Saturday, December 28, 2013

Christmas Season 2013

Christmas season came and went so fast this year. I'm not looking forward to taking down the decorations (they seemed to take forever to put up this year). But mark my words: I will not buy any Christmas stuff in after-Christmas sales this year. Wait, unless I can find ready-made red bows. I kind of need those for the garland on the railings. But nothing else! I had been looking forward to putting up our tree all year as we bought our 12-foot, flocked tree half-off in the after-Christmas sale at Taipan Trading last year. I finally have the perfect place to put up a tall tree (in our library) and am still loving it. If I wouldn't turn into the crazy Christmas lady, I'd keep this tree up all year long. I love the snowy owls, crystal chandelier ornaments and the turquoise-silver-and-red color scheme. 

We watched loads of Christmas movies this year—all the oldies but goodies—since I'm always so tired after work and love snuggling up with the girls in my bed and watching TV. We got free tickets to go downtown to see A Snow White Christmas that the girls really liked. 

We stayed in town for Christmas as usual. A couple of years ago, Eric and I decided it's just too hard to try to travel to either St. Louis or Dallas to see our families. So now Christmas belongs to us: We get to set our own traditions and we get to do it how we want to. We had a low-key, awesome Christmas Eve where we ate Eric's traditional Irish shepherd's pie and reenacted the Nativity from the Bible. Both Bianca and Portia prepared songs on their instruments: Bianca played O Little Town of Bethlehem on viola and Portia played Silent Night on her cello. We each read Christmas poems by Leslie Norris. And did our annual reading of Three Trees. Then Bianca and Portia watched a Christmas movie and slept downstairs by the tree. Eric and I finished the wrapping. Thankfully, this year we actually finished before 10 o'clock.

The next morning, Bianca and Portia were ready for presents at 6:30. I started the wood fire down in the basement and we opened presents.

The big presents this year were Bianca's ipod touch and Portia's balance beam. They got a shared present too, a go-kart that really won't be all that much fun until the spring. Eric made these awesome frames with prints we picked up when we were in Italy; Bianca embroidered a Y slogan for dad's carriage house; Portia drew pictures for each of us and framed them. I still stick to my 3 categories—Bianca got exercise (think Nike App for her ipod), eduction (Amazon gift card so she can read on her ipod), and a shopping trip with me to get her some clothes SHE can pick out) and Portia's exercise was her balance beam, talent was a bunch of art supplies and light-up dry-erase board, and play (Pet Shops again).  I think the girls got plenty to be grateful too, without being spoiled. I may regret the ipod touch thing though. We're setting up some rules about usage.

We spent Christmas day with the Quigley's—Bruce and Joanie and Jason and Wendy's family. It was delicious food, relaxing, and fun. I'm starting to have a love-hate relationship with the game Settlers of Catan. And I still maintain that I play boardgames for the enjoyment they provide—not just to win. It was another nice Christmas that I'm sad to see go.

Playing Settlers of Catan on Christmas Day

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