We are nearly done.
We have survived a record-breaking snowstorm, record-breaking shopping expeditions, and a record-breaking Christmas cookie marathon. [pictured: the first batch]
Along the way we had to re-wire the pre-wired (pre-lit) Christmas tree. We searched in vain for an elusive Wii, and finally, desperately resorted to buying one from the scum-sucking scalpers on eBay.
Twinks performed like an angel in both her school's vocal concert, and at church in the bell choir. She brought home straight A's at the end of the semester (including all of her AP/Honors classes), and her science fair project has been selected to go on to the district competition.
The Wrench took Twinks shopping, and they returned laden with packages, laughing and giggling about their father-daughter day. He took his vacation starting the Friday before Christmas, and he doesn't have to go back to work until the second week of January.
Our Christmas was spread over three amazing, hectic, wonderful days. Christmas Eve was morning Eucharist, a formal dinner at The Wrench's parents home followed by a candlelight Midnight Mass at church. Home to wrap presents, and convince Twinks to go to bed; a few all-too-short hours later, and our own little family Christmas celebration started at sun-up.
After the presents are opened and a brief breakfast, it is off to church for Christmas morning services. We have a light lunch, and watch Christmas movies all afternoon. Our own little family dinner is traditional; turkey, gravy, stuffing, two kinds of potatoes, sweet corn, green beans, and hot rolls. There are desserts, too, and we munch on the Christmas cookies that Twinks decorated with such care.
The day after Christmas is when we go Two Hours East, and spend the day with my Mom and The StepDad. We bring trays of Christmas cookies, presents, and cheer. All of us are ready for something besides turkey and dressing, so we go out for pizza after opening presents. We spend the afternoon talking and laughing, and all too soon it is time to go home. The Wrench drives us westward, and we chase a spectacular sunset back towards home.
Now we are at the end of the year, and nearly the end of this holiday season. Tomorrow The Wrench and I will celebrate our twentieth anniversary. We don't have any big special plans; we will have an early dinner at our favorite little cantina, and come home for a family celebration with champagne and chocolates at Midnight.
It's almost over, almost done. Too quickly, and yet not fast enough. There has been an abundance of good food, wonderful and thoughtful gifts, and magical, spiritual moments. We have been busy, to be sure, but we have also made time this year just for us - our little family - to be together, to enjoy the lights, the traditions, the wonder and joy of Christmas.
I hope your days have been equally merry and bright.
Happy New Year!