31 December 2008

Christmas at our house

We had a lovely Christmas this year. Our apartment is so small that we don't have room for a Christmas tree this year, so we got some poster board and I outlined a tree, then the kids colored it in. We hung it on the wall and taped some ornaments to it and it is lovely. It comes down today and will be put away in case we need it another year. We hung ornaments from the ceiling and strung lights around the walls at the ceiling, so our living room looked quite festive. Cait is spending Christmas vacation with us this year, part of a new agreement that now eliminates our being on the road on Christmas Day every year for the 4-hour round trip between houses. This is the first time since Terry started working this job that I have had both my husband and my daughter home on Christmas morning. He works on Christmas on odd-numbered years and doesn't get home until after 2, and on those years Cait would spend Christmas morning with us, but go back to her dad's at noon. So this was an exciting year for me.

We even invited my mother over to spend the night Christmas Eve so she could be there first thing in the morning when the kids wanted to open their presents. By the time dinner at 2 rolled around, though, I think we all had had enough of each other. She left shortly after dinner to go visit my brother in Concord, and Terry and I heaved a sigh of relief. But the kids enjoyed her being there the whole time.

We tried to keep Christmas simpler this year. I hand knit something for everyone, and we got them socks and underwear (which they desperately needed), Terry got them each a DVD, and in their stockings were a couple of candy canes, a new cocoa mug with some cocoa mix and a few hair ties. We also got each child one specific present: Cait got needle nose pliers for making jewelry, Moira got a sketchbook that she has been asking for for weeks, Lauren got a stuffed animal since we accidentally culled too many of their dolls, Rowan got a Magna-Doodle since she is always drawing and uses far more paper than I am comfortable with, and Eirik got a rocking horse. My mom gave them each an article of clothing and a book or two. Cait also made presents for everyone, too. Overall, they got what they needed and something they wanted. Next year, though, I want to spread the purchase of such items out over a longer period of time. Did you know that socks and underwear for 5 kids costs $72! One package of each for each one. Egads!

We didn't overdo on confections, primarily due to our new diet, but I am making some decadent chocolate and coconut bars for tonight as New Year's Eve. We also get to get some of our baking fix by hosting our church's coffee hour this Sunday. Overall, it was a good holiday.

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