kissing her lovely little face. After about 4 hours of constant attention from someone new Miss Harper was exhausted! She was read for bed at 4:30. Still in her party dress I laid her in her crib. I thought she was having a nap, so I was quite shocked when she was still asleep at 6:30. At 8:30 I crept into her room and stroked her beautiful cheek. She sighed and snuggled closer to my hand. Finally at 11 she began to stir. We had missed her so much that my husband dashed into her room and woke her up. She was happy, smiling and cooing at us. We put her in her cozy Christmas Pajamas, she had a bottle and drifted off to sleep again. Relatives are exhausting!
My son loved having an audience! He completely showed off for the family, but he spent most of his time with his Popawa, playing trains and with his new tool set, courtesy of Auntie M and Uncle Lee.
|Yes, they are both crying... how dare I take their picture!|
I loved seeing how my nephews and niece have grown. We used to live next door to them, but since moving north I have barely seen them in the past 5 years. To see them together,to see my niece at 17 years old talking about her boyfriend, to see how my nephews are actually adults now at 19 and 20 years old, to see how tall they have grown, to hear that they have adult voices now, to hear about their jobs and friends and plans for the future... oh, I can't describe that feeling. Slight sadness that they will never be those little rotten kids that I loved like they were my own, to know that there won't be more sleepovers, trips to the pool or video game marathons... And a sense of pride that these kids who aren't really kids anymore, are turning out to be fine young adults.
|As close to a Christmas shot as 'i am going to get.|
We exchanged gifts, and I went overboard and overwhelmed my family. My Mom called me that night and said she felt really bad, that I did so much for them while they gave me a few towels for the holidays. I dismissed her bad feelings and told her that all I wanted was a few new towels so I was happy, no worries. I am a very hard person to shop for, ask anyone I know. I really truly want for nothing in this life. I have more than I could ever need or use, and I am an odd bird in the sense that receiving gifts often leaves me with a feeling that can only be described as embarrassment. I don't know why I feel that way, but I do know I enjoy giving so much more than I enjoy receiving gifts.
When the family had to leave I was left with a feeling of despair. My husband and son went to the park to play and I wandered around our quiet and empty house feeling like I had said goodbye forever to my family. I missed the people who couldn't come such as my brother in California and his wife and daughters, my Grandma who is unable to travel due to her age and health, the aunts and uncles that I never see anymore, the relatives who have passed away. I was left to wonder if I would ever have my whole family together again. That is a sad feeling.
I vowed to myself that no matter how much bickering with my spouse it might amount to next year I will go home for Christmas. I will see my family together, I will enjoy the aunts and uncles and my Grandma as well as my parents, my sister and her family. Life is too short to not spend time with these people. Someday I might be left missing them and wishing I had just went home one more time... I don't want that to happen.
Saturday #191 was completely different from any other Saturday for my family. My kids got to spend time with relatives, they got to celebrate Christmas a third time and we didn't do any shopping (odd!)