Since my family is not only large but also seemed to to do Christmas separately this year, it took me a while to be able to make this post. At first I was very upset about it, but it worked out and it just made Christmas feel more like Hanukkah instead, which does have its perks. We didn’t have just one Christmas….we had like five! So it took about a week to get through all of my Christmas-get-togethers and boy am I tired!
Our Christmas adventures started last weekend when Kanan and I went to my Aunt Kathleen and Uncle Bernie’s house out in Newport Beach. Some of my dad’s family was there and while we didn’t exchange gifts, we used that time to just talk and eat and enjoy the time together. I hadn’t seen my cousins Jennifer and Christopher in over a year so it was a real blessing to see them. Kanan loved playing with his third cousin Noah and eating chocolate and refusing to take a nap. He didn’t get to bed that night until late, but he was super happy.
Then on Tuesday, Kanan and I packed up my car and headed up to Upland where we spent the afternoon and evening at my old friend Lisa’s house. We exchanged gifts for the kids and the Kanan had a wonderful time playing with his buddy Nolan. They shared trucks, played chase, watched cartoons, went shopping at the local mall, ate dinner together, and took a bath together before going to bed. What a joy it was to be with my friend Lisa with whom I’ve been friends for 15 years and see our children growing together.
Kanan and I stayed through the next morning, Christmas Eve, and then left at 1130 to head out and make a quick visit to my other old friend’s house—Bekah. Bekah and I have known each other since 6th grade and now her children Alex and Cole are friends with my son. Kanan and Alex played and exchanged gifts as well, and we ate a quick lunch with them before all the boys needed to take a nap.
Kanan and I headed back to Upland and went to my Grandparents house to take a nap and prepare for Christmas with the Colombian side of the family. I attempted to make it to a Christmas Eve church service at my mother’s old church Water of Life, but they didn’t have child care available for the 3 o’clock service. The ushers told me not to worry–that they were going to have a puppet show and that kids were welcome. Well, apparently none of us were ready for Kanan’s plans although I had an in-cling of suspicion. He was okay through the worship part but then started wanting to run down the aisles and climb up on chairs and throw his toys over the backsides of chairs or shout out hello to nearby Christians. I gave him a cereal bar which appeased him for about 3 seconds, but thankfully the puppet show started. I thought for sure, this would entertain him. They wanted all the children to come up on the stage and listen to this monkeyish puppet teach the children about the true meaning of Christmas. All the kids from 3 months old to 5 years old stared quietly, in awe of the little hairy animal telling his tale. That is every child BUT mine. Kanan was more interested in the kids around him and in jumping down the steps of the stage. He then attempted again to run down the front aisle, but thankfully a nearby saint grabbed him for me. At this point I gave up, went back to my seat, grabbed my purse and told my mom we were leaving. She smiled understandably. So I took Kanan in his dressy Christmas outfit out into the playground where he played a bit before discovering a muddy rain puddle. That was the end of his handsome Christmas getup. I was so done. I carried him out to the car, drove through a local Starbucks for a Espresso Truffle for me and a Vanilla Steamer for him and we went back to Grandma and Grandpas
The afternoon was filled with family coming in, delicious food including bacon wrapped prunes ( I know, crazy, but amazing!) cookies, and other sweets. I don’t give Kanan sugar at all and so made the naive mistake of thinking one special occasion wouldn’t hurt. Yeah right, my child turned into a crazy kid! He was running around non-stop, rebelling, rolling around on the ground. He passed out in the car on the hour and a half drive back home, slept through the night and woke up on Christmas morning a total grump! Don’t give your children sugar! It is poison! 🙂
Christmas was otherwise good. We had a small get-together at my dad’s house where I currently live. My mom and her boyfriend came over (yes, my parents are friends) and my step mom Linda’s best friend came over with her boyfriend. We enjoyed opening gifts, eating an amazing brunch that Linda cooked up, and then after Kanan’s nap, we headed out to my sisters to do a Christmas dinner with her and her family. Barbie’s boyfriend Paul made an incredible prime rib roast and Kanan finally cheered up although it took the whole day before he was somewhat normal and recovered from the previous day’s sugar. We played Catchphrase, exchanged gifts, laughed, and talked. Kanan thought my mom’s toes were candy and tried to nibble them and later pointed at his rear-end and said “butt” so that was in deed a highlight to our Christmas evening. Unfortunately her kids were not there because this Christmas was their year to spend with Dad.
So Christmas continued on through yesterday, when Barbie came over with her daughter Harley so Harley could open her Christmas gifts. We had another delicious dinner with Honey Glazed Ham and Au Gratin Potatoes. My Grandmother Lois came as well because she spent Christmas with my cousin Breanna in Palm Desert. Harley and Kanan played with each other because Mike stopped by for a bit so Kanan could see his favorite cousin. Kanan left on Friday to be with his dad and have their own little Christmas on Saturday morning with Mike’s family who drove down from Santa Barbara.
Gah! So here I am now. My biggest regret is not getting any large pictures of everyone together. For more pictures of other family and friends moments in my grand Christmas party race, check out the Flickr thumbnails on the side bar. But I digress…..My final point comes now: Tired? Yes. Blessed? Indeed. Waiting on the New Year? You bet! I’ve got plenty of excitement and hope for 2009 and will be posting a New Year blog here soon. I hope everyone’s Christmas was Merry indeed.