Thursday, December 30, 2010

Memories of the celebrations

This year, we managed to get Christmas Eve just right. No last minute wrapping or frantic anything, really. A leisurely day with enjoyable preparations leading up to an evening spent in front of the fire.

Smoked salmon to start, then a dinner of swordfish, asparagus, and couscous. With homemade cookies for dessert!
My favorite part of the evening was Dean's sudden inspiration to draw -- that, and honoring all our usual traditions of stories read, Advent calendars finished,

(with Santa always being the last piece placed on the homemade version), and stockings hung with care. The wealth of Christmas is surely in all the layers and layers of memories. I think of childhood Christmas Eves, and ones spent later at my dad's and his wife's after my parents were divorced, and ones with Ken before Dean came along and then the glorious 12 with Dean so far.
It's a matter, for me, of finding the balance between the pleasure of memories and just a nod to the sadness of what's past, and acceptance, embracing of what the new traditions are. Dean is totally a holiday person, and he spent the day (as he always does) happy and excited from morning til night.

Nothing quite like the magic of Christmas morning, and finding that Santa has been here.

Stockings filled to overflowing, as always, and

the glory of the tree. What a pleasure it was to know we had the day to ourselves, and not to have to rush through any of it.
Our traditional breakfast of eggnog french toast, and a finale of

sauerbraten and rosti and mushrooms and rolls for dinner (and Christmas crackers, too!). I struggled with some sadness during the day -- the first Christmas without loved ones who should still be among us to celebrate holidays and everything else. My mom was such a Christmas person (those white crochet snowflakes hanging up above were made by her), and I thank her for sharing that wish to make one day so spectacular.

We're still in full holiday mode here, looking forward to our New Year's Eve celebration. At this point I am really trying to simply look ahead. May your own celebrations be joyful and healthy and safe!


Natalie said...

Merry Christmas!
This post just warms me up...the sweet of it, and the bittersweet. Now I feel as though I have more, and new, memories of Christmas... as close as I can come to sharing joy and home with you. Thank you.
I love these pictures and reflections. They are in my heart now, treasures to cherish.

Julie said...

Happy New Year to you, Jennifer. :)
It was fun reading about your Christmas memories and I'm so glad there was so much for you to enjoy. The moments of sadness didn't overwhelm you, it sounds like, and I'm glad.

xx Julie