Christmas Rewind

Wow…what a Christmas. I know I recounted some of it on Christmas Day, but I was distracted by actually being in the moment with family (imagine that – real life trumping online life!!), so I wanted to get a little more in detail & share some pictures.

So. On the 23rd, we had a celebration with my grandmother, my aunt, my parents, my brothers and their family/girlfriend. My younger brother’s girlfriend Crystal is a flight attendant and had to work on Christmas, so we got together early so we could celebrate with her. They live in San Francisco, so I only get to see Andrew a couple times a year. His life is so cool. Last year, the business that he and his friend, Ben, started ( was bought by Twitter. Well, actually, Andrew & Ben were “bought” by Twitter, so they had to pull their focus from Fluther and start working for Twitter. Andrew was partly responsible for the latest Twitter update. He said he worked primarily on the @Contact portion of the update. I don’t know about you, but I really like the update a lot. It’s caused me to start using Twitter more often, which would be the goal, wouldn’t it? Andrew & Ben’s contract with Twitter was to work for them for one year. Thatone year was up right before Christmas and Andrew decided he’s giving notice in order to move back to Los Angeles (with Crystal, of course) and get back into the acting game. He’s desperately itching to act again, so I think this is a good decision for him.

Can I just take a minute to comment on how cool it is that he has all these choices? He has this amazing education & background in computer programming which makes him employable almost anywhere he’d like. He also has an amazing background in acting (and a Master’s from American Conservatory Theatre) so he can do this creative thing as well. It’s unbelievable to me that he has these choices.

So. We got together on the 23rd and had a lovely, low-key celebration with this small family group. We had yummy food and tons of presents. I had fun taking covert pictures of Andrew & Crystal. They are such a cute couple and she is just gorgeous.

Christmas Eve was Maggie’s 14th birthday, which I cannot understand. Where have the last 14 years gone, y’all?? We continued our tradition of having chocolate cake for breakfast which, I think, is her favorite part of her birthday. I dropped her off to see Sherlock Holmes while I took Steven to Toys R Us to spend some of his Christmas money. I also had a few gifts still to buy for Steve, so I tried to do that. I got him some Bay Rum after shave because I love that on him. It’s so spicy & warm & masculine. I also got him a subscription to Zingerman’s Bacon of the Month Club. I can’t think of anything more suited to Steve, actually. Six months of yummy bacony goodness delivered to our front door. Unfortunately, Henry & William did not want to be in the car, out shopping, in their car seats, in shopping carts or basically alive. They both had complete meltdowns in Toys R Us and spent the car ride fighting over what to watch & listen to. It was a nightmare.

By the time we got home, I was so tired I couldn’t think. However, there were presents to wrap, don’tcha know. Fortunately, I kept Christmas small, so there wasn’t  too much to wrap. It still took me 2 hours, though. Then I got to relax while waiting for bedtime. After Steven & Henry were asleep, I left Will in the bedroom with Steve and went down to set up the Santa presents. We ended up getting Steven a PS3, Maggie an iPod Touch, Henry a VTech Innotab and a wooden train set for William that I found at my favorite kids resale shop. My tradition is to write the kids a note from Santa and lay the presents out – unwrapped and ready to use. Of course, Maggie hasn’t needed that in a long time and Henry & William can’t read, so basically, Santa has written something special only for Steven. I was pretty sure that he knew about Santa already, but I decided that Santa would make it official for him. Here’s his letter:

Yes, Santa has his own font

Christmas Day began at 7am. Long ago, I made the rule that no child could leave his/her room before 7am, but if they woke me up at 7am, we would immediately begin Christmas. It’s actually worked. Steven, Maggie, me & Steve did presents at 7 and were done by 7:30. Henry & William were still asleep, so I went back to bed. Henry woke up at 9, so I took him down and showed him his presents. Then I went back to bed. William didn’t wake up till after 11. When we left the bedroom and I said, “Look what Santa brought!”, he looked down the stairs, saw the train set and gasped, “Traiiiin!” He was all over that.

We went back over to my parents at 2 and had Christmas with extended family. More good food and fun watching the kids enjoy it. The adults decided to watch some old movies of Christmases past (1985, 1989) which was wild. Seeing people who had passed on over the past 20-odd years and remembering it all. It really was nice.

I hope your Christmas was reflective and filled with blessings as well. As I get older, I really realize just how awesome “normal” can be. That it’s better to have calm and simple as opposed to big, dramatic and “perfect”. I’m sure glad I’m realizing that now. May you and yours be showered with God’s richest blessings as we say goodbye to 2011.