Despite some last minute stress and attempts at emotional manipulation on the part of a couple family members, we had a lovely Christmas.
The low point was attempting to attend Christmas Eve Mass at Mom's church. This year, Liam and Ella didn't even make it beyond three measures into the opening hymn. In their defense, there weren't many people at the church (so it was a great big cavernous space to explore!), I had made the mistake of showing them the basket of "quiet toys" (mostly soft books) especially for children attending Mass (of course, they kept running back and forth between our pew and the back of the church wanting to have each and every toy), and the Muffins were excited to see Nana up in the choir loft...so it was pretty much a recipe for disaster and we just averted it by packing up and heading to Mom's house.
Once the kidlets were snuggled nicely in bed last night, I wrapped some last minute gifts and then headed out to Midnight Mass at my own church while J was left to assemble the train table for the kids. Mass was lovely and the train table was set up by the time I got home.
This morning was nice and relaxed. Santa didn't come until naptime (I think this is the only year I'll be able to get away with that) and the kids napped while we ate Christmas dinner (which everyone said was good, but I think was merely alright...seemed rather bland or something to me, not quite sure).
Present opening was a long process, but the kids got it this year and it was fun. Ella, especially, was a champ at ripping off the wrapping paper and, by the end, was offering to open other people's gifts for them ("Here, Nana! A present for you. I can open it for you!"). Liam was terrified of the toy vacuum while it was in the box, but once it was out was so very excited to play with it...even hugging it and telling us how much he loved it.
Mom made me a red velvet cake (yummy!) and gave me a lovely lavender and buckwheat hull pillow that smells so wonderful. J spoiled me with my usual Ansel Adams calendar and date book, the crocks from Bennington Potters that I was coveting, seriously good chocolates, the soundtrack to Love in the Time of Cholera and a Vera Bradley bag in my pattern (which is now retired). I'm a lucky chica.
When bringing Mom's gifts out to her car, I slipped and fell on our porch steps. My ass is broken. That kind of sucked. At least it was me, though, and not Mom who discovered the ice-coated stairs...that would have been disastrous.
J's family was supposed to come in tomorrow, but their plans have changed. I'm both relieved and annoyed, but that's life. At least I'll sort of have a relaxing day. I plan to hit the gym (man, have I been bad and eating pretty much whatever I want...I need to kick my ass hardcore at the gym from now on) and then go up to visit Mom by myself. Should be nice.
Here's hoping your Christmas was everything you wanted.