Skip to main content

A Christmas (Re)Cap

First stop on the Christmas train is a pedicure with the ladies - it's become an annual tradition that my mom treats my sisters & I to foot care &'s a bit fun, wandering through a mall in flip-flops in the middle of winter. We get some looks, which always makes me laugh.

Oh wait! Pre-boarding on the Christmas train was an e-reader from my boss (it is difficult to balance the thoughtfulness of a fantastic gift with my day-to-day discontent in the job) and an incredible meal of Spanish tapas with Karen. We ate. so. much. And laughed even more. I can't even explain...

Back at the parents' - church visit to see delightful friends on Sunday. Coffee with cute-as-a-button-Baby-Makaela and her mom.

Christmas tree decorating.

Sound of Music and tree decorating with Grampie. Love him fiercely. Also love that movie fiercely. Sleep. Sweet sleep

Oil change for the borrowed car while I visit with my sister and read and lounge. It's handy having a mechanic in the family!

Dishes and gift-wrapping and Christmas Eve service and snuggles with the kidlets and a gift trade with another friend who always makes me laugh.

Panettone and hot chocolate, the Peruvian Christmas treat. A tour of the neighbourhood lights. Sleep.

Christmas morning is slow and simple; make scones, put on the cider, help prep for dinner. I curl up on the couch and read a few Advent-related blogs on my phone's tiny screen. This prayer/poem pretty much sums up everything my heart feels.

Father, give us Christ.
Star Igniter,
Crack our darkness.
Send the rain to heal our deadness.
Only you make dry bones rise,
Dim the blinding lights that hide
Our fear, until we're still enough
To feel the thaw of icy hearts.
In stable and by starlight
Overthrow our every expectation.
Our world inverts
Your kingdom comes.

After lunch, I go downstairs and play cribbage with Grampie. I win three games in a row...and wonder if maybe he is too old for me to play wholeheartedly against. Is it worse to beat him or let him win? We have fun, winner and loser.

Everyone else arrives and we eat (and eat) and then the Christmas story and then the gifts, and it is two parts chaos and one part perfect and it is time for little ones to leave all-too-soon, and I make my brother play the game I gave him (it is very fun) and when everyone is gone I sit by the tree and wonder how it's over already.

On Boxing Day, we always go to Grandma's. Five hours of travel (round-trip) for a five hour visit. Today, it ends up 7 hours of travel for a five hour visit. Is it worth it? YES. Always yes. There is food in copious amounts. There is laughter, there are cousins, and there is crokinole. There is also Spoons - I manage to avoid a single letter!

I decide not to travel back to Toronto at 1am, so I call (email) in late to work, hit the road at 8am, and voila. Ten o'clock finds me back at my desk.

It goes so fast. It always goes so fast.

You may notice that this recap doesn't contain much Jesus-related content. As someone who loves Jesus and does celebrate his birthday, I would like there to have been more. But you know what? There wasn't. And I'm not going to pretend otherwise, because the only thing worse than neglecting something/someone I love is lying about it to save face. 


MLW said…
How can we include Jesus more in our celebrations? It is a question I ask myself often and have not come up with good ideas/answers.
Love you. And your honesty. And I understand completely about loving our family's traditions and also realizing that very few of them center around Jesus. And how do we change that? And CAN we change that or do we have to wait until we have our own families to start different traditions that help us anticipate Jesus above all other things?
Glad your Christmas was lovely and happy and merry and bright.
Beth said…
Ah, great question, ladies.

I do think it's certainly more difficult to change traditions with the family you grew up in than establish new ones with a "new" family...particularly if you have people who approach faith differently and wouldn't be interested in the same activities/prompts.

I don't have any immediate answers, but I do know that in my family-of-one, I didn't follow through on some of the Advent traditions & practices I tried out last year; I wish I had and would like to make more of an effort next year.

Popular posts from this blog

Fostering FAQ: How Can You Say Goodbye?

It seems I finally have something(s) to say... Here's the first in a short (or maybe long?) series on Fostering FAQs. If you've got a question to add, feel free to comment/email/text/message me and maybe the next post will be in response.


8:30 am on Day 4 of parenting. I woke up in a panic two hours ago because I remembered that there is a baby and I am responsible for her (at least at 6:30am, when the man beside me will snore through anything). Now, I have put on clothes and eaten breakfast. The dogs are walked, there is a loaf of banana bread in the oven. My tea is steeping. Most importantly, Dream Baby is already down for her first nap.

Despite my morning efficiency, I'm already beginning to see that even with the happiest, most easygoing, and smiliest baby, like we somehow managed to be given, parenting is a grind. On Friday night, I couldn't join friends for $5 pints at a local joint. Instead, I blearily washed the same 8 bottles again, and then made another ba…

Fostering FAQ: How Long Will She Stay/Will You Adopt Her?

Our first foster baby came with about 18 hours notice; it was respite care, which means we had him for a few days while his regular foster family had a break/dealt with a family emergency. He stayed 3 nights, long enough to come to church and have a dozen people cooing over his little sleeping cheeks.  With each new visitor to our quiet corner, I explained again that he would be going back to his foster family the next day.

Barely a week later, we got a 9am phone call with a fostering request and by the same afternoon, we were snuggling her. This time, we had her for 4 days before church came around. Again, our community was keen to see the little one we had in tow. Again, the question, "How long will she stay?" And this time, "Are you going to adopt her?"


Here in Toronto, when a child is placed in foster care, it is always for an indefinite length of time. It depends on the parents' situation, and whether they are able to make a safe home environment for th…

What About Travis!?

I just watched Hope Floats, the second movie in my I-really-need-to-vegetate night. Now that we have more than three channels, there are so many quality programs on TV! Like movies in the middle of the week. I enjoyed many of the lines in this movie, including:

"I went home and told my mama you had a seizure in my mouth."
(referring to her first french-kissing experience)

"Dancing's just a conversation between two people. Talk to me."
(the conversation in our living room then went,
Girl 1: Only Harry Connick Jr. could say that line without it being incredibly cheezy.
Boy: Without it being cheezy? That's all I heard. Cheez, cheez, cheez.
Girl 2: Yeah, but it was sexy, sexy cheez...sigh.)
"Better do what she says, Travis. Grandma stuffs little dogs."

Bernice: At home we had a pet skunk. Mama used to call it Justin Matisse. Do you think that's just a coincidence? All day long she would scream, "You stink Justin Matisse!" Then one day she just…