Tomorrow G and I are off to Connecticut to spend Christmas with his family. I must admit, I am having a hard time this year not going home. I love Christmas with my family. It's very cozy. We're a big family: eight not counting the spouses and kids. But that big circle of people creates this wonderful, cozy, intimate space. And I miss it. I miss the whole season: baking with my mom (my favorites are the gingerbread cookies with just a touch of frosting), shopping with my dad for my mom's presents (an annual tradition that we didn't do this year for the first time in a decade); going to church on Christmas Eve; listening to Christmas songs (mom starts them early); watching White Christmas and It's a Wonderful Life. After church and a yummy dinner on Christmas Eve, my brothers and I would help my mom put out the gifts. With six kids, that took some doing. There were PILES and piles of presents. I have no idea where she hid them all. Getting up early on Christmas morning and opening our stockings (all handmade, see mine and Geoff's).
The stockings are my favorite part. Dad makes tea and hot chocolate (I like mine with cinnamon and chili pepper!). Then we opened presents until noon. When I was very little we all just opened our gifts at once. But then we decided it would be more fun to take turns. But with eight, that took forever. Then we went to all opening one present at once, showing, and then moving on to the next.
A typical December evening at my parents': my dad is playing Christmas songs on his keyboard in the living room. My mom or brothers are cooking dinner, another brother is reading in the living room by the tree. Maybe the youngest is watching a South Park Christmas specials. It's idylic without being cheesy. Everybody is happy to be together. Doesn't mean there isn't any arguing or fighting, but no one doesn't want to be there. No one is affecting that "holidays suck," "families are all dysfunctional" 'tude.
But we grew up. My married brothers started going to their wives' homes for Christmas. We all live too far apart to do Christmas Eve w/ one side and Christmas day with the other. So now it is my turn to go to the in-laws and I am not happy. I have been kinda pouting. I don't like that I won't be spending Christmas with MY family for the foresable future (you see, Thanksgiving is our big day and I never want to miss that either, so doing an every-other-year thing is not an option. Unless we could do Thanksgiving AND Christmas at my family one year and then just Christmas at G's the next. But that probably won't fly. :)
But then I remember that this is my first Christmas with my NEW family, my husband. And we can create our own traditions (borrowing heavily on mine, of course. We'll see if any of his make the cut. By the way, I am not really this shrewy in person. His family is lovely and I'm sure I'll have a lovely time.). For example, I am going to continue the stocking tradition. My mom made G a beautiful stocking this year and gave me mine to bring home, plus gave us a bag of goodies for them. I managed to stuff both stockings by closing my eyes so I wouldn't see what was going in mine. I am going to bring them along to CT, and G and I will open those in the morning before we go downstairs, just the two of us. And for the past two years we copied my family's tradition of decorating the tree on a Friday night with a fun dinner. Another cool new tradition: last weekend we had a fabulous holiday feast with a turkey and this amazing stuffing, cranberry sauce and a yummy pumpkin cake. (We were trying out our new covered roasting pan, a wedding gift.) We decided to cook this meal every year in mid December.
So, I do look forward to our new traditions, but it is lonely thinking about not being with my family.
Ok, on to knits. I finished G's scarf. Even blocked it. Here it is ready to be wrapped up.
And I finished the first sleeve for my sweater. I started with the sleeve, so I still have a ways to go, but this yarn knits up fast. It is Cascade Eco, 100 percent wool. I like it. Hope it doesn't itch too much.
And here's a spot of cheer. I opened my door to find a box of the best chocolates in the world from a work associate. Yeah! As you can see I've already dug in.
Merry Christmas everyone!