:: Dining at an Italian restaurant then watching National Treasure II with my brother-in-law (one who is in from out-of-town) and another family we’re close with. The movie was entertaining, but you really have to suspend your beliefs to overcome the movie’s implausibility. :: Wrapping presents in gorgeous, luminescent paper I found with three designs at Home Goods. The gifts sparkled under the tree.
:: Christmas Eve spent with my mother-in-law’s side of the family at her house. We gorged on salmon, brie and Aunt Susan’s peanut brittle. The most hilarious moment came after the extended family left when all of us donned hats from my mother-in-law’s collection.
:: When we got home, even though it was late, the boys made slice-and-bake cookies for Santa, put out carrots and lettuce for the reindeer, and wrote gratitude notes to Santa. They got up to bed just before Santa Tracker announced he would be flying over our city. I know that they are too old to believe in Santa, but I’m glad they’re still playing along.
:: Christmas morning spent at home with just the four of us. The boy’s opened their stockings from Santa, and presents from us. We set up the new Wii and I had some time to download some iTunes into Will’s new iPod Nano.
:: Christmas brunch at my parents with my brother, sister-in-law, and their two kids. We started off with my mom’s stocking collections for everyone, and my parents spoiled them the grandkids rotten.
:: Christmas dinner was spent at my brother-in-laws with my husband’s family again. More presents and more joy. I still have to find homes for all this new stuff.
:: My favorite material gift was a modest diamond band from my husband. For most of our married life he claims he couldn’t understand why giving me gifts on the holidays is important, but this year, after working with a counselor, sponsor and working a 12 step program, he made up for it. I love, love, love it. But mostly I love the person he’s become; it’s the best gift I could ever hope for.
:: Other favorite gifts included cash from my mother-in-law (I bought green slacks at Talbots, a red wool scarf and a Lucky Brand knit hat), a hand knit angora scarf (also from my mother-in-law), lots of lotions and soaps, a compact car maintenance kit (it includes a tire gage, I have the tendency to hit curbs – gah), Nigella Lawson’s Nigella Express, and a new Starbucks travel mug (my husband “steals” them and leaves them at work).
:: Post holiday dinner out Wednesday with a group of high school buddies from my husband’s small, boy’s Catholic school. I’ve known them for over 20 years and look forward to celebrating milestones and holidays with them when everyone comes to town.
:: Dinner at a Lebanese restaurant (they prepare the most amazing garlic chicken dish served over garlic mashed potatoes) with Debbie before going to see the film Juno. The reviewers are right, it’s a gem of a film.
:: The boys had friends over Friday and kept themselves entertained ALL DAY. Last night they had “Cousin Fest” at my brother-in-law’s and I got an evening home ALONE. Bliss.
:: Thank goodness for the New Year next week, we’ve overindulged in Christmas cookies and treats, fattening meals, and too many nights out. After some pretty rough years, this was one of our best holiday seasons ever.
:: Listening to Creative Mom Podcasts, learning that it is best to shoot Christmas lights at dusk, getting inspired to journal in 2008, and feeling motivated after pouring through the Best of Zen Habits 2007.
:: Friday’s Oprah show spotlighted depression, and I know it must have brought hope to people who saw that you can come out on the other side. For many years I have suffered from days when I thought I would never be okay, but with a lot of help I feel happy and grateful. I am praying for all the people who have had a tough holiday season.
:: The “Oh No” moment of the week happened this morning when we discovered that our eight month old cats somehow got the baby powder out. They’ve rolled in it and there is a white film all over the house.
:: Quote of the Week: Reese, donning his elf hat instead of his Santa hat at bed time said,"I better wear the elf one in case Santa comes and wants to take me along!"