So getting ready for this weekend outing, I thought perhaps you wouldn't mind a repetition of the post expressing the spirit that inspired it. . . Here is that post:
Similarly, instead of trying to include everyone at our Christmas table or visit everyone over that one day -- oh, those early years of attending my family's Christmas Eve, then after having "our" Christmas morning together opening gifts, driving out to his family's Christmas dinner -- we spent the day with my mom on Saturday, taking her for a lovely long walk by the river and then out to the IHOP for lunch. Then Sunday we treated Pater's parents to a delicious brunch at Stanley Park's wonderful Fish House Restaurant with our three daughters, two of the partners, and Nola. Since the older folks don't host family gatherings anymore and live a bit far out for the kids to get to easily, those generations don't get together often enough. A lovely meal together, dressed casual-festive, in a wonderful setting (heritage building with vistas of surrounding parkland) -- what gift could surpass this celebration of family well-being and good fortune?!
Today, I'm meeting my sisters for drinks and then dinner. Yes, there will be some nasty forays into too-busy shops before that, but I'm hoping to get in and out before the worst of it, and I am pretty focused on what matters. I'm going to savour choosing a book for each of our kids and partners, and hope that it can be opened with this much anticipation . . .
There it is, all over again, a good reminder for me, at least. And isn't it astonishing how much Nola's changed in those four short years? She had three great grandparents at the time; there's only one great grandmother left now, and she's unlikely to be with us next year. I'm so glad we slowed down and had festive morning together.