Aaaannnnd, we're back. To normal, that is. We had a lovely Christmas, and I am very thankful to be able to spend some time with our families and loved ones. But I really love that I've been laid off from that part-time job I call Christmas.
I had Christmas Eve off work, as it was a Friday, my regular day off. I met the Mister and the staff for a few drinks when they were all done work, and then we went to my parents for dinner. My dad makes a big, beef stew for Christmas Eve dinner every year. It was actually a recipe he remembers his grandmother making, back in Ireland, and for some reason, it's been the traditional Christmas Eve dinner in my family for years. (In fact, we have no other traditional dinner for any other holiday of the year, not even Christmas Day. Go figure.)
Here is the Loudshoes house all snug and cosy on Christmas Eve:
Toby is the blotch in front of the Christmas tree. It he could have talked, he'd have been all "dude, whaaaat are you doing out there??? Can I come too? Wait, it's cold out. "
Christmas Day was delightful, as the kids are old enough to sleep in to a reasonable hour, but still get pretty excited about Christmas morning. I have to admit, I'm a bit sorry that the whole Santa thing is over for the girls, but man, does it ever make my life easier....the Mister and I used to have to tip-toe around putting everything out on Christmas Eve, desperately trying to keep quiet and not wake up the kids, one of whom was on super-duper-hyper-alert mode and attuned to anything vaguely Santa-related and might wake up at the slightest noise. Do you have any idea how LOUD a shopping bag can be at 1 in the morning?
Toby enjoys Christmas morning very much. He had no idea what's going on, but he highly approves. Cinnamon buns for breakfast and enough time for two cups of coffee make me pretty happy. And the weather was bright and cold, with no snow, so the travellers could get where they wanted to go.
My brother and his family came down from Toronto, which was really nice. The cousins, especially, don't get together very often. And the dinner was fabulous and my sister-in-law makes kick ass desserts.
My kids got a game for the Wii called "Just Dance", which involves you holding one of the remotes and copying the moves of the dancers on the screen. Thing 1 absolutley rocks at it, consistently smoking the rest of us....who knew she had such hiddent talents? Even she seemed surprised at herself. I, on the other hand, made my children and my niece and nephew almost herniate themselves with laughter, when I tried it. Apparently, I'm no Barishnikov. (I knew I wasn't light on my feet; I'm Mrs LOUDSHOES for Christ's sake.)
Yesterday was Day Three of "Christmas Extravaganza 2010". We went to my in-laws for the day, about 40 minutes away. The kids opened yet more presents, and we ate yet more food and then lay in a food coma for a while before heading back home. As the kids get older, there are a lot less presents, which is a very good thing. Having two girls meant that there was a tsunami of pink, plastic things into our house every Christmas which threatened to bury us alive. The girls get a lot more clothes and CDs than toys now, which is great.
But the day I'm really excited about comes next week. In our city, you can put out four containers of garbage, and unlimited recycling. This usually presents no problem for us, unless of course, we miss a garbage day, and then we're under the gun. But the first garbage day after Christmas has NO limit, and we can put out as many bags as we want. Let me tell you, I love that day. I'm cleaning out furnace rooms, freezer rooms, garages and closets in anticipation. My family are like Mother Nature, they really hate a vacuum. Or an empty space. So I'm looking forward to pitching out a ton of stuff and getting it to the curb before they notice.