Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas Past

We had a lovely, lovely Christmas. Despite all my anxieties, we got here safely, altho' the chains did NOT fit the vehicle, as Paul found when trying to strap them on in order to make it up the steep, unplowed road that leads to our apartment parking lot. After taking a more circuitous approach, we unpacked and snuck our Golden Retriever into the apartment (our strata council so far doesn't permit dogs officially) and have been pleased at how well she's adapted, thus countering my other significant worry.

Still, all was not yet smooth sailing -- with a fresh snowfall that night and on-and-off flurries right up until Christmas, we weren't sure we'd be able to get out again to pick up Bronwen, Adam, and Nola for Christmas together. They, meanwhile, were fully committed to remedying some problems in the breastfeeding program -- they've been getting some great support from their midwife and the recommendations/advice require devoting close to an hour every two or two-and-a-half either to nursing or to pumping or to bottle-feeding supplements. While I was a bit anxious about them, I knew they were fine on their own and I couldn't help but admire the absolute shift in their priorities. We explained to their sibs why waiting for a taxi in bad snow conditions on Christmas Day with an infant in sub-zero temps wasn't going to happen and resigned ourselves to making a great celebration even with a reduced crowd.

Christmas morning, Pater and I took Skeena out for a long walk in the fresh, deep snow -- she loves it and becomes a puppy again, romping around in a way that her 11-year old bones might have regretted later, but which she thoroughly enjoyed at the time. Then we headed home to relax and wait for Rhiannon, then Meg, Rob, & Henry -- as they arrived, Pater put together his standard breakfast of bacon, eggs, and fresh, hot biscuits, augmented by celebratory mimosas (orange juice and champagne). Gifts were opened, the dogs eventually settled down together, and we counted our blessings -- despite missing loved ones (Rob's family is in the Bahamas; Rhi's new BF back in Toronto; and of course, B, A & Nola were across the city while mine and Pater's extended family were scattered across the city and country), we were surrounded by love and comfort even in the depth of winter.
And it got better yet -- with a bit of warming, a delay of the latest storm from Christmas to Boxing Day, and some efficient street-clearing, Pater thought he could risk heading cross town to pick the kids up and they agreed they'd like to try getting out. So in our 500-sq.ft. apartment for Christmas dinner, we had Pater and myself, Bronwen, Adam & Nola (and all the accoutrements a small baby requires) and their friend Kris (whose welcome is always assured thanks to her great personality AND fabulous desserts -- she brought homemade mincemeat and tarts and a wonderful specialty like Mallowmar/Viva Puffs but where every ingredient is the delicious real thing), Rhiannon, Megan & Rob -- nine humans AND the two dogs! (There will be even more of us here on Monday when Zach and Joey arrive for Christmas, the second, so we're glad the rehearsal went well).
We NEVER shop on Boxing Day and yesterday's snowstorm made that NEVER even more emphatic. Instead, our only forays out were to walk Skeena and we were otherwise happy to honour a longstanding Boxing Day tradition of reading and eating leftovers. We're going to see how long we can keep that up -- today's Boxing Day II and I hope to squeeze a III out of the calendar as well.
This quiet time after Christmas might be my very favourite time of the year -- what about you? Are you enjoying some relaxing good times? Reflecting on the year behind you? Dreaming or worrying about the one ahead?


  1. Glad you had a wonderful day and that B, A and N could eventually join you! Yes, I love that day after xmas to relax and recuperate. We had a positively slothful jammy day filled with leftovers, TV/movies, books, knitting and napping. Bliss!

  2. Hello there. I'm still catching up on the blogs I've missed over the last 3 weeks. Not such a great Christmas for me - my mum passed away on December 8, just a couple of days after I got to Scotland. Since then I've been helping my brother with all that has to be done. My family arrived on the 20th, so we did have Christmas together, in a small holiday cottage belonging to close friends. Now we are back in Budapest (just arrived today). So, yes, lots of reflecting for me; Christmas is such a nostalgic time of year, isn't it?

    Anyway, your Christmas sounds quite lovely. I hope you have a lovely time in Vancouver, and Happy New Year when it comes! Patricia

  3. Oh it sounds like such a lovely Christmas and how nice that B, A, and N could make it on Christmas day. It sounds like such a warm and lovely crowd. We had a lovely day with friends, both Christmas eve here and there on Christmas day. A perfect celebration with people one cares about, that is what is important, be the family one was born to or the family one gathers about oneself.

    We don't go out on Boxing Day either, much preferring to stay in. It was a perfectly lovely cold clear day, best spent curled up by the fire.

  4. Jillian: Embrace the slothfulness!
    Patricia: So sorry about your mother. You'll have been very glad for the comfort of family and friends, but it must still have been a sad Christmas, albeit filled, I hope, with remembering of past happiness.
    Mardel: sounds lovely -- enjoy your new camera!

  5. Mater, Happiest of Holidays to you and your family. How was little Nola's first Holiday?

    I love your photos. Are you taking all of these? It's amazing how good you are. What camera do you use may I ask?

    I love the snow. We had rainstorms and great gusts of wind over Christmas; it was so cozy by the fire. We played Scrabble and stuffed ourselves silly. Back to yoga today...

  6. No quiet after Christmas for me. We are a whirl of activity: moving, house guests and a puppy arriving soon. All in all it couldn't be better.

    I hope you are enjoying the last week of 2008 and that 2009 is filled with dreams come true.xoxo

  7. Thanks, Karen -- I wish you happy Holidays as well -- Scrabble and silly-stuffing sounds as if you're managing the happiness nicely. Rainstorms and gusting winds are right up there with snow for making firesides cozier.
    And thanks for the photo love -- I think I have a good eye for composition, but I wish I had more technical abilities. I used a 35mm SLR, a Nikon D40X (I think I've got that right; don't have it with me now) for these. Away from home, I generally rely on my little Canon powershot. One of these days, I'll make time to take a course.
    LBR: Wow! That's not quiet at all -- still, those are all good things, sounds like, especially the puppy -- can't wait to meet her via your blog.
    Best wishes for 2009 back to you!


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