Santa was here!

I had a great Christmas! I was spoiled by all my family!

He said

In the true spirit of Christmas during a pandemic and actually not knowing what day of the week it is here we are posting our weekly update on a Monday! Now, in our defence, yesterday was Boxing Day and aside from those who work Retail actually a day off work for me (and the blog we guess). At any rate, here is the Christmas update for all y’all as Emelia says, ‘Our subscribers are waiting!’

This week was Danielle’s last week at her old job as well as a week where she was putting the final touches on getting ready for her new job at Western. It looks like her first few weeks may be a mixture of working from home as well as in-office time as they adjust to the new health protocols too. The good news is it looks like – having already been through this once – are prepared for the pivots. We’re excited for Danielle to start this new chapter and begin what has been a dream job of hers for some years. It doesn’t hurt that it is walking distance from our house in the better weather, too!

Christmas Eve flew up on us in a heartbeat. Danielle’s last day at work was the 23rd so she had Christmas Eve off with Emelia. I, however worked the close at the store. Every year we try to alternate which managers work before and which after Christmas and this was my year to be the before. It was a lot of fun and busy so the day flew by quite quickly. Before I knew it, we were closing up the store and I was heading home to spend the evening with Emelia and Danielle and the wonderful charcuterie spread Danielle had put together for us. It was the perfect way to close out a Christmas Eve given that we couldn’t be together as a larger family.

The one thing that I am really cherishing about life as Emelia gets older is that Christmas Morning and present opening is later than the 6:00am curtain call it used to be. These days we’re almost able to milk it to 7:00am. (Laugh as you will, but I call that a win). Yes, by 7:00am, we were downstairs and knee deep into present opening. The presents as Emelia gets older are bigger and have more meaning so it’s a delight to see her open them. But, this year the real treat was seeing how much care and thought she put into what we were getting Danielle. It was so nice having a counterpart who thought as hard as I did about finding just the right things. And what was even better was being able to have her (willingly) do all the present wrapping too! She was a great help.

Before we knew it the presents were unwrapped and Danielle and I were in to our third cream whiskey coffees before we fired up FaceTime and opened some more presents from the aunts and uncles with them able to see the reactions live. It may not be better than actually being together and face-to-face, but we’ll take it! I can’t imagine what this pandemic might have felt like if there wasn’t the technology that could somewhat bring us together.  We continued the lazy pace to the morning having breakfast and just enjoying each other’s company. And better we snuck in a visit with Mom & Dad before we got back home for our Christmas Dinner from Farm Boy that was suppled by Danielle’ old job. It was a perfect day!

In last week’s post I was gloating about how I was able to make it to December 16th with what I thought was my latest outdoor bike ride of the season but then an unseasonably warm Christmas Day rolled around and with 8ºC on the forecast, I was able to get in a ride on Christmas Day! And I wasn’t the only one out on the path making the most of the weather. And even-more-so, the next day the weather, still above 0º afforded me the second stab at going deep into the season. However, a flat tire and rescue pickup from Danielle cut that short. It may have only been half the distance of the normal rip, it still counted. The rest of my workout was finished in the basement on the spin bike.

Last night was special. While most of the last two years family gatherings have happened over FaceTime, we got together with Matthew and Shawn to have as much as of a family get together was we could. Given that we all have to get routinely rapid tested to see Mom & Dad, are we’re all as vaccined as we can be, we opted to do a dinner together that still kept us within the safety restrictions. And it was perfect! It meant a lot for Emelia to be with her family as she has really been feeling the isolation and this little 3 hour window of as normal as we can get and amazing dinner made Matthew & Shawn. We all got home last night feeling the first sense of normal we had, had in some time.

She said

This has been a rollercoaster kind of week. This week I was wrapping things up at my now old job, saying good-bye to great friends and heading off to my next adventure. This week was also busy not only because I had to wrap up the last of the holiday shopping I was also trying to squeeze in my Covid vaccine booster shot in the middle of it. With this new variant and the numbers exploding it was so important to get that booster appointment. I am grateful I was able to book in before Christmas for sure.

Christmas is Emelia’s most favourite holiday and her excitement is infectious. She has been so excited to help shop this year for both of her parents and be involved in the entire process. We were able to get some items for John for biking that she loved helping pick out, I was spoiled by John and Emelia as well. But as her parents we were excited to see her reactions to the gifts we chose for her.

She loved everything and was so grateful for it all. It has been such a hard year for everyone, Emelia has been through a really rough time and this has been a year of finding herself and healing. We are so proud of her and the person she is becoming that we are so glad she got to have this holiday. She of course has been missing our normal loud family Christmases but she is making the best of a not great situation.

As John mentioned, as we have done so much lately our time together as a family for special occasions has been through FaceTime. It’s not quite the same, but it certainly does help. This Christmas, we were able to time the gathering around the times the kids would be opening their presents so we could see their reactions when they opened everything. This also allowed Helen and Doug to be part of the whole experience.

We were fortunate that we have been able to see Helen and Doug through the holidays. With rising numbers John, Emelia and I all have to be Covid tested so we know we are Covid free seeing them. It does give us all peace of mind that we are keeping them safe. We were able to spend some time both Christmas Day and Boxing Day with them and I means the world to Emelia.

With negative covid results in hand we were also able to have a proper family dinner over Christmas with Matthew and Shawn at their place. It was exactly what we needed after two long years of being apart. We had so much fun, had a great meal, and lots of laughs playing some games we brought over. All in all it was once again a quieter Christmas but we had a great one!

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