before anyone thinks otherwise, i'm grateful we had a christmas at all this year. it's been a horrible year for us overall, and the finances are the worst they've been in ages, so i wasn't really expecting to be able to do anything. i've been telling the kids for years now that christmas hasn't looked likely, and if that was going to be true any year, this was the one. but no, we put money into having our dinner and made sure we had food for the week as well. nothing else got paid, and we didn't get anyone any gifts, but we were with the two younger kids and surrounded by love. in a year where it could have easily been another beans and rice night, i'll take what we got.
but it was also definitely very different.
for one, none of our holiday decor was out/up. with the risk of being forced to move hanging over our heads, i opted to not unpack it in case we just had to pack it all back up again. i really wasn't into the idea of adding more work to a rush move. none of the kids were happy about this, but none of the kids would have been the ones to deal with it much either. maybe youngest, but for the most part, it would have been me with the bad, broken back, sore ankles and hips doing most of the work. i don't care if it would only be an additional couple of boxes: under those circumstances, i wasn't going to risk adding any more to the load than necessary.
since the forced move out didn't happen, however, it really is strange to not be going to bed with the christmas lights on and the cats attacking the tree and ornaments when we're not looking. :P
i also had it in my head that we weren't doing any cookies this year. of everything, the cookies tend to be the most expensive, time consuming, and painful part of the experience (because of said back). i tend to spread them out over 3 weeks to minimize my issues. this year, that was impossible, so i just assumed we wouldn't be doing them at all. nope. saxy wanted 2 or 3 for christmas, so i did those over 2 days.
the biggest weirdness, though, was the sad. it was really bad and i was dealing with 2 or 3 days of it on christmas day, and as a result, spent most of christmas either in a stupor or asleep. i messed up some things when making dinner (not so badly they were inedible, but still, i've been making this stuff for a couple decades now, so should have been able to do it in my sleep...which i guess this proved i can't, lol) then couldn't eat much when it was ready (far later than usual for us). after dinner, i promptly passed out and slept for 5 1/2 hours. which tells me i need to seriously think about those full spectrum lights, regardless of price. this issue is starting to interfere with my ability to function and needs to be dealt with. granted, this year, the stresses are probably contributing to how bad its gotten, but still. i have enough that makes it harder for me to do things, i don't need the addition of something that makes me want to do nothing but sleep.
as i said, we didn't give any gifts because we just couldn't afford to, but we did receive stuff. from saxy's last boss in construction, we received a box of seafood on friday as a combo grad/christmas gift. oldest gave the kids mini stockings and old navy gift cards that we will use to get them clothes tomorrow (my son is finally in real jean sizes! 29x30s!). i received a coffee mug with a photo of my vagner kitty and baby cat, saxy received a photo plate with baby cat. she also gave us our anniversary present: a curved glass with the photo of saxy and i exchanging vows. i have to say that was the most surprising gift we received. middle girl gave taz a t-shirt with the emotions of darth vader (all the same because of the mask) and jeans, froggy some earrings and hair pieces, saxy an enterprise pizza cutter, and me the "burlesque" dvd and a cd by florence + the machine. we also have a few things coming in from friends that just didn't make it in time for christmas: tea, mitts and hats, a pashmina, another gift card or two.
i guess the other thing that was odd was the lack of...noise. it was REALLY quiet in the house this year without the two older girls, their bfs, and the grand baby. on the one hand, it was kinda nice to not have the pressure (and considering the sad, the quality of dinner, and the passing out later, probably a good thing) but definitely strange.
we did okay. we had a christmas when it was quite possible that one wouldn't be had at all. but i'm hoping that next year we can have a normal christmas or even an overblown christmas. one year of oddness is enough for me. ;)
word of the moment: stodging
when a chef works as an apprentice for the experience without being paid; to stuff full especially with food