The run up to winter break is always a crazy time, with excitement building, and craft making, and cookie baking, and all of the glorious, stressful mayhem that goes with Christmas and young children. I finished my fall semester of school, and promptly crashed out with respiratory flu. I got my marks Tuesday afternoon, and cried joy in the crumbs around my kitchen table while my husband stroked my back and whispered pride. My son sang Christmas carols, off-key and loudly, to himself and anyone who would listen.
Runny noses, which had abated here briefly, ramped up again by Thursday with grim implications for the weekend ahead. We made gingerbread men and handprint wreaths, Santa faces and reindeer puppets, hot cocoa mix and Christmas trees. (You can see the pics here, if you would like.) We read fifteen Christmas stories, sang Jingle Bells and We Wish You a Merry Christmas and Must Be Santa with drum sticks, foam blocks, and sleigh bells. We talked about angels and the forever place where love comes from. We wrapped gifts for the extra kids who are now and always our extra family. We slept poorly. We stayed up too late. We got tired and grouchy, we snapped at each other, we made bad decisions and forgot how to be friends. We snuggled together and watched the snow fall and the lights twinkle and remembered that we are precious to each other. We got through it, this race against the sinking sun that makes Christmas – our festival of winter lights – so wonderful and so decadent.
We got through it.
We’re at the lull in the candy cane rollercoaster, now, ramping up ever-so-slowly to the final screaming loop-the-loop we’ll hit on Christmas morning. My kids are watching cartoons while I sip my second coffee and contemplate cleaning my house. I might join them :-)
Happy Holidays, everybody! I hope the mixed blessings of gifting, family, time and food are good to every one of you!
(This photo was taken by Kyla Feschuk of Feschuk Photography. She’s amazing!)