Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas 2009

This family does such a low-key holiday celebration its not even funny.

No tree, no lights, very few gifts. Just time with family and friends, a trip to Edgehill UMC for Christmas Eve service and that's about it. Of course, things are changing now that Julia is in the mix. Last year she was only a couple of weeks old and we were so exhausted and confused nothing else mattered. This year we have an alert, curious and vocal toddler who makes all of the regular things very different.

Tara and I have debated about christmas trees since we first got married. We want to do the most ecologically responsible thing which has translated into no tree and that's ok for now but I believe next year we will have a little girl who wants something more festive. I saw some options this year that I think I can pull together in time for next year but we all know wanting to do and doing are two different things. Gifts are in the same category. We want to do what is the most responsible thing but I like giving gifts and Tara likes receiving them so we have a dilemma. I had started compiling gifts for Tara months ago, nothing big, just practical things so most of that was already taken care of but what about Julia.

Then of course, you have to add to the mix that I have no income. Tara is essentially buying the gifts for everybody so how do I make that work? Oh well, I need to get that book started so I can generate my own income.

How did Christmas turn out? Wonderfully.

Christmas Eve is all about the family tradition of Bonnie's Soup/Cider open house and Christmas Eve service at Edgehill. The day always proves to be entertaining. Bonnie makes a bunch of soups and some cider, guests bring desserts, breads and musical instruments. Bonnie's very eclectic group of friends, neighbors and acquaintances come and go until it is time for church. This year it was all about the bright-eyed Julia considering she was small and newborn at last year's party. She was so much more interesting and interested this year.

There were lots of people so she didn't get to show off her toddler skills too much at Grandma Bonnie's house so she waited till we got to Edgehill. There she very quickly found her walking legs and proceeded to move toward every candle she could find. It is amazing how quickly she can move on her two wobbly legs! Julia slithered back and forth from me to Tara to Mike to Bonnie and anybody in between until Tara decided she needed to keep still. During Christmas Eve service Judi Hoffman, pastor of Edgehill, has the kids gather around her while she reads a story instead of a traditional sermon. Tara held Julia and this little girl is something else. I know kids learn to speak by listening and I do believe that Julia is learning very well. I see this in church almost every time I go. She squawks or bleeps when Judi pauses - Julia's timing is on the money almost every time - it always illicits a chuckle out of her family. Christmas Eve story time was no exception. It was a fun day!

Christmas Day was even more low-key. Bonnie and Buddy came over with some soup leftovers. We ate lunch and hung out and then ate an early dinner before Bonnie & Buddy left. Julia spent the night in her "new" Christmas footed sleeper and thus ended Christmas 2009.

So, what about loot? You want to know what Julia got for Christmas. Well like I said we are not living high on the hog nor do we put a lot of stock in toys and things - I am already attached to too much stuff and I don't want to pass that "package" on to Julia.

She got some good stuff. She got some big, soft blocks with numbers and animals on them, the Santa Claus footed sleeper I already mentioned. She got a cute outfit from my godmother and the architect of this relationship, Aunt Libby, and I broke down and bought her a djembe. It is a tiny little thing that she was scared of for about a day or so, even though she was with me when we went to the store to buy it.

Julia doesn't really know what's going on but I hope we can guide her towards an understanding that Christmas is about balancing the sharing (sharing love and time and energy) with the receiving (receiving goodwill and tokens of love).