Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Boxing Day

Winter Craft Idea from Craft Junkie
Christmas has been lovely so far!  We spread things out, and embrace the whole Holiday season, probably way more than the 12 Days of Christmas.  I don't know how other people balance the holidays, but when the kids were little, we still tried to see everyone on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. "Everyone" was happy and we didn't hurt anyone's feelings, but what we ended up with was a pile of sick kids and cranky parents.  With all of the excitement smashed together, we didn't even have time to enjoy our own Christmas of PJ time, canned cinnamon rolls, and relatively small but thoughtful gifts; it was exhausting and frankly, not very Christmas-y...

Now, no two groups share a day or the same experience.  Each one so different and special in its own way:  With one family there are a million kids-- we make crafts, eat in shifts (and had one small oven fire), and throw the kids outside when it gets too crazy.  Another family is quiet and we visit for hours, just chatting and catching up over wine.  Another family loves games and there are epic tournaments with bragging rights that don't always match reality...  and with another we roll traditional pasta (including a highly contested and debated hierarchy of tasks) and make a huge mess of flour and lots of laughs.  We mix in ginger bread houses and game nights with friends, a trip to the zoo lights, movies, downtown if we can fit it in... and visits to Great Grandparents who aren't able to come to the parties anymore.   

It isn't the commercialized piles of gifts (although it is nice to have some new thoughtful surprises and buy for those I love), or the cards (though I do LOVE to get Christmas Cards); It is this gathering for Christmas that is most treasured to me...  When all of our family and friends are laughing and catching-up and making memories in this life that has become hectic and busy...  and to me, it doesn't really matter what day it is, just that we are all together at some point.  

The downside of Extended Christmas is that we are perpetually in party mode.  In case this isn't abundantly clear, I LOVE to have a party at my house. We actually bought this house because it was laid out so perfectly for parties.  It is a 4 floor split level, so the kids can riot in the lowest level.  Up 6 steps, the men tend to be watching sports and obsessively refreshing current fantasy scores (while vigilantly listening for any loud bangs from the lowest level-- ha!), up 6 more steps is the kitchen and living room and fireplace, where we have games and crafts and food.  Up the last 6 steps are the bedrooms, where the introverted kids go to escape in the quiet peace of the kids' rooms-- and where bigger kids go to make quick phone calls to their significant other who isn't quite ready to be invited for all of this craziness yet.  Our yard is mostly closed in and perfect for bags and tossing a football-- or shooting hoops out-front   It tends to be used whatever the weather.

We have so much fun and I wouldn't trade it for the world.  I love these memories here.  I eat too much gluten and salt and not enough water -- which I'm so careful to balance all year, so I'm swollen and have a belly ache.  The bathrooms are clean but the laundry hasn't been touched.  We have eaten nothing but left-overs for 2 weeks and even my own kids are begging for me to make a stir fry, with REAL VEGETABLES.  We are out of the staples, like yogurt and apples and cereal but have plenty of tortilla chips and dips and cookies and beer.  The recycle bins are over-flowing, the enormous white pine (named Tree-lo Green by our DD because it is kinda, fluffy and chunky and bright) has taken a bit of slant to the right, and there are little piles of gifts stowed in various corners of the house that need to find a permanent home.

So today,  Boxing Day, I intend to get our real life back in order, and I'm kind of excited to clean out the fridge, have some fresh clothes, write thank you notes, and put away gifts.  I can't wait to finally download pictures (I'm sure not enough, I tend to miss most of Christmas on my camera when I am living it to such fullness)...  I'm going to do yoga, maybe get in some actual cardio, a bath in Epsom salts, baking soda, eucalyptus and lavender oil-- and then to sit down with a new book, a cup of coffee, and a fireplace on so hot that my husband will come up at some point and ask if the A/C has kicked on because it feels like we must be in the tropics...

As much as I LOVE Christmas... I LOVE Boxing Day... 

I say this all now while everyone is still asleep and I'm yet to even throw in one load of laundry...  
Maybe the laundry can wait (I'm sure my son won't mind a day sans underwear) 
and I'll just skip straight to the coffee, book, & fireplace step...

This is the craft from this year... pipe cleaner snow flakes.. really cheap, just used beads from the house
even the 2 year olds could put the beads on.  Really fun and easy.... and just like real snowflakes, they were all unique.
idea from Craft Junkie!  Thanks!!

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