I couldn't muster much holiday spirit this year. It might have had something to do with the move. We set up all our furniture in the house and it seemed silly not to put up the holiday decor, which is a strange route to take when you are hoping to settle your nest and just sit on your couch for a spin. You know how a house gets at Christmas time, it suddenly puts on red lipstick and wants some attention.
In any case, the old photos went up with the stockings, there was no mantel to hang everything on so I settled for a window by our table. Fitting old stuff in to a new place is like figuring out a puzzle. The fake Charlie Brown tree came out and sat on our front porch for a week while D and I vacillated about actually putting it up inside (at one point it was inside and he moved it back out). I figured it out and puffed it up with some fake evergreen from Michael's. I perfectly decorated it while D and miss m watched Elf one night, only to find my meticulousness torn down by the stylings of a two year old. Day after day we battled about the ornaments; when I finally gave up, D took the reigns (I lost a few soldiers this year, including one so dear to my heart I cried to miss m who only looked on confused wondering why it was such a big deal since it was only a ball hanging on a tree that was inside for some reason).
Still, I never really felt the goodwill towards man but I mustered my best smiles (because it was a silent homage I could pay to Newtown). You could never guess it from the holiday music and movies that played to no end but what can I say, I'm an addict. We had a grand group of at least 30 carolers come by one night and that left us with a holiday high that was pretty amazing but short-lived. The only thing that truly got me going was the promise of my gingerbread house, my tradition (and even that took a back seat to purchasing an oven to cook said gingerbread in). When it finally came down to it, I purchased a kit because I ran out of time (yuck! it means so much less to me that way).
Meg and the kids and Nancy and H came over to share in the fun. Admittedly setting up the table and placing all sorts of colorful candy around was quite a treat. Miss m solely delighted in eating the candy; nothing else. At one point she did slap a snowman peep on "her house" and that was the extent of her gingerbread contribution this year. Otherwise, the girl literally just ate the entire afternoon. Big M was bold with her design and architecture skills, as she planned a double-wide two story house where she could set up shop. LL was more basic in his approach and let Meg take the burden of setting the structure - she actually set the structure for both project managers. Thankfully she brought graham crackers for all the kids so they could build their own homes. It was such a great way for them to interact with the activity (and to not eff up my ginger house dreams).
After the kids were done with their new works of art, we sat and decorated larger houses. Always the arse, I didn't get Meg a large house to decorate but she shrugged it off with the grace of a true friend. The real gift that day (b/c I'm still reeling about not making my own gingerbread and no I can't let it go) was getting to sit with two of my favorite people and talk and laugh while our kids ran around sugar-coated and pupil less.
My besty explained to me, when I bashed the sheer state of my arm in the above photo and lack of makeup, that these photos are a good reminder that life is good after all (of course she looks stellar as always). 'Tis true my friend and it's so good to share these days with you ladies. It warms my heart to know miss m has such great kids in her life too!