Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A Christmas to remember

Well, Christmas is over for another year and I'm back at work after having six days off! I'm currently trying to kick-start my brain with copious amounts of caffeine. To make the transition a little easier, I thought I'd recount our joyous holiday festivities!

We hosted Christmas for my family this year - the first time I've hosted and the first time we've spent Christmas day in big blue. My folks came over on Christmas eve and stayed the night so that we could spend Christmas morning together.

I had thought that my siblings would also join us for breakfast and morning presents (as we all live within ten minutes of each other) but that was not to be. It seems that sometime between when I left home and now, they have both decided they like quiet Christmas mornings at home with only their immediate family unit. I guess because Adam and I lived in Ottawa and came home every Christmas (therefore always spending Christmas morning at one parent's house) we never adopted this quiet Christmas idea. Needless to say I was more than a little disappointed when I heard that my sister wanted to come over after Gage had napped and my brother thought he'd come around lunch time.

Despite the difference in ideas on what Christmas morning should be, it turned out to be magical. The whole city was blanketed in a fresh coat of snow, the sun was shining and inside my big blue house, it was warm and cosy and full of love.

It was actually our dog, not Hayden, who woke us up at 7:30. My mum and I took Hayden downstairs and turned on the lights and music before letting him see the bounty that Santa had left under the tree (just like my folks used to). He was awestruck and quite eager to begin the gift-opening - starting with the biggest shiniest box in the room (which happened to be for mum)! As mum and I brewed tea, we let Hayden unwrap the presents in his stocking to keep him entertained. After stockings were opened, we crept back upstairs to wake up daddy and poppa.

Hayden was just an amazing child on Christmas morning. Quite unlike the whirlwind of paper and impatience I expected, he acted as Santa's helper and delivered presents to everyone, helping them open one gift in turn. He oooed and ahhed appropriately whether it was a jar of pickled onions or a pretty necklace! After we had opened our presents, we set about making Christmas breakfast: scrambled eggs, back bacon (or Canadian bacon as some of you know it), sauteed mushrooms and toast. We were just finishing up our vittles when Ang, Dan and Gage arrived.

We went through another round of presents with the boys before Ang and Dan headed home to let Gage nap and Ben and Lisa arrived with baby Ella. We had hors d'oeuvres for lunch and mum and I kept a close eye on the turkey. Soon after, Hayden and poppa went down for a nap and we had some quiet time in the afternoon, putting together presents, drinking wine and chatting.

The big feast was scheduled to be served around 6:00. Mum and I worked together to bring it all to the table on time and steaming hot! It was delicious and I was amazed at how flawlessly mum and I manged to juggle the various dishes. The boys (meaning the husbands) all got into the wine at dinner and kept us all entertained through the meal and dishes with their antics.

I know that initially, Adam was worried that it wouldn't feel like Christmas without the chaos that his family brings to the occasion. Lucky for him, our house was just as crazy and lively as any Goddard celebration. With this third generation of family now brilliantly aware of the holiday, the magic of Christmas really touched our house this year. I was swept up all day in love and laughter, fun and togetherness. Though I didn't sit down for more than 15 minutes all day, I didn't feel tired or rushed. It just really felt the way Christmas should: a beautiful, exhuberent celebration of family and affection.


The W.O.W. factor said...

Oh what a memory! Thank you for sharing Wordmama! Took me back to my childhood. Ours here was very similar, Heidi and her family has kept some of the traditions and implemented SIL's...but wonderful memories!
Funny how some of us from the same upbringing want to cherish and maintain the old traditions we know so well, while others go different directions....think it could be marriages and "new" family members who also want some of their traditions (spouses).
I hope you took tons of pix for Hayden, and yourselves. I am so glad your folks were there to enjoy the magic...I will treasure ours here with our grandkids too!
Isn't it wonderful to work in the kitchen, preparing the wonderful foods.....with your Mom? Heidi & I had a great week of doing that and it was loaded with giggles and yep, even some wine!

wordmama said...

WOW - Funny, when you called her Heidi instead of Hydro, I had to stop and think for a moment! I should really send you a link to my FaceBook albums as most of the pictures get published there!

I know now why we're so drawn to each other's blogs - we are so much alike! Seems we could have been mother and daughter or sisters in another life!