Saturday, December 31, 2011

Traditions Lost and Found

I haven't done a Christmas post yet. Most likely, I probably won't. Yes, we had the usual opening presents on Christmas morning and I took a fine amount of pictures.

But Christmas this year felt non-exciting. Noah's surgery kind of brought things down a few levels and so did the fact that it never quite felt like Christmas since it rained the whole month of December instead of snowed. When one lives in Michigan, they really need snow on the ground for the holidays.

So looking back on the holiday season, I realized that there were a lot of "traditions" that we usually do as a family that we just kind of missed this year. I wonder if that's where we went wrong.

1. Sledding
We always go sledding as a family during Christmas Break. We were counting on this even more so this year since Aaron got a new "souped up" sled for Christmas and Noah got his first snow board. At this moment, they are both sitting on the floor of the garage, gathering dust.

2. Christmas lights
Every year, we usually take at least two trips in the car to go look at Christmas lights as a family. My parents took Aaron to a really neat display by them, but the fact that our van has now been broken for over two weeks, even after $200 of repairs, kind of brought a damper to trying to go out and see the lights.

3. Santa
We stopped the sitting on Santa's lap last year so actually this is the second year that that tradition is gone. But one still feels it's loss.

4. Trees in the bedroom
A couple of years ago I got the boys each their own mini tree for their bedrooms. This year, Noah never wanted to bother setting his up and Aaron knocked his over twelve times in the first day and decided it was in his way and we packed it back up. So Christmas never really came to their rooms.

5. Christmas Morning Excitement Low
The morning just felt like any other day, but with presents to open. There was no big screaming happy excitement this year. It was the first day of Noah's difficult stage of recovery, where Noah cried MANY times from pain that day, which kind of brought everybody down. Poor kid.

6. School parties
Every year but this one, I was able to attend the class parties, take pictures, and join in the merriment. This year I was working and missed it all. I definitely feel like something was lost and both boys asked why I couldn't have been there for them. It made me sad

7. No Christmas Break Fun
Usually I do all kinds of fun things with the boys over Christmas Break. Due to Noah's recuperation and money that would have been used for that purpose going into a piece of crap car that is still not repaired, we did NOTHING the entire two week period. Big waste of time off with the kids.

8. Non Existent Anniversary
Our 15th Wedding Anniversary came. And went. I think we may have actually smiled at each other in passing. That's about it. Not sure if we even kissed that day.

9. Black Friday
I used to go with my friend. That didn't happen and I did my only shopping online. I wonder if that set everything off to a bad start from the beginning.

10. Hormones
I'm off them for now. Enough said...

I know...major Downer Post. We did keep some of our usual traditions though. And we did enjoy those ones.

1. Christmas Eve Service
It was a really nice service at Cornerstone Church this year. Noah was definitely not in the mood to sing, but the service was nice and everyone got little mini flashlights to keep after using them during the service.

2. Christmas Eve Dinner Out
We very rarely go out to real restaurants any more so we kept our tradition and went to restaurant that the boys have been begging to go to. We took them to Logan's so they could throw peanuts on the floor. What seems like nothing to a grown up is pretty exciting to two little boys. Noah was bummed because he couldn't eat any of the peanuts (Day 5 after surgery) so he wants to go back again. Maybe NEXT Christmas.

3. Christmas Eve "procedure"
All stayed the same...watching Santa on NORAD, new PJ's before bed, family movie (Grinch) and Twas the Night Before Christmas story read.

And we even added a couple of new ones that I hope will become traditions

1. Movie Time
We decided to join the masses and go to a movie on Christmas Day (instead of the sledding that was planned). We took the boys to the Muppet Movie and enjoyed our trip down memory lane. We all enjoyed the movie and the break from the present opening. By the time we got home, there were a few presents left to open and I think we all enjoyed the new plan. Both boys have asked if we can do it again next Christmas.

2. Winterberry Pfaltzgraff
I found a 16 piece set of Christmas China that my MIL had given me over ten years ago that we had never gotten out, because we first lived in apartments and then had little boys who couldn't be trusted with good dishes. But I found them Christmas morning and decided it was time. I was so excited to set a pretty table for both of our big meals and I loved stacking them in the china cabinet to bring out next year. I think all three of the males in the house thought I was crazy by how excited I was but it was something that actually made me feel like a real person rather than a loser who couldn't make a nice Christmas for my family, so I reveled in this little joy.

3. New Year's Eve
We are going to try another new one this year. At age 7 and 9, the boys have never stayed up until midnight so we're going to let them try it tonight. I got some small fireworks to do in the driveway and then we will put them to bed. I have no idea if they're going to make it until midnight or not. I guess I'll have to let you know later.

So Christmas is done. I am having a hard time taking down the tree. I definitely want my living room back, but the tree we got this year is so incredibly healthy that I don't have the heart. We stopped watering it a week ago and the needles are still completely soft and it hasn't dropped a single needle yet. Crazy!

2012...who knows? If I don't expect good things then I can't be disappointed. Not the most positive outlook at the moment, but definitely the most honest one at this time.

Happy New Year!

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