Christmas 2018

Christmas 2018

Well, Christmas 2018 has come and gone.

And it was lovely.

I keep looking at pictures and going over the memories and smiling to myself. Ricky and I had a lovely drive home to Toronto last night, reminiscing and reflecting.

IMG_3300

In the weeks leading up to Christmas, I felt much more relaxed and had a lot more time to prepare for Christmas than I have in other recent years. I loved putting a bit more thought into the gifts that I bought, buying them in a more relaxed frame of mind, and wrapping them up NOT at the last minute.

IMG-4132

Although I confess that my heart ached a little bit to miss out on the Christmas activities at Countryside School, I did enjoy celebrating Christmas with the little kiddos who I work with now. There are many moments where I forget how very “new” to this life my current kiddos are, but I was reminded of it when I gave them their Christmas presents from me.

They did not even know what to do with those wrapped packages. (After all, they have only experienced one or two Christmases.) So I got them going and they soon caught on to what they should do. A favourite moment of mine was when one little boy had his gift partially unwrapped and realized what was really going on here.

“Hey! HEY! There’s something inside here, Auntie!” That’s what he said. I imagine that Christmas Day was pretty exciting for him.

I gave them each a book as their Christmas gift and found it amusing that they did not realize that these books were theirs to keep. They kept trying to put their books on the bookshelf in our library area. Apparently, I have ingrained in them that books belong on the bookshelf.

On Friday, Ricky and I spent the day preparing for Christmas. In the evening, we had our own lovely little Christmas dinner, opened presents from each other, drank coffee late into the night, and also watched Netflix movies late into the night. (Those last two things may have been related.) Ricky gave me a letter board and a bullet journal. I am very excited about both of these things.

IMG_3295

IMG_3305
He wants to be a #lifer with me!!!

I made ginormous peanut butter balls at some point. I forget when it was exactly. I made them ginormous for two reasons. 1) Because I love them and bigger seemed better. 2) Because I am not a patient person with any sort of fiddly job and rolling larger peanut butter balls meant getting done faster. I thought that they couldn’t possibly be too big. But they kind of are. Whoops. They’ll last us awhile. And if you’re ever in need of an overwhelmingly large giant peanut butter ball, you know who to come to.

IMG_3297
Please take note of my “keeping the chocolate melted” invention. It got the job done.

On Sunday after church, we went to Ricky’s family’s house, where we started our Christmas celebration with a delicious meal. Other activities included the annual book exchange, playing games (boys against girls, often), delightful and thought-provoking conversations, watching It’s a Wonderful Life, and reading. I failed to take a single photo of these things happening, and I feel sad about that, and will do better next year, I am sure.

On Monday evening, we headed to my family’s house for the traditional Christmas Eve pizza. We also caroled for some neighbours and watched a Christmas movie. Christmas Day included aunts and uncles, a dog named Bonnie, a puzzle, lots of food, two ukuleles, and three diffusers. (Mom gave me a diffuser, Wendy gave Mom a diffuser, and Uncle Mark gave Wendy a diffuser. As far as I know, no one gave Uncle Mark a diffuser. The two ukuleles belong to Wendy and Renee.)

IMG-4214

IMG-4217

IMG_3310

IMG_3314

IMG_3315

IMG_3317

IMG_3318

IMG_3319

IMG_3320

IMG_3328

IMG_3322
Don’t let Kenton’s grumpy face fool you. He made many hilarious comments over the course of Christmas and seemed to be in fine spirits. 
IMG_3307
Look at that cute husband who’s so pleased with his shirt from Renee. 

IMG_3330

 

All in all, it was a

Perfectly

Lovely

Christmas,

Sprinkled with bits of

Heaven

And

Humanity

All the way through.

 

And what to do with the feelings of being unfairly, undeservingly blessed?

The food, the family (not just one, but TWO), the friendships, the freedom.

I am so grateful for what I have and for what I know to be true.

So many people all over the world don’t have this.

It just doesn’t seem right, and I don’t know exactly what to do about it.

 

But onward I shall go.

(Bullet journal in hand.)

Christmas 2017

The beauty of holidays is that you can do things that you wouldn’t normally do, and you can enjoy processes that might normally feel rushed or frustratingly time-consuming. I have been celebrating my liberty to enjoy processes by doing, well…. nothing at all, really. I HAVE been doing things… but they are all very relaxing things like being with family, taking multiple naps in the same day, and eating chocolate. It has been delightful.

(Just so you know… this blog post contains nothing clever, spiritual, or inspirational. If that’s why you are here, sorry. It is purely a “journal entry”. Feel free to leave now if you don’t enjoy reading about other people’s Christmases.)

 

 

The holidays began on Friday night, after the school Christmas program. That night gives me such a rush, and Ricky and I stayed up rather late eating Big Macs, singing “Joy to the World” (listen to Ricky sing here), being hyper and happy because CHRISTMAS HOLIDAYS. 

On Saturday afternoon, we hopped into our car and headed to Toronto for the night (in celebration of our second anniversary). A few highlights from that trip were riding the subway, sleeping in a gigantic bed, walking around Toronto and taking pictures (it’s a good thing that taking pictures happily occupies both of us), and watching an outdoor play where the audience walked through a park to the different scenes of the play. Something inside of me wants to be a part of making a play like this happen some day…

IMG-2409
The group of us that gathered in Christie Pits Park  to experience the outdoor play.

IMG_8638

IMG_8651

IMG_8659

IMG_8640

IMG_8677

IMG_8687

IMG_8690

On Sunday afternoon, we came back home, took a nap, and then headed over to my family’s house for Christmas. We traditionally eat pizza on Christmas Eve, and this year, we decided to make the pizza instead of buying it. Everyone helped, and it was delicious.

 

 

 

After eating, we went to Waterloo Park and walked through the Christmas displays there. We came back home, chopped up veggies in preparation for a casserole for Christmas dinner, each opened one present (a new pair of pajamas), tried to watch a movie, but gave up on that when most of us were falling asleep.

IMG-2422

Christmas day consisted of brunch, opening presents, playing outside, eating Christmas dinner, painting, and just hanging out. It was lovely.

IMG_8736
Photo credit: Ricky (I think.)
IMG_8737
Kenton and the mysterious name exchange gift that he wrapped using three different kinds of wrapping paper. It ended up being for me, which was very exciting.

 

IMG_8741
The weather was downright snowy and blowy.

IMG_8746IMG_8749

Here is a short video clip that my wonderfully creative little sister Renee put together: Christmas 2017. 

And since then? I have just been feeling a little bit lost. There was so much to do in the days leading up to Christmas, and now that those responsibilities are finished with I feel a bit… blah. However, as the days go by, I feel more and more like myself again. Holidays are such a good thing. It can just take a little bit sometimes to adjust to the different lifestyle. I made myself a to-do list that I am very excited about working on. But for today, I think that I’ll just keep reading and napping and eating chocolate.