It paints a pretty picture: Beautiful tree, brightly wrapped presents, the kids trembling with excitement, and mom and dad smiling at each other and simply enjoying being together with their family. Those families that choose to incorporate religion into the holiday (I realize that many families don't.... although I have to believe that the majority of people celebrating Christmas remember that the real reason for the holiday is to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ) also attend Christmas Eve or Christmas Day services together.... they sit together and listen to the Word of God proclaimed. They celebrate the birth of His son and the light of Christ entering the world. Christmas morning the kids wake up early and again, thrill with excitement to see what Santa brought for them. They drag mom and dad out of bed and the family spends the morning together enjoying the gifts that have been given. Its "The Most Wonderful Time of the Year". And its a time that many look forward to for the entire year leading up to it.
Our family is, well, different. For me, especially since the twins came along, Christmas is not exactly something I look forward to. The pre-holiday festivities are what I enjoyed more... the shopping, the baking that good feelings that lead up to the holiday itself. Because the holiday itself is NOT the pretty picture described above. Our holiday is hectic, with constant running from place to place and most, if not all of it is not spent in our own home. Most of the holiday is spent without Sugar Daddy as he has work obligations at the church. He plays a 3:30 and 5:30 pm mass on Christmas Eve, then remains for another hour or so to help break down and move the remaining services indoors. By the time he makes the 40 minute drive back to our part of town it is after 8pm. Christmas Eve is spent at my in-laws house, as that has always been their family tradition. The kids and I get there- we haul all of our gifts in and put them under my in-laws tree as that is where they would be opened later in the evening.... once Sugar Daddy is able to join us. The rest of the family eats dinner and waits... some patiently, some impatiently for Sugar Daddy to arrive so that we can get on with the opening of presents. During this time I have always felt on edge as I know that it is our families needs that are holding up the celebratory proceedings and the part that everyone really wants to get to.... opening the gifts! Once Sugar Daddy arrives, he is beat. He has just been through an afternoon of last minute set up and two masses attended by 3000 people combined. Because he knows we are all waiting on him and because he doesn't want to miss out on anything he is stressed and tired. For that reason the rest of the evening is somewhat strained, and we end up leaving my in-laws house quite late. Christmas morning the kids do indeed get up early.... but they don't get Sugar Daddy and I up in anticipation of heading out to see what Santa brought. Sugar Daddy and I are already up.... he has been up since 6am getting ready to leave to go and play the 9am and 11am Christmas Day masses. He gets up and gets ready early so that he can spend as much time as possible with the kids and their Santa gifts before he has to head out and back to church. The kids and I then head over to my sister-in laws house where Christmas morning festivities are proceeding. We spend the morning there, and then head home to meet up with Sugar Daddy who grabs a quick nap, because by now he is truly exhausted and then we head out to my in-laws again to have Christmas Dinner. By the end of the day, we are just happy that its over.
The prospect of going through all of this again this year was just too much to take. Last year was a little better because Christmas Eve was held at our house, but this year it was to be back at my in-laws home again, and I realize the need for my mother in law to be able to continue that tradition that she loves in her own home. But I was desperate for us to start and form some of our OWN traditions in our OWN home!sso wanted to know that one day the Sugar Kids would grow up and say, "this is how we did it at home...". I felt that it was time we had some of our own traditions to stand on. That is when Sugar Daddy and I made the decision that Christmas this year was to be Christmas Reconstructed. We realized that what we needed was to be able to celebrate the holiday in our own way without any outside influences.
This year we celebrated on Christmas Eve Eve. =) We decided that December 23rd, come hell or high water would be the day that our family celebrated Christmas.
And sure enough, it worked!!! We had the most wonderful day ever, yesterday! We woke up in the morning and the kids helped me bake (included in the baking was my first experience with gluten free baking... but thats another blog post) and we made homemade Christmas cards with the kids.
We went to the park and we had a quick and easy dinner together. We watched Polar Express...and finally.... we opened presents! Sugar Daddy and I enjoyed the intimacy of being able to open gifts under our own tree and watch our kids' faces light up with delight at the presents they unwrapped. And here's the thing... we will still have the Christmas Eve and Christmas Day described above... but now it's ok!! Because we had our family time.... we had that time TOGETHER that we were so lacking before. The kids and I had Sugar Daddy to ourselves for a WHOLE DAY! And it was WONDERFUL! Truly, The Most Wonderful Time of the Year! =)
YAY!! Time to open presents!
He has been asking for this since September!
I think she would have just been happy with the box. =)
Good thing she also really loved what was inside!
Finally!! A REAL drum for our little drummer girl.
A new pillow friend.
A new Thomas movie.
Sugar Daddy with his new iPod Touch.