We had a few friends over to ring in 2011 with us. We ate sushi, played Dictionary and watched bits and pieces of all the various network new year’s eve shows. It was a good night, despite my lingering cold.
I survived the flights home, although by the time I walked through the apartment door I was nearly weeping with exhaustion (traveling with a rotten head cold is not such a good idea). Today I barely budged from the couch. Scott has had the whole week off from work, so he sat with me, watched terrible television and made sure I had good things to eat.
I love Christmas with my family. We don’t do anything particularly special. In fact, the day is nearly the same every year. People slowly rise around 9 am (my sister is always the last to emerge), grab cups of coffee and pitch in with the turkey prep. Veggies are sauteed, stuffing is prepared and the bird makes it into the oven around 11 am. Then we make breakfast. It is eggs, sunnyside up, turkey bacon and a sweet baked good (this year we had cranberry orange scones). Finally, after all that, it’s time to open presents.
When I was growing up, the timing of Christmas morning was a little different. My sister and I would be up by 7 am (Raina sometimes got up before dawn), opening our stockings and waiting for our groggy parents to appear. With coffee in hand, they’d settle down on the living room floor with us and we’d do presents. Then would come the turkey and all the rest.
The thing that makes Christmas so special these days is the luxury of family time it provides us. I live in Philadelphia, my sister lives in Austin and my parents are in Portland. The amount of time we have to just be together, without work or errands or other commitments is rare and precious. There’s really just nothing better.
My mom and I stopped by Teen Challenge (a beloved Portland thrift store) today as part of a series of pre-Christmas errands. All the Christmas items were 75% off, so I spent a few minutes digging through the boxes. I came up with five little ornaments I liked. They charged me $.25 for all five. There is something so satisfying about buying five individual items for a quarter.