Happy Holidays to everyone! Christmas in North Carolina was a little odd this year. It really wasn't that cold (probably in the high 40s) and we saw nothing like snow. And, it was the first time since Frank and I separated that we actually "shared" the holiday. Overall, it went very well but for me, there always seems to be a "missing place at the table" at my house.
Because Thanksgiving came so late in the month and then we had the ice storm, I found myself running out of time to get the inside decorations up. (I had actually gotten the outside ones up right before the ice storm). I finally got the tree up on December 22:
I warned the kids that Christmas would be a little tight this year, but I still managed to get them most of what they wanted. Actually, our kids don't *need* much of anything, so I tended to go with more practical items (like books and mittens) and only get them a few "toys". Surprisingly enough, the boy's favorite gifts were two old Super Ninetendo games that I got on eBay for very little money. Who knew?
Kelsey and Cameron opening gifts (notice Daffodil in the midst of things):
Cameron at Christmas.
We asked the kids how they wanted to handle the holiday and they voted for spending Christmas Eve at my house and waking up at my house for Christmas morning. They insisted on watching "Muppet Family Christmas" on Christmas Eve. That had been a family traditon since Duncan was a year old. It was sweet to watch my almost 16 year old son's face light up when Ernie and Bert came onscreen. Ah...Ernie and Bert! I spent many an afternoon on Sesame Street in the early days of my children's childhood. After we watched the video, I asked the kids if they wanted to go out and look at Christmas lights...something that I remember from my childhood. So, we all got in the car and put the dogs in with us and off we went. While in the car, Duncan had this conversation with me:
Duncan: I can hardly wait until I'm a dad and have my own kids so I can go out and do this without guilt.
Mom: What do you mean? Don't you enjoy this?
Duncan: Mom, it's not cool to enjoy this! I'm a teenager!
Of course, I knew that even if it wasn't cool...he was enjoying himself.
After the kids opened their presents, we went over to their dad's house for Christmas Dinner. In my family, we always had the family get-together on Christmas Eve so during most of our marriage Frank and I never really had Christmas dinner. Apparently that always bothered him, so he wanted to make a Christmas dinner this year. For those of you who follow his editorial blog (www.boosman.com/blog) he wrote about how the dinner turned out. For me...if someone else is cooking it, I'm more than happy to eat it! Frank was gracious enough to invite me to share Christmas dinner with he and the kids and I really enjoyed most of the food. I thought the chicken and the pureed fennel was wonderful!
After dinner, I left the kids with their dad to spend the rest of the day and the next day (since I had to work on the 26th and 27th). I was going to go to the movies as I wanted to see "The Two Towers" again, but decided it might look pathetic to be all alone at the movies on Christmas Day. (During our marriage we had all gone to the movies together, usually with friends in tow, on Christmas). So, I decided it was less pathetic to come home and be alone! I actually like having some alone time on occasion and I enjoyed the rest of the evening surrounded by dogs and kitty cats (and watching DVDs of "Star Trek: The Next Generation").
And so our Christmas season has passed here. Overall, it worked out very well as the kids got to spend time with both parents. We are still working out this co-parenting thing but it seems to be working, at least for the kids. I will be honest...the holiday was hard on me. But, life goes on and I'm trying to keep up!
Lest you think we forgot the animals in all the celebration, besides getting to go with us to look at lights, they also got gifts on Christmas morning:
The kitties got little fake mouses and enjoyed them but then Whisper chewed them all up. Typical.