I had an awesome Christmas! I got the AirPods I asked for.
Aside from the fact that I am typing this in what is hopefully the back end of a nasty cold combo of razorblade throat, congestion and headache the likes of being hit in the back of the head with a wooden mallet (aka “The Mancold™”), this has been one of easiest and most enjoyable Christmases of recent memory. I had four days off leading up to (and including) Christmas Day and then I worked two days and managed to have this weekend off too. (Mind you one of those days I worked, was Boxing Day which is one of our absolute busiest days of the year). By the time my work day was wrapping up Friday it was clear I hadn’t escaped the nasty bug that has gone through pretty much every single person in the store.
Leading up to Christmas, because of Danielle’s organization skills and Emelia’s acceptance of bringing Mummy along in the journey to get the Dining Room makeover we had everything we needed to do before Christmas done well before the magical day. It left us with three days off together to just enjoy each other’s company and to be with those that matter most to us. By the time Christmas Eve rolled around, we were rested, recuperated and ready to enjoy the day. Because the family availability switched around a bit this year, it meant Danielle, Emelia and I had Mom & Dad to ourselves for Christmas Eve Dinner at their house. It also meant we got home and into bed at a lot more reasonable hour as well.
With Emelia on the precipice of becoming a teenager, I blindly clung to the notion that this might be the first year that Emelia slept in on Christmas morning and maybe even – like some of our friends have experienced – we would have to… waker her up. She got off to sleep very quickly after we got home and I started to romanticize this notion that we’d awake on our own at 10:30am after a glorious, deep sleep and discover her still sleeping and need to wake her up in order to exchange presents. I mean she is almost thirteen. She did have for the first time a smaller, less items, more expensive wish lists. There wasn’t this overwhelming Christmas Eve spent with the entire Teeter side of the family eating and laughing until way too late.
When the overhead light in our bed room shot an intense laser-like beam of light into my eye precisely at 6:30am my first instinct was to muster every swearword I knew like I was in a hockey dressing room full of ears that would not blush at the mere sound. What came out of my mouth was a firm “NO” and then what felt like 10 minutes of arguing from Emelia that 6:30am was an appropriate time to get up. What Danielle and I were able to uncover, was that she had been up since 3:30am because she was too excited an unable to sleep. At some point during the arguing Danielle & I gave up and we convened downstairs muttering all the way to the coffee maker.
One year… one year I cling to the notion that we all might be able to sleep in to a reasonable hour.
As I promised Emelia, we would be done by presents by 7:30am and she would be sad it was all over, we were. But she wasn’t sad and I was foiled. I will say it was absolutely worth the before-I-wanted-to wakeup for two reasons: A gift that Emelia & Danielle made me, and one that they finally got me. The latter: After six years of asking I finally got my Budweiser Red Light! And then, more importantly what was six weeks of work, Emelia & Danielle gave me a beautiful scrapbook of Emelia’s favourite memories of her & I together. It’s clear how much time, care and effort went into this and it is a vary meaningful gift to me—I love it.
With our Christmas morning out of the way, in the afternoon, we moved over to Mom & Dad’s to celebrate Christmas with the rest of the Teeter family. David and his kids were down from Welland, Matthew & Shawn arrived in from visiting with Shawn’s family in Elora and Greg, Testza, Vaughan and Zoe were there too. We had the usual meal prepared by Farm Boy and then when the kids couldn’t wait any more, moved to the front room to open even more gifts. There was plenty of laughter and it’s quick to see how the kids that were once wee are now young adults and Emelia didn’t look much farther off in age.
All-in-all we couldn’t have asked for a better Christmas this year despite the Basic Training wakeup call Christmas morning. Having the days off before Christmas were nice and it felt like I got time to spend the time with just Emelia & Danielle was wonderful. There is still more to talk about which I will leave for Danielle, but suffice it to say this one Christmas for the books and I am super happy with how it all went.
And like that we are on the other side of Christmas. The week was busy week and it went by in a flash. The whole lead up to the holiday was a pretty easy one, I was in good shape that allowed me the week leading up to just take it all in. Emelia’s Christmases are going to change as she gets older, we are already in the post believe in Santa stage, we are already past the craft and toy stage, it feels like it is going by in a flash. Now even though Emelia is past those waiting for Santa to arrive stage of Christmas the magic and the excitement of the anticipation hasn’t gone away.
Emelia and I had been working endless hours together for Emelia’s special Christmas gift for John. Emelia really knows the true meaning of Christmas, that the true presents are ones from the heart, the ones made of love and special family moments. This year she approached me in October that she wanted to make a scrapbook for her dad of her favourite family memories with her and her dad. I knew it was a tall tale and that it was going to take a lot of work. So we have been slowly working on this special keepsake for months and Emelia was so happy how it turned out.
The other big gift for John is about 6 years in the making. For years John has made his own ‘Santa’ wish list, every year this one item has been on it. Well finally after 6 years John has his much wanted Budweiser hockey goal light. Much to the horror of Emelia this light goes off bright and loud at every goal of any hockey game John chooses. But the happiness this light has brought him has made it all worth it. He was like a kid on Christmas morning when he opened it. I think he was as much shocked as he was excited that he got it.
The rest of the week was all about family. We spent time together and with our extended family. We were so lucky to spend a few days with John’s family and Emelia and Amy got their special Boxing Day shopping traditional trip done as well. I was so happy that my sister and her family were able to make it down yesterday and stay overnight. The holidays are never easy for me but being surrounded with so many people I love the last couple days has reminded me how much I have in my life vs how much I have lost. It was a hard year this year, our first without our sister in law Linda but we were able to be together as a family and cherish the moments together.
The next couple days we will hopefully take it a bit easy and then ring in the new years with our friends Danielle, Greg and their daughter Kathleen who is one of Emelia’s best friends.
Merry Christmas everyone and the most incredible Happy New Year too.