Sunday, December 23, 2007

December 22

Yesterday was my birthday - I'm 29 (no, really). I know what you're thinking: yup, it's darn close to Christmas. Blame my parents. Really, they're serial offenders - my sister's birthday is in a couple of weeks. This time of year's always kind of been my-birthday-Christmas-sister's-birthday all rolled up in a celebratory jumble. We're really close in age, too (a year apart), so we always get cute matchy-matchy birthday gifts. Sweaters, scarves, gloves, one color for me, one for her. It's another little family tradition I'd miss over the holidays if it wasn't there.

We spent a pretty low-key day; actually, I had to work in the morning. It's hard to really celebrate the day, too, because December 22 is also the day my mother-in-law passed away, four years ago. She was an outgoing, outspoken, incredibly caring woman, and it makes me a bit sad that only one of my children remembers her.
So yesterday we went to church, where my father-in-law has a mass said for her every year. We're not religious at all, but she was, so this is the one time of year we go. It's hard for the kids to be still and quiet in church, especially Little Brother. He kept whispering things like, "Why are we kneeling?" and he looked at me wide-eyed when the priest said "Christ." I could read his mind: Mom, that guy just said a bad word!! Still, they made it through okay.

Today was when the celebratory holiday time really began - call it Christmas, part 1. To be followed by part 2 and part 3 over the next couple of days. We went to my aunt's house to see my dad and that side of the family, and eat some Syrian food. Yum. My newlywed cousin and her husband were there, along with her friend and her friend's baby boy, who was just a little younger than Baby Sister. By the end of the evening, they were hanging out and wearing each other's shoes. If that's not bonding, I don't know what is. :) This year for the first time we did a Yankee Swap among the adults instead of exchanging gifts (yay cutting down the knitting list!), which I think was a success. I ended up with a gallon of windshield washer fluid and a Mel Brooks movie, and my sister won $50 on a scratch ticket.

Tomorrow will be Christmas Eve with Polish food at my father-in-law's house (it's all about the yummy ethnic foods, I tell you), then Christmas Day J and I will have a small group over.

If I don't get a chance to post in the interim: Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and yours. Enjoy your loved ones, your celebration, your food, the season!