Time slows down for no one. Last I wrote, Christmas was sneaking up and I had my nose in a book. There was so much to do and here I am to report that whatever needed to get done, was. I had an awful moment of clarity on the morning of December 21st when I went to the store to purchase some items for Christmas Eve dinner, though. I was at Target and spotted a countdown to Christmas decoration and it was almost like a punch to the stomach because I realized I hadn’t retrieved ours from the basement this year. There were still no decorations inside the house. It was a very low moment and I vowed when I got home I would tackle the interior decorations.
I should probably go back and explain the reason behind all of this last minute decorating business. In late October I took a fall on a few stairs (while doing laundry – true story) and twisted my foot. For the next month I walked on it thinking it would eventually right itself until it was swollen and too uncomfortable to walk. We went to New York City for Thanksgiving (Liam’s 12th Birthday) and I could no longer tell myself it was going to get better on its own. It turns out I had a stress fracture and was relegated to a boot and crutches for the next three weeks which prevented me from doing the basement stairs.
But after I returned from Target, the boot came off and I went up and down the stairs retrieving long forgotten ornaments and the countdown to Christmas tree – four days left – better late than never. The next day the boys went out for the tree and by Sunday things were looking a lot more like Christmas. That evening we settled onto the couch and watched The Christmas Chronicles on Netflix and I was starting to feel more in the spirit of the season.
On Monday, Chrismas Eve, Liam carried us through with his enthusiasm. In his Christmas pajamas and Santa hat, he planned out the activities for our Christmas Eve party. While I cooked, he and Jim helped clean and Liam set up various tables (one was a welcome table with an itinerary and candy canes where he made a sign admonishing guests to ONLY TAKE ONE!). He had been watching a marathon of baking shows and decided he would make a cake too – it felt like it would be impossible with everything else to do – but he did it! His energy and happiness were infectious and got me through the day with all the food prep work to be done. It felt like the best Christmas yet.
The food was nearly ready and the guest started to arrive (early!) and I hadn’t dressed or put on my party make up. We ran out of meatballs and shrimp cocktail early but overall the food was a hit and everyone left having ate too much – you know it’s a good party when that happens. We played some new games using a Nintendo Switch and our iphones which was a bit different as it moved us into the living room and not around the dining room table as in years past. There were too many people and not enough phones for everyone to participate so I retired to the kitchen with my two brothers-in-law where we caught up on what has been going on in our lives.
By eight o’clock, the party started to wind down and by nine we had the house to ourselves again. Usually people stay until after 10:00 but there are more little ones now that have to get home and to bed early for Santa. Liam had wanted to read The Night Before Christmas but forgot and he was fairly unhappy when he realized this after everyone had gone. He decided it was time for bed and we all followed suit – it wasn’t even ten o’clock and it was wonderful! I’m unsure of what Liam still believes about Sana but we carried on as though he did. The day was as perfect as can be.