|An almost Pinterest-worthy snap of our stockings hung on Mom's perfectly styled fireplace. Evie's stocking absolutely refused to cooperate with this photo, but considering she's 2 1/2, I guess that's pretty much spot-on representation.|
Hey, there, friends. Hello from Missouri, outside of St. Louis, in a pretty little community on a hill where snow is just beginning to accumulate outside of cookie-cutter house windows still twinkling with Christmas lights, where I am sitting in my parents' lovely living room in front of a perfect gas-lit fireplace, next to a gorgeous red-and-white ribboned Christmas tree. Yeah, it is just that good. And I don't know about you, but I'm feeling a little holiday hangover in spite of it all. What day is it? When do we fly back? Does school start up again next week? No? Should I wake the baby from her nap, soon? What time zone is this? Is it time to stop drinking coffee and start drinking wine again? Has anyone seen a glass of water?
Christmas was gorgeous, and nearly perfect. We had my entire family under one roof for the first time in four years, or maybe more. My nieces had never even met Evie, and that oversight was just getting ridiculously out of hand, so I'm thrilled we all got to reconnect again, even for just a few short days. Family really shouldn't be apart for so long. My nieces are growing up regardless of how often we see them, so, yeah. Wow. It was good to see them.
On the other hand, I am a little concerned that my children are in real danger of being permanently ruined by first-world excess, and I'm not sure how to stop it without restricting all family members on both sides to one five-dollar gift each, or college fund donations only, or requiring the girls to donate one old toy for every new toy and no wire coat hangers! But instead I just gave up and let Lena and Eve (and their very generous family members) enjoy the experience. One day the girls will tell their grandkids about Grandma Rose's house at Christmas, with the catalog-caliber Christmas tree and the homemade fudge and the china plates at Christmas dinner next to the miniature snow-covered Christmas village with working street lights and tiny flickering bonfire. And I let them sit in front of the fireplace with hot chocolate and old-fashioned peppermint sticks in Christmas mugs at 11am today because if they ask me one day why they don't remember the Christmas we spent at our own home in 2011 I'll be forced to say, "Because Mama somehow managed to ruin those cinnamon buns that came out of a refrigerated can, and even though your father and I meant to make a lovely sit-down family Christmas dinner, we sort of, you know, forgot, and then finally we all just passed out from sugar or bourbon comas, although even Mama doesn't remember that part so well..."
So, yeah. I'm letting them Norman Rockwell this Christmas up as much as possible. It's okay. I'll sign them up for a Peace Corps Tots Camp over the summer, and it will all net out eventually.
This is all coming out wrong. I am happy. I've loved this Christmas. I just can't believe it's already winding down. Our flight on Sunday is looming too large. And blargh, ugh, SUITCASES. I can't even think about it. Somebody rewind the week, please?
And another thing: I've had a lot of time today to catch up on all my favorite blogs, and I'm feeling a little bit like I've let you down this holiday season. I had a Christmas wishlist post all lined up, but that never happened. I disappeared right before the day and didn't manage a nice lovey Merry Christmas post for you, either. My Christmas morning photos turned out blurry, as always, and I haven't been out to photograph the gorgeous bare-limbed winter landscape here, either. And now, when I should be giving you a perky rundown of my best posts of 2012, the best music of 2012, the most incredible photos, the most important news, the funniest memes, the cutest kittens, the worst hairstyles, the most interesting nail clipping collections, I've got nothing. I mean, maybe, I guess I've got a couple more days to get my blogging butt in gear, but mostly I'm just lounging around the house in a pajama-clad fog, hoping for another piece of fudge, another mug of soynog, another evening with my family, another morning where my mom and dad handle the girls while Jimmy and I enjoy a magical extra hour of SLEEEP.
Yeah. Pin that on your Pinterest board. But I will bet you a dollar that this is how most bloggers REALLY spend their holidays. Did I buy the materials to make my own Mason Jar winter landscape snowglobe? I did. Did I make it? I don't know, did you make all of your Christmas tree ornaments out of last year's Christmas cards and homemade glitter? Hmm? Go ahead and send me a pin of your successful holiday crafting, and I will totally let you win Blogging Christmas while I toast you with one of Mom's chocolate-covered cherry cookies and absently wonder if I will ever remember how to put on shoes again. Cheers.
Oh, you know I love you.
So here's what I do have for you: a post-Christmas pre-New Year's wish for a relaxing, quiet, happy winter weekend. No shopping, no baking, no wrapping, no traveling necessary (I hope). If you are still with your family, be quiet and cozy up with them, enjoy a little more time to tell them in person that you love them. If you are away from your family, relax, enjoy the peace, send them a text to tell them how good it was/would be to see them. Try to remember what was good about the last year. Try to think of something good to come in the next. Eat anything, because nothing counts anyway until Tuesday. Or really Wednesday. Pick up a bottle of something bubbly for Monday night. Breathe deep. Get some sleep. Go easy on yourself.
I'm sure you've earned it. I will say you've earned it. In fact, that is my Christmas gift to you this year: YOU EARNED IT.