As you all know, I usually accompany a blog entry with photos of whatever I am writing about. That's not gonna happen here. Even though we all had a good time, when I looked at all of the pictures I had taken, you all had looks on your faces like you had just been awakened at 3 AM by a wrong number phone call. Grumpy! I know that there were smiles and even some outright laughter. I was there. I saw and heard them. But I failed to capture them with my camera. So here is my account of Christmas 2009 - minus the photos.
It has long been our custom to meet as a family over the Christmas holiday, and this year was no exception. Jill and Joe hosted the Christmas Day event this year and we were treated to a lovely brunch. I must get the recipe for the egg dish that Jill served, as it was delicious. I must also get her recipe for a cookie that is like a peanut butter cookie surrounding a Reece's bite-sized candy. Wonderful! I wonder if my grown children realize how much I enjoy seeing them all gathered around a table, sharing a meal.
Duane and Kathy weren't able to join us this year, and we missed seeing them. Mother Nature didn't co-operate this year, and she had dumped a good amount of snow on us, plus sleet and some freezing rain. The streets in town were alright for travel as were the freeways, but the country roads they needed to use to get here were just plain ugly. When Duane called to tell me that they wouldn't be able to make it, he told me that the trip on Christmas Eve from Kathy's daughter's house in the next town, back to Duane and Kathy's apartment, had taken over twice as long as it normally did, including coming within a hair's breadth from being run off the road by an oncoming snowplow on a curve. Although I wished that they could join us, I was relieved that they didn't try to travel on roads that bad.
After our meal, the kids were anxious to see what treasures were inside the wrapped packages under the tree. They did a fine job of finding out and seemed to be happy with their gifts. It is always fun for me to watch them open their presents. It so reminds me of when my own children were young and could cover a living room floor with ribbon and bits of wrapping paper faster than one would think humanly possible!
We sat over coffee and visited for a time. Boston and Maddie played tennis on the Wii game and Jacob tried to get into the act with a hand held control that wasn't connected to the game. We didn't tell him, and he had a good time playing with his sisters. Zach treated me to a demonstration of what he had learned so far with his guitar lessons. He is doing well with his guitar. I am glad that some musical ability has been passed down to his generation, for it has skipped me entirely. I really loved watching and listening to him.
Early in the afternoon I went home, and shortly thereafter got a phone call from Jeri. Her kids would be home soon from visiting their father, and would I like to have supper with her, Jon and the kids. Of course I would! So I enjoyed a really good ham supper with them. I need to get her recipe, as well, for a creamy salad she served with the meal that has sort of a mocha tasting base and is Chris's favorite, I am told. That's one of the fun things about this season - adding to my recipe box the new recipes that my kids come up with.
After supper, Chris and Nicki, who had been pestering us to open presents early, finally opened them and soon their floor was littered with wrapping paper and ribbon. Even though they are both now teenagers, I still delight in the expressions on their faces when they see what is inside their packages. I think both were pleased with their gifts. Pooh, the Goldendoodle, pretty much stayed out of their way, but spent lots of time showing me what a really neat chew bone she had, and leaning against me to have her ears scratched. Soon after, Jeri took me home as the temperature was dropping and before long the slush on the streets would turn to ice.
As I often do, once I got home and got comfy in robe and slippers, I reflected on how much I had enjoyed the day. I do believe that my kids get it. It isn't about the presents. It is all about family. Whether it is a Christmas brunch or dinner, or a picnic at the lake, it is the times we all get together as a family that are important. Just lately, as I was emailing back and forth with a dearly loved cousin, we were talking about how it seems that the older we get, the faster time seems to fly by. The fact that some of this fleeting time is spent in the company of my children and grandchildren is so very dear to me. I am so grateful that we all live close enough to one another that we are able to take the time from busy schedules to gather together now and then. I wonder, sometimes, if my family knows that they are the one constant source of joy in my life, and how much they are loved.