Christmas Past and Present

Another week has come and gone, time is flying by isn't it?  I've been comfortably busy with preparations for my holiday week.  Can you believe it will all commence next Saturday?  Eep!  Fall and winter months speed by and yet late summer months go at a snail's pace.  I wish I could reverse the perception.  

I've been at the gym five times this week slowly building back up what I momentarily lost while being under the weather.  Let's hope I don't catch anything else!  If only there was a discrete way of spraying Lysol around everyone I meet.  

Grant's biography is my company on the treadmill and never fails being a faithful companion while I walk.  

For now the cat/dog antics have quieted down.  Every day earlier in the week, Holly would come out to our family room while Frodo was unaware, then he would spy her and the barking would start up.  Holly hates the barking.  I've been trying to train him and there is improvement but I've yet to convince Holly.  All I know is that it will only get better! 

I started wrapping the gifts and today will probably finish the wrapping of what has already been delivered.  I am done with brick and mortar store shopping.  From here on out I avoid shopping on the weekends due to the crowds and traffic. 

Next week I'll be baking and on Wednesday our new fridge and dishwasher arrive.  (yay!).  The dishwasher is almost 20 years old and I'm NOT convinced it is cleaning dishes based on how filthy it looks around the seals.  I've been hand washing for quite some time.

The fridge is 14 years old and I wanted a new one because some of the shelves are broken enough to be wiggly.

My husband's Christmas break will be starting soon, so it'll be nice to have him around before all kids arrive next weekend.

I've been thinking about my mom and grandmothers a lot as I prepare for the celebrations.  As a young child we would go to my gram's house until early evening, then go to the other grandmother's house until Midnight Mass.  I would try my best to stay awake for Mass but sleep would overcome eventually.  Once Mass was over, we'd go back to the first Gram's house for more celebrations. 

There was so much food!  Desserts!  Candy!  Presents!

On Christmas day (will an enormous lack of sleep hangover) my sister and I would wake up early to open our gifts.  Then we would tumble back into the car and visit both grandparent houses yet again. 

My mom hated all the running around and as I grew up the traditions changed.  When we moved from the city of Pittsburgh to the suburbs we stopped the visiting all together.  We went to 6:30 evening Mass and did our own thing.  We would see the grandmothers at our house instead.

When my husband and I were first married, we would drive do crazy driving from Ohio to Pennsylvania then off to London Ontario during the Christmas week.  We kept that up even when we were living in Michigan.  Driving to my family was 14 hours and driving to his family was 10 hours.

When our second child was born, we stopped the Christmas week visiting.  Our new son would scream bloody murder in a moving car.  He hated the car (and was colicky so he hated everything).
Our Christmas was quiet and calm, starting new traditions.

Are you traveling?  Are you staying put?  Who will you be seeing during the holidays?


  1. I am staying put this year again. I am thankful for the invention of FaceTime which makes being far, not so far.

  2. We did the crazy driving, too (sometimes from FL to PA) but stopped when we had the kids. It was so nice to spend Christmas at home and have people come to us to celebrate!

  3. This year is a strange year for me as I moved to the Netherlands last summer. My family will be home on Christmas, but traveling into Germany shortly after. I hope you hae a wonderful weekend!

  4. We will go to Colin & Mailing's, but that is only a 20 minute drive. Mailing's parents and sister will be there too which is always fun. We used to do the driving thing (but only to Norfolk and at Thanksgiving, never at Christmas), but as soon as Colin was born we stopped. It is a grey day here, kind of misty. I'm trying to stay awake at work, but it is the perfect day to curl up with a book and/or knitting and then doze off for a bit. Enjoy the weekend!

  5. We have never done much traveling over the Christmas holidays. We will be staying home for a quiet Christmas together.

  6. We visited family at Thanksgiving. For Christmas our son is coming here and Steve's brother is coming the Saturday before.

    Christmas is pretty low-key at our house. But, we are excited. This is the first time we've seen our son for the holidays in five years.

  7. Well, we are going to have Al and zach and Will and maybe my dear dear pal Kathryn. Kathryn and I scattered her moms ashes in Zion national park in May. Her mom lived near us in Kenosha Wisconsin. So they are coming to us. Then we are Driving All to our dear niece's home because my kids really wanted to see their cousins. The hostess Erin has 2 little ones and it is easier if we all come to her. Such a doll.

  8. We are staying put. Our family is all over so we stay here and celebrate with my SIL's. It is a nice quiet day. We used to travel all over but now it is nice to be here. Like you when I was little we were at my aunts and grandparents, those are wonderful memories. Have a wonderful weekend.

  9. Thankfully, our families were not far apart. 13 minutes to both Grand parent's homes. But we always did do our own Christmas. Visited later.

    And since our children have grown and had children of their own, those who could (one had other inlaws visiting, and did their own Christmas Eve thing)... But the close by ones, came over, on Christmas Eve for my husband's "Fish Chowder." They did not have to cook at home on Christmas Eve and that make it easier for them.

    My husband always read "The Night Before Christmas" to them, from the same book he used, while our children were growing up.

    A few years ago, one of our Granddaughters developed an allergy to certain fish. So the Christmas Eve dinner has switched to his "Macaroni and Cheese," which they all love also. -smile-

    As a child, I lay down in bed, for a while, before being awoken for Midnight Mass. Oh how hard it was, to get up!!!!!!!!!!!!! But oh how lovely it was, to attend and come out of, with soft snow falling, in the crisp, cold air. And the church carillon, playing Christmas Carols. A lovely memory of long, long ago.

    Do hope your health continues to be strong!!!! I has a sore throat scare. Went to have throat swab taken, and it was not Strep. In fact, it is all gone! -smile- But at 82, I don't take any chances.

    Enjoy this lovely Time...

  10. Wow that is a lot of travelling, I can see why you changed to being at home. We were hoping to go to my parents for Christmas but that is not to be now. It would have involved driving but only 4 hours not 14! We are now planning a Christmas at home, a bit last minute but I am sure it will all be fine.

  11. I like your new watercolors and thank you for sharing your Christmases. We will be traveling up to a suburb outside of the city as my SIL graciously offered to host this year; it was between her or us. Thank goodness we aren't hosting as we don't have many ornaments on the tree b/c of the naughty kittens.

  12. I am SO thankful that our version of Christmas travel is driving about 30 minutes up the road.


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