|Our Beautiful Tree|
We had a really fun Christmas this year. We were very happy that two of my brothers and my son travelled to our Island home to spend Christmas with us. We also had the chance to spend lots of time with my two grandsons, their mom (my daughter) and our son-in-law. We got together with friends, and participated in several holiday community activities (one of which involved cooking a community dinner for 60 people!).
I did a lot of cooking (and eating) this Christmas. Somehow, I forgot to take pictures of the food -- how did that happen? We balanced all the time around the dinner table by going hiking several times, skiing twice, and skating once. There were also some very competitive games of cribbage, jenga, otrio, and battleships. We saw the new Star Wars movie together, as well as a new Christmas movie, and some of us watched quite a few hockey games.
The first ski day, we had beautiful sunshine, but hardly any snow. We scratched our the bases of our skis badly on rocks that were poking through. But Rob and my brother Tony are talented ski techies and they fixed up our skis the next day.
|Rob and My Son|
|Look How My Little Boy has Grown Up|
One afternoon, we went to a community skating party -- my daughter, son-in-law, son, two grandsons, and me.
|Grandson with Hockey Moose|
|My Son, Older Grandson, and Me|
On Christmas Eve, we managed to fit in a pub dinner.
|Brother, Brother, and Son at English Style Pub|
Of course, one of the best parts is watching the kids get excited about giving and opening their gifts.
|The Bag Of Gifts|
|Harry Potter Lego!|
|My Own Camera!|
|The Velvet Devil??|
Rob installed a new cartridge on his turntable so Tony could listen to his new album. A few nights later, we had friends over and spent half the evening in the basement man cave listening to LPs from 50 years ago (re-mastered ones).
And, yes, we had to sample quite a few of those yummy wines, craft beers, and a few of us got into the scotch (not me).
|Gallivanting Around Europe|
Of course, one of the sad things about Christmas is missing the family members who are celebrating elsewhere. We phoned my other daughter and her significant other who are spending Christmas in Europe. She's sent lots of cool photos of her trip.
We also talked with Rob's daughter's family, and shared photos. We're excited to see that set of grandkids soon, because we're going on a trip together in January.
We had dinner at my daughter's house on Boxing Day. It was a chance to learn a really cool new board game called Otrio, which is a bit like tic-tac-toe but more complex and strategic.
|A Serious Game of Otrio|
But even a wonderful Christmas like this wasn't all rosy. There are always little negative things, like moments when the kids get over-tired and full of sugar, or me having insomnia Christmas Eve and being really tired all day on Christmas, or the fact that the kids' new skis and bindings weren't set up properly and we didn't discover it until we got to the ski hill. The usual worries (like about a loved one's health or financial woes) don't go away just because it's Christmas. And Christmas is also a time when we especially miss people we have lost, like my dear Mom who passed away more than a year ago.
The joys of Christmas seem all the more poignant set against the bittersweet aspects. As we transition to the new year, I want to remember the lessons of Christmas -- being together is what matters; we're doing our best and that's good enough; let everyone contribute in their own way.