Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Traditions

This year I am not visiting my parents in Kansas for the holidays.  I have only missed Christmas perhaps two times in my thirty seven years.

We are staying at our home in the effort to establish traditions.  Of course tradition requires that one remembers from one year to the next just exactly or approximately what was done.  So, here is my account of this year's event:

Christmas Eve Eve:
Tata left as I was putting the kids to bed.  He procured the Christmas tree and hid it in the shed behind the garage. 

Christmas Eve:
The kids woke us up by crawling into bed with us at six something.  Tata later took the kids to Cafe Fixe for morning coffee.  Max was peeved because Leo spilled his milk and made a huge mess.  It was too cold to play in the park and so they ended up going to Dani's house to visit and play.  They come home at noon.  Leo had fallen asleep in the car, unusual for him.  Tata manage to carry him upstairs to bed and he slept until three, very unusual for him!

We had kolbasz for lunch with mashed potato and roasted peppers.  After which, Tata went down for his own epic afternoon nap. 

After the naps, we rallied the ranks and got bundled up in snowsuits to protect against the cold.  We walked to the T stop with no clear plan in mind.  We ended up going all the way to Brookline.  After trying several places, we ended up eating dinner at Tamarind Bay, an Indian restaurant.  Rice was amok and kids had to guzzle water after surprise bites of spicy food.  It was a success.  Indian next year too?

Then home on the T, bath, a little Curious George, and sleepy time.

I had a few more gifts to wrap.  I arranged all the decorations and supplies in one place ready for tomorrow.  Red wine was a helpful fixative. Tata was relaxing on the couch with a a mediocre movie.

Christmas Day:
Dawns like any other.  No fanfare.  Business as usual.  We took the kids over to their step-brother's house.  They had celebrated Christmas the day before.  It was our turn to have big brother in place for the festivities.  We have a lovely relationship with our blended family.  So a quick trip to pick up big brother ended up being a few hours lingering around the brunch table.  The kids love playing together and the resident dog is always good for entertainment.

On the way home Leo was falling asleep in the car seat.  So I opted to take the little ones out for a drive and eventually head toward the fire station.  The angels need some time to set up the tree and arrange the gifts.  Our plan was to visit the fire station bearing chocolate chip cookies while the angels (Tata and big brother) worked their magic at the house.

Leo fell asleep.  I wanted him to be awake at the fire station and I needed to give him time to nap.  After not too much thought I took to the highway toward the Dedham Starbucks, which has a drive-through.  I used to frequent the route back in the months when it was the only way to get baby number 2 to nap while entertaining baby number 1 AND acquiring coffee for me.

We arrived to discover that the drive-through was closed due to the holiday but the main counter was open.  So I placed my order by phone and then ran inside.  In the meantime I chatted with my mother and learned that my little nephew had been rushed to the hospital Christmas morning after eating a chocolate that contained peanuts.  He is fine, but that is not a pleasant way to greet Christmas morning for sure.

After learning that the angels had finished their work at home, we dropped by the house (leaving the kids in the car) and picked up Tata and biggest brother.  We headed to the fire station in Newton Center.  If you ever need to pass an hour or so on Christmas, try the fire station. We brought chocolate chip cookies and the friendly crew was happy to show us the trucks and entertain us. 

We returned home about four o'clock.  We came in through the front door to discover that the angels had visited us!  They brought a fully decorated Christmas tree surrounded by toys.  Music, candles, a roaring fire and we were ready to settle into the joy of giving and getting.

Dinner was stuffed cabbage. Dessert was chocolate cake sent by my mother.

The two little ones were very reluctant to head to bath and bed.  How sweet it was to tuck two warm bodies in next two their two new baby dolls and listen for that moment when they gave into the raspy deep breathes of Christmas dreams.

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