Thursday, December 31, 2015

Goodbye Christmas, Hello 2016

We are one week post Christmas Eve.  Things are settling down.  Tomorrow all the decorations will go back in the crawl space (not gonna lie I would have taken the tree down days ago but am making myself wait until New Years Day for the kids).  Our Christmas was happy.  Our Christmas was sad.  A beautiful blend of magic and traditions along with loss and a funeral.  On Christmas Eve my lovely grandma passed away.  She was my favorite grandma.  The one whose house we loved going to when we were little because it was full of toys and trinkets.  She was a die hard thrift store shopper so there were always treasures to be found at her house.  She was the one who was at all the birthday parties of my childhood,  at the hospital to welcome my babies and could always make you smile. She was an amazing woman and I am so proud to be her granddaughter.  As we gathered with cousins, aunts, uncles and friends to say goodbye and share memories you could see how many lives she touched.  She was the one who always brought us all together and this Christmas she finally got us in the same place again.  She would have been so happy to see this and I know in a way, she did.  After all the tears we sat around in a cheesy pizza joint laughing and sharing in the common love of family.  A beautiful celebration of her wonderful life.  

Even with loss, life goes on as usual.  Christmas was my grandma's favorite time of year so she wouldn't have wanted us to be sad throughout it.  She would want us to live it up so we made sure to do that.  In our house things begin on Christmas Eve with Matt's parents. A full Lebanese dinner and then gifts...

Feeling extra sentimental about grandparents this year and happy that the girls are fortunate to have four wonderful ones.  

Later that evening before going to bed, we spread reindeer food in the driveway and put cookies out in anticipation of Santa's arrival...

Oh, how I remember the excitement of going to bed on Christmas Eve...knowing something magical was about to happen.  Waking the next morning unable to even contain my excitement to see what Santa brought.  We are right on the edge of the girls still believing and each year I am grateful for their innocence.  Their energy is contagious and makes Christmas morning such fun.
Santa brought the girls an avocado plant from Mexico.  They were pretty excited since they have been trying unsuccessfully to grow one.  Silly guy even put big avocados in the bottom of their stockings.  

My favorite part of the day was how the girls were just as excited, if not more, to give us our gifts.  I love that we have instilled the importance of giving in them.  To see the thoughtfulness and time they put into making these gifts.  

Ava made me prayer flags for my mediation area.  Seriously.  Best gift I got.  She is the coolest chick.

The celebrating continued as we made our way over the river and through the woods to my parents house.  To gather with all the cousins and my sisters.  To sit under the tree where I have spent every Christmas and watch my dad play Santa Claus and hand out gifts to everyone there.

Not a Christmas has gone by that my sisters and I haven't all been at my parents house exchanging gifts.  It has changed and the family has grown over the years, but we are always there.  This year with one sister traveling from out of town and the other getting ready to leave town it was a quick hour we were all there.  What a wonderful hour it was.  

We went home Christmas evening exhausted from the days festivities.  I crawled into bed feeling happy and content from a beautiful holiday.

Now it is New Year's Eve.  The last day of 2015.  I love a new year, a fresh start.  I don't think about it as making resolutions that will only last a couple weeks.  I like to think of it as an opportunity to reflect on the past year and to set intentions for the new one.  I like the idea of intentions rather than resolutions.  I will write all of mine down in my journal because I don't think they need to be shared here.  By writing them down I feel like I will be more committed to them.  They will help start 2016 to be the best year.  I love the feelings a new year brings.  As the Christmas decorations come down tomorrow, life will calm and settle into a slow winter routine.  A time to reflect on the intentions made.  I love January for this.  

And, because it means a brand new day planner needs to be bought.  Matt reminded me I could just use the planner on my phone, but I'm old school.  I get all nerdy about day planners and can't wait to pick out the perfect one for 2016.

Happy New Year friends.  I hope it's the best yet.  

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