Sunday, December 25, 2011

A Quiet Feliz Navidad

What a week… a month… a year…

Christmas Musicals for the hubby.
Class parties for the LM.
Family visits.
The first children's choir performance in the mini-chapel:

And then, the Christmas Eve Children’s performance (my little shepherd was distracted by his flock):

It’s Christmas Day and this is the first year of my life that I haven’t celebrated Christmas with any extended family. Last night was hard, but today has been nice. We rolled out of bed late- luckily our son is just as much of a night owl as we are. I made Texas buttermilk biscuits & gravy, and then we listened to Christmas music while opening and playing with presents.

I crafted some Skyline Chili pie for the hubby, some cranberry jello salad, and cream cheese butter mint cookies to carry us through the day. While simple, all have been tasty and a mix of the old and new. Our gifts were nice, but simple and useful. I am sticking to my guns about too much surplus in my life and while I still have materialist desires and attractions (“ohhh, shiny!”) I find it easier and easier to say no.

Last month, LM was very suspicious of Santa and peppered me with questions that I mostly evaded. I’ve always had conflicting feelings about Santa- I honor the spirit, but I’m not a fan of perpetuating the myths associated with the man in red. We haven’t much pushed the issue through the year and haven’t built it up too much. We do leave cookies and a note and a few associated theatrics. But with my doubting son this year, there was no letter to Santa and no real build up.

That is- until yesterday, Christmas Eve. We pulled up the NORAD tracker to see where Santa had delivered presents. Suddenly we had a month of catch up to do! We emailed Santa and got a quick reply (gotta love technology!) and left him snacks & reindeer treats, along with a letter.

And boy did Santa deliver:

He left his crumbs and a nice note and a really fun present- Perry-okee, a rather elaborate karaoke system tied in with the show. I like that we shop together and honor the process of gifts for each other (I want my son to be bother generous and grateful), while also getting a special gift from Santa. And I must admit, I’m really glad he came and that the magic happened.

My dad, stepmom, and sisters came to visit this last week, staying five days before flying home on Friday. With the time difference, my lingering sinus infection and the fact that they are morning people and we are not, we got a late start every morning and I felt like a rather weak hostess. But we had a pretty relaxed time, eating our way through the week. We did a few touristy things, which were as unimpressive to them as it had been to us the first time. They discovered the pain & redeness of Texas traffic, which I negotiated in a rented GMC Arcadia, aka “The Bus.” We didn’t get to bond as much as I would have liked and I wasn’t able to deliver on the kind of gifts I would have liked to give, but I am glad they came. Next time, though, I want family to visit after Christmas to negate that awful empty feeling when they leave.

I’ve tried to reach out to so many groups and individuals since moving here, but nothing has seemed to “take” yet in terms of building meaningful friendships. I feel the absence of this most right now. While our little family is sweet and manageable, I really long sometimes to fill the house with friends and the chaos of children playing. I want my son to know those types of holidays and celebrations, and I miss it myself. I’m going to once again put some effort into opening up my tiny world this year.

But who knows what next year will bring? There’s a lot up in the air as we navigate the future. I am starting over from square one with the job search, after coming in #2 in the epic three-month process I just completed. And that’s okay- when I prayed, it was that I would have peace with whatever decision was reached. And I truly do (although I could use that $85 for the taxi cost back, lol). There are some good potentials on the horizon and tomorrow I will dedicate myself to some intense cover-letter crafting. I am only going to accept a job that I think I can build a future here in FW, so that I can be fair to both parties involved. If nothing materializes in the next month, I will take it as a sign to move into a more temporary job that leaves open for new adventures after internship.

We have more celebrations to look forward to- we may meet my mom half-way over MLK weekend to have our own Christmas. And there’s still new years- I think a quick, cheap trip to San Antonio to see the lights might be in order.

So just a quick Christmas note to remind me- and someday, LM- of the quiet magic of our lives. The days pass so quickly and there are more memories to capture.