Christmas Eve started like this:
I was roasting the turkey with the window open and noticed how remarkably warm and sunny it was outside. After returning the bird to the oven and setting the timer for an hour, I high-tailed it to the beach. Rich was playing with the girls in the backyard, and it was 18 degrees outside. What else would I do? I splashed in the water, wore only a T-shirt and jeans, and took pictures to remember the warmest Christmas ever. I accepted my early gift with enthusiasm and gratitude, milking the life out of it.
Then on Christmas, there was a light morning frost. The garlic bulbs, which had sprouted in their confusion about what season it was supposed to be, better be hardy.
Then, finally, winter came like this:
A mix of freezing rain and legit snow.
Good enough for us! We played out front with our thus unused set of kid shovels, and took a break for a snack under the fir tree.
Christmas has now come and gone, and I take away memories of delicious food, a warm home, exceptionally strange weather, generous and very thoughtful gifts, and time together.
The gift-opening part is my least favourite, as a grown up. I feel the opposite of present. I don't take time to unwrap a gift with singular focus. I do thank the gift-giver, and put it aside carefully for later, when I can properly take it in and be grateful. Because holy moly: When there are four excited little girls ripping into parcels, asking for help, wanting to show me things, bothering each other, it is hectic. As a disclaimer, (in case they ever read this), the girls are very gracious, and patient when opening gifts, waiting their turn and thanking the giver with a hug and smile. It's just ... well, if you're a mama, you know what I mean.
In the calm after the storm, the girls are all happily occupied with a plethora of new toys, and I find myself either trying to put our house back into order, or else hiding in a corner trying to stealthily sneak some Christmas chocolate into my mouth before any little girls see.