Well, hello there! You take a break from the blog for a couple of weeks, and they go and start a whole new year on you. Happy 2015!
I had lots of ideas for blogging over the holidays, but it just seemed so much easier to roll over on the couch, grab yet another cookie, and then continue reading Bossypants on my Kindle. Needless to say, it was a good break. But now, I will capture as many of those vitally-important social commentary notes as I can remember through the butter-and-sugar-filled haze, as I have been reading a few non-fiction family histories lately and suddenly it seems key that I record every single thing we did. Future generations will want to know!
Christmas Eve Shopping. About 15 years ago, when I was a young newlywed, my husband and I were packing up to visit the folks on Christmas Eve, and I decided I needed some slippers to take with me. So we went to the mall, and it took us an hour to get into the parking lot and find a spot, 15 minutes to buy slippers, then an hour and a half to exit the parking lot. Thus began my ban on shopping in December.
This year, however, we found ourselves in a similar last minute situation when the zipper on the Little Miss’ coat showed signs of failure, and we were just about to leave for a week’s worth of visits to Southern Ontario. So on December 24 we went out early and managed to score her a new coat at the MEC for half price, and it was surprisingly quiet and civilized. So we dared to brave the mall – Gal Smiley had lost her hat – and were in and out of the Sports Experts in less than half an hour total. Amazing.
Later that day I was driving past the Chapters and after the success of the morning, thought I’d pop in to pick up the Captain the next book in the series he is reading, for the trip, and it was a MADHOUSE. I can understand people having to run out to pick up just one or two last things on Christmas Eve, but I am amazed, AMAZED, at the people in there who had armfuls and armfuls of stuff. Who were spending like, $200 or more. Isn’t that like, ALL their shopping? On the very last possible day? How do these people SURVIVE without lists and planning? It just doesn’t seem possible.
Anyway, we managed to get the book but I can’t say my views on December 24 shopping have been reformed.
Christmas Eve Movies. We went to the movies on the afternoon of December 24 and it was delightful – not too crowded and a nice way to while away the afternoon. Often we do a museum or something but everyone was a little sick, so this was all we could handle. The boys went to see The Hobbit (mini-review: Sir Monkeypants feels it was OVERPADDED and UNNECESSARY and should have STUCK TO THE BOOK, it is his own personal Little Mermaid, which often elicits a rant from me about how EVERYONE IS SUPPOSED TO DIE AT THE END, STUPID DISNEY); I took the girls to see Annie (mini-review: absolutely delightful first 3/4, totally blown ending, GAH).
Anyway, this may become a new tradition.
Christmas Travel. For possibly the first time ever, no one got really sick while we were away – a few sniffly noses, a dry cough on the Little Miss, that was it. A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE.
Despite this, however, both Sir Monkeypants and I sheepishly admitted to each other on the drive home that we are both kind of tired of travelling for the holidays. We definitely want to see the people. It definitely will not feel like Christmas if we don’t see the people. And frankly, I’m not sure how I would ever live with the crushing guilt of not seeing the people. But having to pack up everything on Christmas Day, then drive on Boxing Day, and sleep in strange beds, arriving home tired with most of the break gone – getting old. Adding to the ennui is the fact that we repeat this same trip for every single March Break, Thanksgiving, and half of Sir Monkeypants’ summer vacation, leaving only one week each year for us to vacation without visiting family. HMMMMM. Not that we have any immediate plans to change things, but the thought of possibly, one day, changing the system, is there.
Do you visit your families in a sleepover/travel kind of way at Christmas? Every year? What’s your plan? I’m curious.
New Year’s Eve. Every year for New Year’s we make it a point to be home, and have cheese fondue (shout out to my friend Erica, who started me on the cheese fondue tradition back in high school, and whose family recipe I still use today). The Captain is milk-allergic, however, so this year we added a broth fondue at the other end of the table (shout out to my friend RheostaticsFan, who introduced us to the whole broth fondue concept earlier this year). It was awesome, and then later that night we had a chocolate fondue too, and it was awesome, and lo, a new tradition is born.
Funny story: Gal Smiley played “Auld Lang Syne” for her Christmas piano recital this year, which led to a discussion of New Year’s Eve, and all three of my children were shocked, SHOCKED, to find out that some people stay up until midnight to welcome in the new year. Like, they had NO idea this was a thing, it was not even on their radar as a holiday of any kind.
So of course this year, they all swore they’d stay up for it, but we were mean parents and put them to bed later-than-usual but still within-sanity-limits. After the little one was in bed, I watched Guardians of the Galaxy with the older two (mini-review: Oh boy did I LAUGH AND LAUGH, thought it was the perfect fluffy fun. Recommended!).
Puzzles. While at my mom’s house, I got out a 500 piece puzzle I found downstairs, and it was so fabulous – a kitty puzzle shaped like a kitty, containing several individual pieces shaped like kitties! Behold:
Photo courtesy of Gal Smiley.
The whole extended family worked on it together and it took all day, and was a major accomplishment. It reminded me how much I like to do puzzles. Resolved: do more puzzles in 2015.
And that brings us to this new year, full of hope and promise and renewed energy. I have so much to say about my plans – BIG PLANS – for 2015, but that’s for another day. In the meantime, stay warm – it’s way nippy out there – and hope your return to the routine was a little less painful than mine (JESUS, 6 a.m. comes EARLY, especially when you’re all out of cookies).