Friday, December 25, 2020

a merry little christmas

Merry Christmas!
On Thanksgiving, I was busy writing about Colin turning five months old, and I didn't get a chance to reflect on all the things I'm thankful for this year. So, Christmas seems like the perfect time to catch up.

This year, we are especially thankful for Christmas traditions: the ones we were able to keep and the ones we were able to adapt to life in 2020. On Christmas Eve, we were able to attend the annual Christmas Eve Mass (on Zoom this year!) hosted by close family and friends of GranE and Batman. Even a virtual mass felt intimate with a small group of attendees. We also watched Christmas Eve on Sesame Street, one of Dan's childhood traditions that now lives on with our kids. Mae's favorite part (and mine too) is when Cookie Monster eats the typewriter and telephone. And we ordered Chinese food for dinner. (Of all the traditions Dan brings to the holiday, that one might be my favorite.)
We are thankful that we are able to see family over the holidays. I could write a dissertation on how we made the decision to travel, but I'll leave it at this: I'm thankful that our extended family members are pretty much on the same page around health precautions and that we are able to see each other for Christmas in the safest way we know how. With Mae and Colin starting back to day care in January, we are planning to hunker down as a family unit a bit more, so we are especially glad to have this opportunity to spend time together with everyone. (Even though we're trying to visit as safely as possible, I don't think I'll truly breathe easy until two weeks after our travels are finished.)
We are thankful that Mae was able to play with her cousins. She has hardly spent any time around kids since March. We spent an afternoon at Oliver and Archie's house, and Mae had so much fun (even though their floor was made of lava). She also got lots of quality time playing with Aunt Kelsey, which might be even better than kid playtime. (Sooo many hours of dressing up the Polly Pockets.)
Mae is thankful for her new American Girl doll and her new pack of googly eyes... her most highly anticipated gifts from Santa. She's also had lots of fun playing with her new Playmobil Mars Space Station from Grandma and Grandpa, and I think I will forever hear her little voice and raised eyebrows asking me, "Hey mommmm, want to play with my spaaace stationnnn?"
Colin is thankful for wrapping paper. Forget toys. Just millions of tiny scraps of wrapping paper that I have to snatch away at the last second or else he will stuff them into his mouth and mash them into little chokable wads of wrapping paper pulp. He couldn't care less about the noisy, blinky toy in this package. All he wants is the wrapping paper. He was literally chasing me around the floor while I tried to wrap Dan's gifts.
So, even though it's been a tough and unusual year, we have a lot to be thankful for. We hope you were able to spend time with your loved ones in a way that makes you comfortable and keeps you safe. I dare to hope that next year we can revive the traditions that involve big gatherings and being out in public again. Until then, we wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.

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