Here we are again

It is Christmas Eve. How quickly the year has gone. It is only 1030am so this is still prime working time for me. In the Netherlands, 1st and 2nd Christmas days are the days you celebrate, Christmas Eve is still a work day. It is grey and rainy outside so I am not really distracted.

My canine coworkers are also “working” since yesterday evening I came home with their Christmas presents in the grocery bag – placed up on the chair. The presents were meant for under our tiny little living tree. I turned to put things in the refrigerator and heard a crash. Turning around, there’s my normally well behaved Henry emerging from the grocery bag with his Christmas package. I was in complete shock. He was making full eye contact and not ashamed at all. By the time I got to him, he had already run around the living room and was opening his package. Which then meant that his brother decided to get in on the action. So, the boys determined their own time line for Christmas.

I suddenly understood why all those years that I would find and figure out what the Christmas gifts were irritated my mom so much! It didn’t get better when I decided to showcase my sibling power and started telling my brothers what they were getting as well. As you can imagine, this shorted the lifetime of Santa Claus in our house and lead to one Christmas that I got nothing at all. While I was watching the boys, I thought my mom would be laughing and saying “well, now you know how it feels!”

I have plans to go to Marum tonight. The little church is open for Christmas Eve services. At least I know to expect a glass of wine and Christmas cake when you come in for the service. I will try not to fall apart this year.

Tomorrow I am going to a friend’s house to share in first Christmas day celebrations with her family. I had originally said no. She encouraged me to think about since it would be something very different. I told her I would think about it. Yesterday she called and I said yes to going which delighted her daughter, who is 6, to no end! And the boys are invited too, which means they get a bath tomorrow. Since no one there will have known my mom, I won’t have to deal with any memories of the last time we celebrated there together, which is what I struggled so hard with last year at my cousin’s. That everyone was there who had been there last time, except my mom.

I will go to my cousin’s for 2nd Christmas day which has less emotional weight since it is something that we didn’t celebrate in the US. I got Pieter an enormous magnum of wine that is called “Just Fucking Good Wine” . For the label alone, I would have bought it. However, I tried it at the little wine merchant and it definitely lived up to the label.

I am listening to Andre Rieu’s Home for the Holidays album. It fits, what can I say? Especially after having seen him this year in Maastricht.

I hope that as this year draws to a close, you have been able to cherish and be cherished by those you love. In the coming year, I hope you will be able to flourish based on the knowledge and purpose you have gained from the past. I hope you will be loved if you seek it, strengthened if you need it and fierce if you want to be 🙂 And thank you, for being part of all of those things in my life.

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