It's not that last Christmas was bad or that any Christmas before that has been; it's just that there was something really special about this Christmas, and I think I'll hold tightly to it forever. Kyle was at the most perfect age (newsflash: two years and ten months is PRIME Christmas age), we were at home, we were with family but not so much family that the days bled into drama, and we had delicious food and a warm home, oh, and there were naps for everyone on Christmas Day.
Guys, it was so good.
Christmas Eve we had breakfast for dinner, our tradition since Kyle was born. (As I poured myself a mimosa while making dinner, Mike looked at me sideways and said, "Huh, I get this tradition now." If that is wrong, my friends, I don't want to be right.)
After dinner we piled into my in-laws' car to look at Christmas lights. It was so lovely. Well. Except for near the end of the night, when we saw the most perfect lights behind a gated community. Why taunt the poor with your beautifully decorated house we can't get close enough to see? Whyyyyy rich people?
The only thing Kyle really asked for was Legos, which is what he opened first. He was pretty thrilled to find them although what he got after the Legos apparently trumped them because he hasn't played with them since. Adorably, though, with every gift he'd open, he'd say, "WHAT'S IT GONNA BE?" with sheer joy. At one point he opened batteries for a toy and kept saying, "OH, IT'S BATTERIES. BATTERIES. THANKS GUYS."
If I had access to a pony, I would have wrapped that damn thing up for him on the spot.
My step-mom sent him a play work bench that Mike put together the night before and turned out to be the hit of Christmas. He didn't even know he WANTED a play work bench, but, oh holy hell, was he glad he got one. He said to me before bed, just tonight, "Mommy, did you know that I have my very own work bench and I got it for Christmas?" So cute, right? So cute I'll ignore that he's already wiped me clean from his Christmas memories. YES KID, I KNOW BECAUSE I WAS THERE.
Not to say the weekend was completely perfect -- no weekend with a toddler ever is, am I right? -- and I can prove that by showing you each and every above Christmas morning photo where Kyle is wearing a graphic tee and shorts instead of the hand-selected Hanna Andersson pjs I bought for him. Oh guys. This kid fights with us over everything he wears. It's not exactly what he wears, I should clarify, but it's what we suggest he wears. If I give him a few choices, he'll usually pick one without problem and it may even be the one I wanted him to pick. But if he even thinks you're suggesting he wear something or that you're pushing an outfit on him without his consent, OH NO, THAT IS NOT GOING TO WORK FOR HIM, HE'LL WEAR LAST YEAR'S HALLOWEEN COSTUME FIRST. (Which doesn't exist, that's how adamant he is about ignoring every damn outfit I suggest.)
It's kind of like when I suggested to Mike three years ago that he should buy a blazer because he's a smoking guy and he'd look totally awesome in a blazer and he was all, NO NO NO QUIT TRYING TO MOLD ME WOMAN, I AM A T-SHIRT MAN, BACK UP. And then he came home right before our Vegas trip with a couple blazers in hand and was all causal-like when he said, "Hey, I randomly tried on this blazer and kind of liked it. Whatevs."
Oh look! The crazy man looks good in blazers!
That's brand new information!
Two of these souls in one lifetime. Phew. I'm grateful while also being terrified.
But, hey! Look! We coaxed (read: bribed) him into his Christmas pjs for all of 30 seconds and he was beyond thrilled about this as you can see:
It really was a great holiday, though. (Show me a holiday without a single time-out and I'll show you a family I'll talk jealously about behind their back.) After my mom and in-laws left Christmas night and Kyle was asleep and Mike had collapsed into bed (he worked overtime Monday starting at 6am) I sat in my living room and looked around and exhaled.
It was kind of a tough year -- normally tough, but still -- so it was magical to end it with this kind of holiday. Especially after strep, just the week before.
It reminded me that it just doesn't matter what you get or what you make or what you wear. What matters is that for a few days you have enough love around you that nothing else gets in.
This would be such a sweet photo if Mike hadn't cut off our kid's face, but that's just how life is, my friends. Sometimes the best family shot you can manage is the one your kid is photo-bombed out of. YOU MAKE THE BEST OF DIFFICULT PHOTO SITUATIONS, OK? You pass the food, you raise your glass, you smile, you soak it in.
So much of the good stuff is realizing it isn't about it all being perfect. It's about it being yours.