“Christmas, my child, is love in action. Every time we love, every time we give, it’s Christmas.” ~ Dale Evans
Flying home this year for Christmas, I was unbelievably excited. The closer we got to the mountains, the whiter it got. For the first time in years, it was going to be a white christmas!
You might think uh what? I live in New England. Not only that but I live in the mountains? They are called the White Mountains for a reason!
Well Mother Nature likes to be a jokester and for the last eight years or so, we tend to get snow after Christmas. Seriously. Sometimes it literally has been the day after, she decides to cover up all that green. Who needs a white Christmas ON Christmas day? The last four years (literally since I have lived in new York) it has been a Mele Kalikimaka Christmas with the temps being close to seventy.
I felt like a kid in the candy store, as I saw the snowy tops of mountains. Not only was it going to be a white Christmas, but I would get to do some hard core winter hiking. In snow! I might actually have to invest in snow pants this year!
Once my mom picked me up at the airport, we made a detour to Panera AND the mall for last minute shopping and our annual Santa pic. After all you are NEVER to old to sit on Santa’s lap!
Going home early, meant that I could help my mom with Christmas preparations, channel my former life as a pastry chef, celebrate early with my best friend, and attend my brother’s annual Christmas party.
First up (aside from some Holiday primping) was grabbing drinks at Top of the East which is an enclosed roof top bar at the Westin in Portland, Maine. It was all decked out in elegant christmas decorations, and their winter cocktail selection was sooo yummy.
It was amazing to meet up with my best friend who also happens to be my mermaid twin. She is one of the sweetest, creative and most supportive people I have the pleasure of not just knowing, but having in my life. It is always non stop laughter and memories that leave my heart feeling full.
Next up was my brother’s Christmas party two days later, which was a blast. He always has it the Sunday before Christmas and is filled with a smorgasbord group of eclectic people. This year several of my good friends attended. Including a friend who I have gotten to know in the last year, but not only made my 2016 amazing, but fast becoming a great one. She gave me lessons in Snapchat filters…and may or may not have created a monster!
I ended up having to try the filters out with all my friends!
This year, my mom and I were well prepared for Christmas. I always order everything online and have it shipped to my parents house, so when I get there all I have to do is wrap. I had plenty of time to hike, grab espresso martinis and hang with my stinking cute nephews and newborn niece for which this was her first Christmas.
Every Christmas Eve, we go to mass. This year was no different. There is something so incredibly beautiful, hearing the Christmas story being read, and after four weeks of advent purple, suddenly seeing the elaborate gold and white vestements. The church is decked out in Christmas celebration and their is a buzz of anticipation running through the air. It always puts into perspective at least for me, what the real meaning of Christmas is.
My brother and his family stayed the night, so we got to witness the kiddies waking up to Santa having visited. My brother and SIL also do Elf on the Shelf and he had paid a visit to Mimi and Papa’s house the night before in preparation for Santa’s visit.
There is nothing like seeing that twinkle in little kids as they discover the magic of Santa. I have said it before and I will say it again, Christmas brings out the kid in all of us, and my nephews are a key part of bringing that out in me. Their spirit is infectious.
Being Eastern European, my mom always does a big Christmas breakfast complete with kolache. It really is my favorite part of the day, even more then dinner. Usually it is my immediate family, and it is so low key. Most of the time we are still in our PJ’s and there is no stress, no hustle and bustle to get things ready for dinner. It is cozy, as we are usually at the kitchen table instead of in the large dining room. It is the epitome of tradition and family and what Christmas should be.
Of course then it was time to open presents which to watch the faces of my nephews was a gift in of itself. Even watching some adults!
My brother was super excited as he gave me my very own mermaid snuggly! If you have seen all those promos you know exactly what I am talking about. It ellicited a lot of laughs from me! I didn’t coin the hashtag “Should a been a mermaid” for nothing!
Santa was, as always incredibly good to me, and even surprised me with gifts from SeaMilligan Designs and Dune Jewelry. Santa also likes to remind us adults, that we still have some fun left in our old age and who needs to leave my mother’s living room intact?
We had some down time so we played with my nephews- I mean our gifts. Watched some Christmas movies and even might have taken a short nap before dinner. It is hard work opening presents! And having wrapping paper fights! Not that us mature adults would do that.
Having recovered from our earlier Slovak food coma, we eagerly dug into the feast my mom had made which included a roast “beast” and the best part, Christmas cookies and fudge for desert afterwards! I had also made a turtle cheesecake, but nothing beats my mom’s Christmas cookies. A smorgasbord of sugary goodness, that she only ever makes at Christmas time. Those commercials you see of them fighting over the last crescent, is my family fighting over the last wedding cake!
I say it every year, but it was the perfect Christmas. It was low key compared to some years, but I wouldn’t have had it any other way. In many ways for me, Christmas is about the preparation and the anticipation. It is about the memories I have as a child, and the new ones that are being made for my nephews and nieces. It is about finding that inner child again, even if it is for one day, but hopefully that spirit will stay with us the whole year. A reminder that even when life gets hectic and crazy, we can still have a little bit of innoccence, even in our jaded adult world.
How was your Holiday? What did you do? What did Santa bring you?
Happy Boxing Day everyone!