Monday, December 30, 2013

12 Highlights of Christmas

Today I'm packing up Christmas.  So long, nutcrackers.  Goodbye, ornaments.  See ya next year, snowmen.  Good riddance, Sid Vicious!  Before we dive into 2014, here are some memories of this Christmas:                     1. Baking with my children.  This year, Katherine and I made peanut brittle together and I taught Jack how to bake bread.  It was fun to spend some quality time with the kids and see them take pride in making gifts for others.      2. Reading.  Between wrapping, baking and shopping, I did find some time to sit by the fire and enjoy a novel!  My next grad class starts in a few weeks so I'm cramming in as much reading for pleasure as I can.           3. Christmas Eve with the Bealles.  Over the river and through the woods to Maryland we go.  We loved visiting with Dad and Carolyn's fun family and enjoying Carolyn's delicious cooking!         
4. Vacuuming.  This is not probably a highlight on most people's lists.  This year, we named our Christmas Tree "Sid Vicious."  With needles are sharp enough to draw blood, (trust me, I did the lights) he is fighting captivity by shedding about a million needles on my living room carpet daily.  I find the whole thing quite amusing, but Paul, who picked out the tree, said we are not allowed to laugh about good ol' Sid until at least next year. 
5. Christmas Morning.  I love sitting in the living room early in the morning before anyone else is awake.  I appreciate my twinkling lights in the quiet, peaceful, dark morning.                   
6. Presents!  Katherine gave me a peg game that she made in shop class.  Jack chose new hand towels for the bathroom that are the perfect color.  Paul surprised me (that is hard to do) with tickets to see a comedy show next month.  These are the gifts I love--thoughtful, heartfelt, creative.  These are the people I love.
7. Celebrating with the Kellys.  Cranberry pork tenderloin, mashed potatoes, brussels sprouts, citrus salad, cookies...mmmm.  We dusted off the china and crystal for Christmas dinner with the gang.      8. Running.  OK, too many cookies.  Also, in a moment of weakness, I was talked into signing up for a half marathon in March.  The training has officially begun!  9.  Sleeping.  Because I can, that's why. I don't even want to think about setting the alarm for 5 am again.  Not yet!
10. Annual Kelly Adventure.  Harold and Shirley are such good sports.  This year we went to see the National Christmas tree and checked out the train exhibit at the US Botanic Garden.  Can you tell which picture is the real Capitol building and which one is constructed from plants?                                         11. Movies.  A family movie that appeals to all four of us is a rare treat.  We all enjoyed The Secret Life of Walter Mitty this year in the comfort of the cushy reclining chairs of the theater.    
 12. My birthday!  I am so happy to be able to start my 43rd year with Kristin and family!  Dinner, games, laughs and cake.  I made a wish and blew out my candles but the truth is, it's already come true. 

Hope your Christmas was filled
 friends, family and fond memories