Joy to the World!
Merry, Merry Christmas to you all! Although there was quite a bit of running around on our part, Daniel and I had a wonderful first married Christmas together. Christmas Eve was spent rushing around wrapping presents and completing other last-minute pre-Christmas tasks. For me this included finishing sewing the stockings that I was stubbornly intent on finishing in time for Daniel and me to hang them on our mantle and fill them for each other. It’s amazing that a project that seemed so simple could actually be so complicated. I ended up going to my parents’ house on Christmas Eve afternoon for my mom’s expert help in finishing the stockings quickly.
Just after that, we drove the forty minutes to Daniel’s parents’ house to spend some time with his brother and soon-to-be sister-in-law who were up from Alabama before we all rode with his parents another forty-five minutes to Daniel’s uncle’s house for a party with my father-in-law’s side of the family. A few hours there, and it was back to Daniel’s parents to get our car and drive home in time to leave again for Midnight Mass, picking up two of my sisters and my cousin at my parents’ on the way to the church.
Now, I can definitely say that I love Midnight Mass in theory. It seems like such a perfect, “Silent Night,” “It came upon a midnight clear” kind of time for Christmas Mass. However, I think I liked it much better when I was a college student who was accustomed to being up until the wee hours of the morning on a regular basis. This year I found it very difficult to keep my eyes open. I’m sure being pregnant didn’t help the situation. Luckily, being really sleepy sometimes helps me to pray (unusual, maybe?) so I didn’t find myself unable to focus. I think that next year I would much prefer to go to the eight o’clock candlelight Mass instead. Of course, with a six-month-old, we may not even really be able to do that time…
On Christmas morning Daniel and I woke up at 7:30 (to an alarm of course), prayed together before getting out of bed, then came into the living room to open our stockings and wrapped gifts from each other. Since it was just the two of us this year, it didn’t take too long. We got dressed and drove over to my parents’ at around 8:30 to have the traditional cinnamon roll Christmas breakfast with my family and then open gifts with them. This took the rest of the morning, with so many people and everyone taking turns opening gifts one at a time, and breaks for singing Taylor Swift karaoke with my sisters on Jane’s new karaoke machine, etc. After a second breakfast of hash brown casserole, scrambled eggs, and sausage links, Daniel and I headed to his parents’ for lunch and gifts with his family. A few hours there and it was back to my parents’ for a delicious Christmas dinner with my grandparents: spiral ham, potatoes, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, and rolls.
In the past couple of days since Christmas, with a whole week off from work, my parents and Daniel and I have been in the midst of the last major remodel/construction project for this house: our master bathroom. It was so ugly and gross looking before that I have absolutely refused to even take out and use the new towels we got for our wedding until it was remodeled. It is already looking so much better, and we are not even halfway finished. I’m so excited!
Today is New Years Eve; 2009, the year we had looked forward to as our wedding year for so long, is about to be behind us. As we have for the last few years, Daniel and I will be babysitting—this is prime babysitting money night. Of course, this is the last year we will be able to do that. Who knows what kind of New Years plans we will be able to make next year when we have a baby, unless we get a babysitter ourselves (which we probably won’t, at least not next year)…
Have a blessed beginning to 2010!
Remember us, O God;
from age to age be our comforter.
You have given us the wonder of time,
blessings in days and nights, seasons and years.
Bless your children at the turning of the year
and fill the months ahead with the bright hope
that is ours in the coming of Christ.
You are our God, living and reigning, forever and ever.
(from Catholic Household Blessings and Prayers)