It is 3:00 AM on Christmas morning. The Youngest and her husband and K are sleeping. The cat is curled up next to the heat run, sleeping. I have the crock pot cooking our Christmas brunch and I am just enjoying the quiet, by myself. This is my time.
For the last 48 hours I have been running myself ragged. I did laundry, last minute cleaning, shopped, cooked, wrapped presents, and about a dozen other things. I didn't, however, relax or do much sleeping, but I knew my time would come. And it has.
On Christmas Eve evening, we went to celebrate the season with dear friends, something that has become a tradition in the last ten or so years. We ate, drank, made merry, and exchanged gifts. Afterwards, we drove through the silent streets of our town and looked at Christmas lights. While most were pretty to look at, sadly, there were far more disastrous attempts than beautiful displays. But, that's the way it is every year. Too many people begin decorating with a very good idea and then wander off into some surrealistic, modern art sort of thing that makes absolutely no sense--I think they suffer from adult attention deficit disorder. That is my only explanation for some of what we saw.
When we got home, the four of us opened the gifts we had for each other. I was pleased to see how more than a few of the gifts we gave turned into some of the favorites of all time. Gift giving can be such a hit-or-miss affair, that it is great to hit a home run--and I believe I/we hit several. K and I got a couple more things for the hockey cave as gifts and I got another Nativity--this time, an all-animal-shaped-like-bathtub-rubber-duckies one. I will have to post a picture of it before I put the decorations away. And once again, K outdid himself in the jewelry department and gave me a pair of gorgeous diamond stud earrings. Yeah, I think I'll keep him.
A little bit of time was spent admiring/studying/playing with the gifts we received, but in due time each one of us began to lose our zip. Conversation grew scarcer and yawns became more plentiful. I put the crock pot going and the rest of the family settled for some much needed sleep. And I came to the computer room to be alone. I have always loved the time when everything is done and I can sit by myself and relax. It is such a peaceful time and a relief when I get to this stage. Having grown children allows me to 'be done' so much sooner than when the girls were at home.
In the next week or two, I will put the Christmas decorations away and begin my time of being content. Winter will bring that out in me, as I stay in more often and don't feel any pressure to leave the house--after all, NO ONE would go out in the snow if they didn't need to. Sitting in the corner of the couch, drinking a hot mug of tea and watching a hockey game or old movie or reading a book will become my activities. I will attempt to do all of the 'after Christmas' things that I vowed to do only a week ago, but will probably only accomplish one or two of the tasks. And I will ignore any guilt feelings I may get--until next year at this same time.
For now, my short term plans are to get through the last of the holiday duties: the Christmas meal. The evening will be spent visiting with The Youngest and her husband and then they will leave on Monday for home. K will go back to work on Tuesday and Wednesday and then on his week off we will take a day trip to do some after-Christmas shopping. Finally, I will be able to put all of this holiday stuff to rest for another year.
I hope you had a wonderful Christmas full of family, friends, food, and festivities. And I wish a blessed, healthy, and happy New Year to each and every one of you.