Well, we made it through another Christmas, and I am really happy to say that this year was actually quite nice.
Christmas past has always been difficult for me. Two of my siblings live in NC, my mother lives in Cali and my family here in Florida is so big, that I spend most of the day driving around and spreading myself thin.
This year, a lot of the family decided to visit with their in-laws, or out-of-town family members, and while I missed seeing some of the people in my family, I did not miss driving around like a ninny.
R and I decided that moving forward, we are making the holidays more about us; We do a really great job when it comes to visiting extended family throughout the year so there is no need to feel guilty about taking it easy on Christmas or Thanksgiving.
All of that being said, we had a really nice eve with my parents, paternal grandparents and my (step) Nonna, Uncle Frank and a friend of my father and his family joined us as well. I think the best part for me this year was spending some extra time with my little sister.
R and I turned her room into a slumber party pad, watched A Christmas Story a few times and about every two hours I would wake up to a little voice asking my permission to use the bathroom; wherein I turned into my mother and told her if she touched any of her presents that Santa's Magic will disappear and all the loot with turn into to coal. However, that did not stop her from returning back to the bedroom with an inventory of how many and how big the presents were. Having a sister 17 years your junior is a fun experience.
I was reminded after a less-than-pleasant interaction with my 14-year old cousin that my little sister is starting to dance with pre-teen territory and it is very likely that in a few years from now she will probably hate us all. I just hope I can always stay in cool big sister territory.
I made my sister a bunch of friendship bracelets as her gift this year, and one of them has a twin that I wear; So I told her to wear it and always remember that sisters are also best friends; she then replied with "I will never take it off" and that is when my Grinchy heart melted into a puddle of mush (or was that the wine?).
Christmas Day was spent with R's family; it's been really special for me to watch my relationships with his mom, dad and brother become more personal and this year, being newly engaged has been especially fun. After all the gifts were exchanged, R's mom disappeared and returned with two more bags labeled Rob and Ryan; The bags were filled with iPad accessories, and we were each gifted our own magical device. We were both in complete shock because we've been saving for an iPad for a while now, and we were totally excited about the prospect of sharing one. Needless to say it was a huge surprise to each receive our own.
I think I played tetris for 5 hours on that thing yesterday.
I was so happy that we spoiled his mother with lots of gifts this year; she really is one of the most generous people I have ever met.
Another surprise this year was learning that my dad and step mom opened an Etsy Shop featuring hand crafted wooden brush/pen/pencil/etc holders.
Check it out!
I can't wait to see if they make other things too. My father made these!
On Christmas eve I was raiding my step moms cosmetic cabinet for some stuff to freshen up with and I saw one of these in her bathroom; she usually has cool stuff in her makeup cabinet (hence the reason I was raiding it) so I was really excited when I unwrapped one as my gift and even more excited to find out my dad made them.. They are displayed with beauty products, but they could hold pens, scissors, paint brushes, crochet hooks... etc.
So ladies, painters, office dwellers.... go buy one and make sure you tell them I sent ya if you can!
I sincerely hope that everyone had a safe and happy holiday weekend, and my apologies for being a grump over the past few weeks. I don't know about all of you, but I am really looking forward to a new year!