Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas 2009

Christmas is always a little subdued yet hectic at the same time around here. It's subdued because Brad has so little time off (he works Christmas eve and then is back to work VERY early on Boxing Day) so it's tiring. It's hectic because now we have two excitable little boys, always a very full tree, family to talk to and I have TWO meals to prepare.
Christmas Eve I make a ham with mashed potatoes, vegetables and stove top. There are usually fresh rolls as well. In addition to the meal, I am usually cleaning my house in preparation for family coming to join us for the Christmas Eve meal and before the "big" mess of Christmas morning. Sometimes I have desert ready too and this year I had part of one made, but we didn't get around to it. We talked to Brad's brother over the computer for a while, talked to my parents as well. Then before it got too late, we went out and took a drive to look at the lights. The combination of the lateness (it was already after 8) and the slick roads, we didn't stay out too late.
Once the boys were in bed, I cleaned up from dinner, helped Brad with some last minute wrapping and by midnight we were done, thinking the boys would be up early in the morning. To our surprise, they both slept in and it was almost 9 before we got up and began to unwrap gifts. Every year I encourage Brad to buy something on his own for the boys. It's not that I mind doing the shopping but since he isn't usually around when I do it, I am never sure if this is really something boys will like or if it is something Daddy will want to play with them. I know Brad has enough stess during the holiday season at work and has precious little time to shop but he always comes through. This year he bought Ryan a little off road race track with two battery operated trucks. Instead of wrapping it, we just set it up by the table and wondered how long it would take them to notice it.
We opened stockings and then had some breakfast of cinnamon buns. While we were eating, the boys finally noticed the track and took a couple of minutes to play with it. Adam was so excited, he even left his soother on the floor as he went to play. Ryan loves to sit inside the track so he can easily reach his truck no matter where it is on the track. While Ryan was excited to open gifts and play with the toys, this year he was really interested in the opening part. It was easy to get him back to opening gifts by saying we could play later. Adam however is at the point that Ryan was last year and he wanted to play with gifts once they were opened, so we all took turns opening some of Adam's for him (especially the clothes).
After the gifts were opened, we put the boys down for naps and began to clean up a little bit before getting dinner started. I forgot to brine the chicken but it still tasted ok, just not as tender and juicy as when I do. I also forgot to put out the Christmas crackers I bought for the boys. And to put the ham back out. And I think there was something else I forgot too. One year I want to get a picture of the table with all the food on it, set with the china, candles lit, BEFORE anyone decides to help themselves. And one year, I'd like to actually be able to feel a little a head of the game on Christmas day and be able to have a shower and get dressed for dinner and not be in my pyjamas all day. Don't get me wrong, it's nice to stay in your pyjama's all day sometimes, but as a SAHM I don't get much opportunity to dress up. Even this year, being pregnant, I had friends who lent me some nice dress clothes and I had a couple of different "Christmas-y" outfits I could have choosen from.
At the end of the day, it' such a long day and we have such an early morning the next day because of Brad's job, that cleaning up from dinner seems such a chore, and this year with my hormones running crazy anyway, all I wanted to do was cry. I didn't feel like I got to enjoy the day much. It was probably more my hormones than anything, although having not quite finished my own dinner before people begin asking for dessert, was a little much. Especially since it was the same dessert from the night before and I still hadn't made the second part. So I finished my dinner while making the 2nd part of dessert and served it up. To top it off, it's not even something I like but I make it because it is expected- because one year I didn't make it and it was a big deal. Now if someone wanted to make it and bring it along, that would be wonderful. But more often than not when this is suggested, I end up with multiple people trying to cook too many things in my tiny kitchen because ingredients are brought but they are cooked and assembled at my house. That's more stressful to me than just doing it on my own.

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