It’s been really quiet this week. Just the kind of thing you need when you’re coming down from a marathon high. If I was once convinced that I couldn’t sit around and do nothing for a few days because it made me antsy, then I would tell you now that I absolutely can. I’ve slept 7-8 hours each night – still going to bed ridiculously late, but getting up at 9am or even later. The girls have too on most days except for Christmas morning, of course. It feels like a luxury, dampened slightly by all the work that I know is looming as soon as the New Year rings in. It’s pretty hard to ramp back up after you’ve had some time off.
Did you have a good Christmas? We opened presents in the morning, went to a movie, and had dinner with my parents and a cousin. Despite my best intentions, I can’t help feel a slight twinge of melancholy when Christmas day finally rolls around. It’s been like that since I was a kid. Can’t quite explain why, but it’s almost like there’s this pressure to have this perfect Christmas with the family, you know, like the kind you see in commercials because this is what we’re being shown everywhere we look. But instead, it seems to magnify everything that it’s not. Maybe it’s the fact that the big extended family no longer gets together anymore like when we were kids so you feel that absence, or the fact that siblings and other family members are on the other side of the country. Or maybe it’s because the problems and dysfunction of a family doesn’t go away just because its Christmas day. Pretty heavy for a holiday, especially for a teenager to start realizing. It’s the reason why I like the days before and after the holiday so much more. The pressure is off.
But the excitement of the kids are contagious and I don’t have to look far to see that the girls don’t feel any of the Christmas baggage that I do. I wondered about that the other week when they both refused to take a photo with Santa, who was coaxing them to come over for a visit. Granted, the illusion wasn’t convincing as I pulled a black bobby pin from his fake beard and handed it back to him, but it did make me realize that we never really did play up the Santa bit when they were younger, never left cookies out for him the night before, or write Santa letters. I never did that as a kid; I never believed in Santa and it occurred to me when the girls were giving me side glances as Santa was trying to talk to them that maybe they never believed in Santa either (but the Easter Bunny! They still both think is real).
I walked home with the kids right after the Santa incident thinking that I hadn’t done enough to make Christmas magical. I worried that they were too focused on the present giving part, but on Christmas morning they gave us boxes of the most thoughtful handmade gifts they had made for us and each other and knew that none of that was true. So yes, Christmas was really nice and now we’re just enjoying the quiet before the world wakes up again on January 2nd. Hope you are having a nice week too.