I think this is the longest break I've taken from blogging in five years. Not only have I not written a word since Christmas day, I haven't even visited other blogs very much.
This was an AMAZING holiday--but that's mostly because my definition of AMAZING has changed as I get older. First off, when you have an empty nest, just having everyone home is special (not that having them all leave again won't be special, too :)). Reconnecting with friends that you used to see every day when you were raising kids together, but now see only sporadically, is also wonderful. Getting the 411 on what all the newly-minted adults (the ones that you and you friends were busy raising just yesterday) is so. much. fun.
Christmas is a big holiday in our house. My husband is the original amazing gift-giver and though I think I'm going to have to start reining him in (you can WOW an 8-year old with a $100 Lego set; it takes a lot more to WOW an adult), I am glad I didn't start this year though as I looooove my new-to-me Toyota Prius and my MacBook Pro. He looks great in the new leather shoes and sweaters I got him. I don't even try to compete.
The people of Etsy ought to be kissing the feet of the people of Pinterest as last year I got no presents from Etsy and this year I got two.
As much as the bigger ticket items are great to give and receive though, so much of what made this an amazing holiday was the little things that said, "I KNOW you."
A few years ago, Danger Boy gave his little sister a blanket with a picture of Lil' Wayne on it. She found one for him this year that had Tupac on it. Social Butterfly gave Grownup Girl a wrapped canvas photo of the four siblings for her new home (which will be found sometime next summer). Mr. Fix-it got me the earrings I've coveted on Etsy to go with my mother-of-the-bride dress. SB was also the genius behind the unicorn shirt that is the most perfect gift ever for MVP. Grownup Girl replaced MVP's recently stolen wallet with an excellent stainless steel one. DB and MVP got their Dad a very cool decanter for his favorite whiskey. Grownup Guy scored a big hit with the Urban Outfitter's over-the-knee-socks I advised him to buy for SB despite the fact that he thought they looked like potato sacks when he viewed them online. High fashion for the win.
My favorite present though was one that was many years in the making. MVP has wanted to skydive for a long time; knowing this was also something SB wanted to do, he's been waiting for her to turn 18. Thanks to a timely Groupon (shoutout to my bargain-hunting friend Mel for sending me the link), this Christmas was the time time to do it.
The Christmas Eve jump got rained out, but the 27th was nothing but blue skies (with a few high, scattered clouds).
One of my favorite holiday memories will be this photo of my boyz humoring their mother. You may have noticed that when I am dressed to party, I like a little photographic evidence of it. Also, when my kids around, I like some photographic evidence of that. Oh Hell, who am I kidding? I just love photographic evidence n general. My boyz are not quite as thrilled with photography as I am, but they were sweet enough to each snap a pic with me, nap hair notwithstanding. MVP even went to the party with me in his sick father's stead (the sickness at this house is a whole 'nother, not as joyous, post. GuGirl cracked a rib coughing. I know).
I live a very blessed life--sometimes it doesn't seem fair in light of the struggles others face, but all I can do is be grateful on a daily basis for the gifts I've been given and acknowledge that much of what I have is just due to luck.
I hope your holiday season was what you wanted it to be and that 2013 is full of a lot of what you need and at least some of what you want.
Happy New Year!