My family dreaded this holiday. The one my dad loved more than anything.
Christmas was just my dad's favorite. He was like a big kid. Loved giving gifts... the cornier the better. & he loved getting gifts & his face was always like a little boy when he's rip off the paper. Didnt matter what was inside - he just loved ripping into a present.
To say his presence was missed this year is an understatement. But we survived.
With heavy hearts - & a healing bum, we survived.
& of course, there was some smiles & joy & laughs. It wasn't all a ho-hum depressing thing. You know there is always good in things.... especially in a holiday that celebrates the most incredible thing there is - the birth of Jesus.
Of course, it's a long weekend so there was a lot jammed in.... so let's dig in... & I promise I'll keep it short - or shorter than I know I could do. :)
Saturday, we did our Vincent Christmas. Which totally threw me off because tradition is we do it the Sunday before Christmas.... but with it being so close to Christmas, it was scooted back a day - & then the whole day, I thought it was Sunday. Messed with my brain.
But it was so much fun being with these people. Playing games & laughing & catching up with one another. We played some Win, Lose or Draw & then did the 2nd annual Family Feud. That game is fun when you really have a big family & you do have 5 people on each team. I got to play Steve Harvey. Minus the shoulder pad suits & mustache.
The best part of the day was we were all so super comfy. Someone came up with the idea to do Christmas in PJs.... a jammie party. It was funny because Ricky & I were like "is this a joke?"... we were convinced we would wear jammies & get over there & everyone else have on clothes & laugh at us. haha... but nope, everyone commited. & why not? Who wouldnt want to do a family get together in jammies?
... even though, I gotta admit - it felt super funny driving in jammies in the car & houseshoes.
& Ricky went prepared. He had on jeans & a shirt underneath his onesie just in case it was a joke. haha. Me? I didnt care. A joke? Good one - I'm still comfy.
Sunday, Ricky & I went to church for the Christmas service a day early because he had to work on Monday & wasn't sure he'd be out of work before the service times. It was such a beautiful service & I get teary every time Silent Night is sung in church with the glow of lights beaming all around.
We tried to go out & finish up our shopping that we needed for our Wood Christmas... & Ricky said, "Oh my gosh - this is the first time we've gone out Christmas shopping together this year"... its true. With my surgery & being down & out, it's just been a sad holiday all around. Especially in the gift giving department. I tried to hang with Ricky for awhile on Sunday, but about 2 hours out, I was in so much pain, I told him to keep shopping, I was going to sit in the car..... he let me sit for like 5 minutes & came running out & said he wasn't about to leave me in the car alone. So much for shopping. We just headed home & relaxed. I never was so happy to get home in my life
Monday - Christmas Eve - my hubby's birthday!!!! Poor guy had to work. I ended up getting up with him at 5am to see him off. I felt so bad for him working. & I really had a lot to do so I didnt mind the early wake up call.
|Wrapping at 6:00am ... & you can see little Bruno still sleeping in his kennel across from me
I ended up getting everything wrapped & then headed up to the cemetery to leave my daddy some Christmas flowers.
Telling dad "Merry Christmas" driving out of the cemetery just about tore me up. Luckily, Ricky had gotten off work a little early & he had called me right as I got in my car - so that helped me not have a total break down.
I took Ricky out to Outback for his birthday lunch/early dinner & then we made one last stop into Target to make sure we were good for the night & then we made a stop one the way home....
In our town, there is a tree that a lady has dedicated as a REMEMBRANCE TREE. Her husband actually passed away not too long ago & he always wanted to use that tree for Christmas - but never did. So she has set it for people to come put ornaments on it for those who have passed away. How special is that? There is a ceremony she does the Sunday after Thanksgiving - but its open to bring ornaments whenever you want.
We pulled up & she came out & talked to us about who had passed away & we told her about my daddy & my uncle (dad's brother).... she was just so kind & told us she checks the ornaments every day to make sure none have fallen. She even has a box under the tree with hooks to be able to secure the ornaments on tighter & even showed us where people have brought spare ornaments with markers so others can just stop by & write on an ornament & hang one without having to stop & pick one up yourself. How cool is that?????
The ornaments are going to hang until the end of January - which is so nice to know I can go up & just look at them for a few more weeks. We can always take the ornaments off by the end of January - but I may just get a new one every year for dad.
It really was humbling to see all the ornaments of loved ones lost.....grief is deep during the holidays, isn't it? I love there's this place though that everyone can go to honor the ones they love that aren't next to us in body on Christmas Day.
|Just one side of the tree!!! SO MANY ORNAMENTS!!!!!
|See dad & Timmie's
Then it was time for our Wood Christmas. & you know what - you could tell there was an elephant in the room - or rather NOT in the room - that emptiness.... but we all did good. It's just good having 14 year old twins that are excited for the holiday. Their excitement was contagious. & mom did OK... of course, until I broke out the gifts of dad's shirts made for her & the twins. I had gotten dad's favorite t-shirts he wore all the time & had made for the twins... & then had my mom's favorite blue flannel shirt - the one he actually is wearing in the rainbow picture that I have of dad - & had that turned into a pillow for mom. We also had a handkerchief made for my brother & for my mom. You know - I told my friend that made these things - its going to be sad to get through the day anyways - might as well have a reason for happy tears. To feel dad close with us however we can.
|The twins pillows
Christmas morning.... I always like to get up before the sun rises & just sit in front of the tree. Everything is so calm & quiet. I sit in the dark for awhile.... & then I turned on a Christmas movie & made some coffee & watched the sun rise. My favorite part of Christmas Day.
We dont have anywhere to go on Christmas Day....
So it was just a day of watching Christmas movies (finally got The Christmas Chronicles in with Kurt Russell) & we worked on puzzles & opened gifts from one another & gave the dogs their presents. It's also a day of multiple cups of coffee for me, naps for Ricky, & PJ's all day long. Fa-la-la-la-la.
I put on some food in the crock pot so we'd have dinner but didnt have to make a big mess.
|Made me some tortilla soup for the first time - DELISH!!!!
& of course, we ate lots of sugar... because Christmas.
Deep breath. We made it.
We still do have 2 more Christmases to go - but glad the main events are over. I felt like its a hurdle we all got over.
& we're one step closer to getting this nightmare of a year behind us.
Speaking of nightmare & "behind".... wish me luck. I'm back at work... AND I have a follow up with the surgeon this morning to see how everything is looking. Praying it all is OK & the pain I'm in is still normal. I do know, talking with people who have had this - its like a 3 month process of healing. & I'm at 3 weeks... which is crazy to think.... but I'm anxious to see what the doc has to say.
I'm NOT looking forward to stepping on the scale the day after Christmas though. That's just cruel.
So how was your Christmas?
What was your favorite moment of the holiday?
Have you ever heard of a Remembrance Tree before?