Merry Christmas to you all! I hope your day was as restful and enjoyable as ours was.
We started the day at our normal time, having planned ahead with family to gather after Ben’s typical wake-up. B and Ben got ready to go and I popped my first 50 mg of Clomid for this cycle (today is CD3 and a great present for myself). We drove to my parents’ house and spent the morning with my immediate family plus my Grandma V, her first Christmas as a widow. Mom discovered yesterday that she had never had a Christmas stocking before in her life so I found an extra stocking in our storage bins and we filled it with a bunch of fun and useful stuffers (multi-use body wash/shampoo, foaming hand soap, a tiny jar candle, a reusable grocery bag, individual serving bags of microwave popcorn). Grandma was astonished that there was a stocking for her too! That alone made today extra special.
I LOVE giving gifts and having a big family, I get loads of practice. I put more effort into gifts this year as an outlet to distract myself from everything else that happened in November. Everything was well received! The best reactions were my SIL M when she opened her customized wall art (similar to this but designed by B) and my middle little sister R, who got a pile of college and moving out related items (dust cloths, Lysol wipes, dish soap, hand soap, sponges, a pack of TP, etc). Seeing their faces light up when they realize how personalized their presents were made my morning. After many years of asking, B and I have successfully convinced my family that we don’t need more stuff laying around the house and if they want to give us anything, gift cards are very, very welcome. Anything that we got that wasn’t a gift card was something useful or particularly well suited to our tastes, like the cookbook I got with over 400 canning recipes!
Ben was overwhelmed by the noise and not too interested in opening presents but did get in on the paper ripping several times. He got a toy phone that he loves to carry around the house, several books, a few clothes, a Little People airplane, and his favorite, a small bag of dried apricots. All he wanted was for Mommy to open the ‘tsss so he could eat them! B and I decided long ago to go slowly with our own celebration at home because we wanted it to be an enjoyable memory instead of a stressful one. We opened stockings after getting home from my parent’s and Ben opened 2 gifts before nap time. After nap, he opened 3 more and there is still one waiting for tomorrow. He got a farm animal see-and-say, tug boat that scoops and pours water to play with in the bathtub, stacking cups, a medical kit, and a wooden tow truck and car. Still to be opened is his Duplo zoo set. I shopped for his gifts gradually since his birthday in September and found great prices on everything. The most I paid for a single item was $16 for the Duplos, which is a bargain! The rest were around the $6 range. We’ll see which toys are keepers and which toys stay in the toy box. I have half a mind to start a toy rotation system so he isn’t overwhelmed by choice.
Under all the fun was the knowledge that although this wasn’t the Christmas I had planned, it was the one I got anyway. I am a bit heartsick, as many of us are, when I think about who isn’t celebrating the holiday with us this year. Major holidays always seem to mark the passage of time in a more significant way than a normal day does and an already busy time gets weighed down with the waiting and empty longing. If that is you too, know that you are not alone and we are waiting and praying as well.