Christmas is so much more fun with a child to remind you of the wonder of it all. It was a complete joy. Livi was beautiful, as always, and I was at peace.
Our Christmas extravaganza started on Christmas Eve. Jon worked his last day as a Behavioural Interventionist and came home just after lunch. We went for a quick visit to my Grandparent’s home. My Grandpa’s health continues to worsen but he was in good spirits. They enjoy seeing their Great-Granddaughter so much. From there we headed out to Langley to celebrate Christmas with Jon’s family. Lisa (Jon’s sister) and her husband, Tony, couldn’t make it, so it was just Jon’s brothers and Mom.
Even though some of the family was missing we had fun! Dad being gone was not such a fresh wound as it was last year either. We missed him. We skipped some of the traditions that he would have held, but it was okay. We’ll figure it out eventually and maybe come up with some new ones. Mom tried hard not to cry at one point but Livi was a pleasant distraction to us all. She was so fascinated by the Christmas lights and the bows. She was so enthralled by the bow of her first present that it took her a little while to figure out that there was, in fact, a present beneath the wrapping. She got the hang of it pretty quickly though. Her first present, from her Uncle Jeremy, was the the most entertaining and she was not interested in the clothes that followed.
The biggest surprise of the Christmas was the gift from Jon’s mom… or is it from Dad. We received a bit of money from Dad’s estate. I started crying. What an unexpected blessing! Remember how I was completely stressing about our finances just a few short weeks ago? It could have come at a better time! Now, with this gift and Jon’s new job we could potentially be debt free withing 6 months! (Okay, we’ll still have our huge government student loans and mortgage of course, but our maxed out student line of credit will be gone!) That is, if we are VERY good. I do expect there will be a little bit of splurging in the beginning.
We have decided to take a little bit of the money and go on a real vacation. We never had any time to relax and heal after Dad died. Livi was born exactly one month after he died. That was a VERY rough year. We’ve never gone on a “real” vacation either. Our honeymoon was only three days in Whistler and other than that we’ve been camping-ish in the Okanagan and on the Island…usually with other people. Being raised Mennonite and by a single mother my first thought in talking about a vacation was that it was a frivolous idea and my Grandpa would definitely not approve. I’m not sure if I can say that we deserve a vacation but I do think that taking some of the money and putting it towards something that will potentially be healing, relationship building and just plain fun is a very good thing. I just have to look at it like Dad is paying for it!
Christmas day we woke up to Livi beginning to stir and brought her in to the living room to discover the presents under the tree. She was ADORABLE! She stood and stared for a few seconds then crept up and sat beside the presents pointing and babbling. She wouldn’t touch them until I handed one to her.
She remembered what she was supposed to do from the night before and dove in. She LOVES all her presents! It was so fun. She couldn’t decide what she wanted to play with and decided on sitting in her chair, holding her blocks while ordering Daddy to tickle her with her puppet.
We headed out in to the beautifully, bright sun and drove to Chiliwack right away for my family’s Christmas.
More food, presents, fun, and laughter were had! I tried not to think about my sister who again chose not to come to Christmas. I miss her and it is not quite the same with out her. I think I’m going to have to come to terms with the fact that it is never going to be the same again… even if she does come back to us. Why is change so hard?
Well, I’m tired from a long day of Boxing Day sales and should head off to bed. My next few days are just as busy. Extended family gathering tomorrow, then catching the ferry with Livi for a meeting on Monday. I’ll catch you up on that soon 🙂 I hope you all had as fabulous a Christmas as I did!
This Christmas Extravaganza will be continued… Two more family gatherings and New Years to blog about soon!