December 20, 2010

(Less) Tiny Dancer

Around this time last year, Mia performed in her very first stage performance - a version of The Nutcracker. On Saturday she performed again. And it was wonderful. She wore a white tutu, ballet slippers and had jewels in her hair. People brought her flowers - even her brother - and everyone admired the fantastic job she had done learning the three dances she performed. And it was a lot of work - one hour three days a week, after school, for three weeks.

Afterwards we had ice cream and cake and cooked a special dinner. And then both Mia and Owen (who had amazingly behaved himself through the entire performance) crashed in spectacular fashion. And then Beth and I did the same.

Of course the weekend was also filled with other things - a poorly planned trip to the mall, a second and much better timed trip on Sunday to visit Santa, my crappy mood all because I have a big work project to kick off and don't quite know exactly how I'm going to manage go do that, a trip to an indoor pool for a family swim, and the obligatory wrapping of gifts to consume some of the available under-tree space.

So I'm starting this week exhausted. But my Christmas vacation starts on Wednesday so i really can't complain. If I do, I've got the feeling that Santa won't be leaving anything under the tree for me.

This is the most passionate I've felt about Christmas since I was a kid. It definitely has something to do with it's importance to my kids. It's a special time for them, and to me. And I hope it is for all of you.

Now, I'm going to grab another cup of coffee and try to get the mountain of work I have on my desk done in the next 48 hours.

What are your Christmas plans? Who do you spend it with? Do you travel?

Posted by Chris at December 20, 2010 6:44 AM

We'll be home with my daughter and her boyfriend coming to us. I'm cooking a big meal, and we have a champagne cocktail party planned for just before.

Posted by: Maribeth at December 20, 2010 8:11 AM

My Christmas plans this year are to spend the day with my best friend and her family... then dinner in the evening with another friend in what is becoming a traditional evening of great food and carol singing.

I travel every other year across the Tasman to my family in NZ, having done that 3 times in 12 months I put a moratorium on a fourth trip and decided to save the visit for the Autumn... so as to celebrate my birthday with them. First time in a few years I'll have done so.

It's Summer here, so as much as our songs and tv shows and cultural influence has come from the Northern Hemisphere in that cards and window displays often depict icy winter scenes and snowmen - for the most part people will be out doors playing backyard cricket or swimming in their poos. Those who are indoors will be watching the annual showdown against the Poms in the first day of the Boxing Day test... or watching the start of the Sydney to Hobart Yacht race, both events great Aussie traditions for the day after Christmas Day!

Posted by: Deeleea at December 20, 2010 8:17 AM

There's nothing worse than spending the weekend worrying about something you have to do on Monday!

Christmas Day I will host the family party with 25 or so people in my little house. Is it because I live in the same house we had these family parties 30 years ago? Or because I know if I don't speak up, no one else will?.... That's ok - at least I don't have to leave my house!

Posted by: NancyJ at December 20, 2010 8:17 AM

Pools!!! Pools!! POOLS!!! Oh man, please edit that for me, it can't be left in such a state... (but I do hope it made you laugh... as it did me once the cringing was over)

Posted by: Deeleea at December 20, 2010 8:18 AM

First Christmas in our house after spending many years doing it at the grandparents, so really looking forward to the morning commute of down the stairs! :)

Posted by: metawizard at December 20, 2010 8:50 AM

I like spending Christmas mostly alone. Weird, huh? With friends for a little bit, but then alone.

Posted by: k8 at December 20, 2010 10:04 AM

Sitting on my grandparents' couch, about to start working, but having them be happy because I'm with them. Christmas to me is making that extra effort to show family I do indeed miss them and love them.

Posted by: alektra at December 20, 2010 10:05 AM

We'll be sharing with the same friends that we did for Thanksgiving. This time at their house but I'll be doing some of the cooking.

How neat that Mia was doing Nutcracker. I was watching the San Francisco ballet production yesterday. If you have a chance, pick it up for her - I think it's the best one for kids and it must be available on DVD by now. Or PBS is showing it all season here and probably nationwide. It's becoming a classic.

I'm sending you (and Beth) a couple of pictures of my middle great-granddaughter in her Christmas extravaganza. She's almost 16 now and quite amazing.

If I don't get back here in the next few days, wishing you and the gang a politically incorrect Merry Christmas.

Posted by: Ann Elizabeth Adams at December 20, 2010 10:09 AM

Unsurprisingly, my Christmas will be a little odd this year. We were still a "full" family last year and spent the holidays in Scotland with my dad. This year, my ex-MIL is coming (but - only advantage gleaned from this separation as far as I can tell - thankfully not staying with me any more) and my two girls will spend Christmas Eve with their dad and her (Christmas Eve is a big deal in France, much more than the 25th), then they'll sleep at my place (as always) and have the 25th with me. But it'll just be the 3 of us, so not really anything special, except for Santa leaving stuff and us sharing our own gifts.
I'll spend Christmas Eve alone with a good DVD and a bottle of wine, wrapping presents.
And I'll most likely be alone for New Year's Eve too, but that will be more melancholy I think and I'm not looking forward to it.
So, yeah, this is going to be a strange and probably not particularly jolly Christmas.
Efforts at civility will have to be made on the 27th for our elder daughter's 9th birthday, but I'll cross that bridge when we come to it...
Happy Christmas to you and your family, and best wishes for 2011 (hoping my 2011 will be happier than 2010...)!

Posted by: Kirsty at December 20, 2010 10:53 AM

At Christmas I am always rushed with past memories of family members no longer around. We get together what is left of the families, exchange drunken moments from Christmas's past and watch in wonder at our "own" children grow. My brothers make rare but welcome and anticipated appearances at this time of year for we have all moved so far away from each other. It is my favorite time of year, I make grotesque amounts of candy, play Christmas carols, wear things that would make my Grandmother proud and count my blessings, with a small touch of sadness for I wish I could some how stop time for just a moment longer and bask in the laughter and joy of my family as we are right at this moment.

Posted by: Shannon at December 20, 2010 11:20 AM

We will be at home for Christmas. My Mom and uncle are coming on Thursday and will stay about a week. We get my daughter back on the evening of the 25th and my stepkids will come on the 27th, so our holiday gets a little fractured. My vacation starts at 5:00 on Thursday night and goes through the new year. We plan to see Tron and The Green Lantern, go to an indoor trampoline park, and play with our new toys.

Posted by: Brooke at December 20, 2010 11:51 AM

This year I get to spend Christmas Eve in hospital getting my first chemotherapy treatment...what fun!! Christmas Day will probably be pretty mellow as a result BUT...I'm still making the turkey...for the kids. It's all in the "prep work"!

Merry Christmas to you all.

Posted by: Lujza at December 20, 2010 8:29 PM

I'm at home, and some family members are coming here, though not necessarily on Christmas Day specifically. I hope it goes well and we all manage to get along even though it's tiring and stressful and the first Christmas without Granny and la la la we all love each other sooooo much! (And we do, but also, there's a reason we don't all live together!)

Posted by: Heather at December 20, 2010 9:42 PM

This year I'm going to Deeleea's house and swim in poo! :)

Posted by: robin at December 20, 2010 9:45 PM

Ah, for us it is a case of what we would like to do and what may end up happening are 2 separate things :-) Hubby's & I have the tradition of having a 3 course Christmas Eve dinner. We move the table right next to the Christmas tree, switch off all the lights in the house and eat dinner by the twinkling of the lights on the tree. Christmas day my folks used to do a big lunch and my uncle & grandfather + partner would come around as well.

This year though, my husband has the Work Project From Hell (WPFH) so I don't know whether he will need to work, and even if he doesn't he'll probably be so tired and stressed out that the most energetic thing he'll be able to do is veg out on the couch, so I doubt we'll be joining in at the family lunch. My uncle is also more than likely going to be working on Christmas Day. As far as I know my mom and grandfather are still having lunch together though (yay! some sense of normality!). But as for us? Well, it is 3 days until Christmas, we have not finished our Christmas gift shopping; we do not yet have what we need for our Christmas Eve dinner and I still need to do a small grocery shop.

This year has been utterly hectic and chaotic, but even if we don't get everything sorted in time, there is nothing quite like sharing Christmas with your loved ones, no matter what it is that you end up doing on the day :-)

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