The days leading up to Christmas were pretty rough (read: mostly terrible) and Christmas started out that way, but ended up being alright. I worked 8:30-5 on the 23rd, then came home and had a bath in an attempt to improve my ankle and my mood, and then Chloe and I went to Jay's (Farley and Jen's younger son's) birthday party. That was nice. I sat with Jack for a little while (honestly, a gift in itself) and mostly watched people.
Christmas eve I felt better while I could keep myself distracted, and I worked 7:45-4:30, and then went to help Uncle Bud make eggnog. Last year I helped with the whole process, but this year we had dinner at my Uncle Tommy's/Aunt Krystyna's house, so I only had time to separate 3 dozen eggs*, and then I had to leave. Dinner was nice though, even though I still have a hard time downing traditional Polish Christmas food. Tommy's children from his first marriage were both there with their fantastic kids, and I never get to see little kids anymore, so I spent most of the evening keeping them out of everyone's way and out of trouble, rather than talking to my cousins. There were five of them and one of me, so it was a little hectic, but fun. Tom jr's second son, Sam, was there and awake, and oh my goodness he is a peach. He is 17 months I think and he doesn't talk, but he understands everything you're saying to him, and he is so beautiful and sweet. Also Lily, Holly's youngest (who is four), just loves him. She would follow him around and show him things. The four older kids spent most of the night taking turns making noise and borrowing my camera, so there are a lot of interesting pictures on there. It was really interesting actually to see things from their perspective. You forget what it's like to be so small, you know?
Krystyna's younger daughter Victoria was there too of course, and I talked with her a little. She has a new dog named Oscar, a dachshund puppy, and I want him. There aren't really words to describe how great he is.
After dinner we stopped at home for a little while and then went to midnight mass, where I barely held it together. That pretty much sucked.
Christmas morning I woke up and discovered a few things: First, Ed and Uncle Bud were not coming to brunch after all; we were going to Holly and Brian's instead to see Tom and Sara before they left again for San Francisco. Second, I wasn't the only one who hadn't been able to get presents this year--actually, Chloe and my dad were the only ones who were even remotely on top of things. So we had breakfast and each opened one gift, and then went to see the cousins. It was nice to be there, though it was a little hard to have my ideas about the day so thoroughly shifted as soon as I woke up. Christmas later in the afternoon on Church Hill was also nice, but overall the whole day just felt a little off to me. The food was delicious though, and Mom made me and Chloe sing with her several times. (Come Thou, Long Expected Jesus.)
The day after Christmas I don't remember well at the moment. Oh! Ed came for brunch, and my Uncle Tommy came bearing gifts and a Russian documentary about water that was really awesome, actually. I'd like to research it more. We had vegetables and grits and more of the rockfish I'd brought home from work on Christmas eve, and Ed brought some scones from Joe's Market that were pretty fantastic.
Later, around 3 I think, Kelly and Susannah came over to find us/my mom watching episodes from Faerie Tale Theater (she got the whole series from her secret santa--good thing I didn't buy them like I had planned). We watched some and ate chili and played a very short and ridiculous game of apples to apples (you can't really play with three people, so we discarded the "7 cards per person" and "one entry per hand" rules and just threw in as many cards each time as we felt like), and then after a brief search for the "charging rino" card (mentioned in the directions but never seen) we went to see Avatar. We'd planned on the 7 pm show but were a little late, so we got ice cream and then went to the 8 pm show instead. It was AMAZING.
Sunday Chloe and I went to St Edward's for church and met Kelly there, and she came over after church for a little while, as she didn't have time to get home and back before she had to pick up her mentee for their outing. We went to Wal-Mart, so I finally got some Christmas shopping done, though I am still not by any means finished. Soon after we got back and she left my family congregated in the living room (even Jack!) to open our stockings at last. Mom gave me two beautiful necklaces--one a double-strand of black freshwater pearls, and the other a coin silver (?) Navajo necklace that belonged to Mrs. Erickson before she died. She also gave each of us a small bottle of essential oils**, and mine is a mix called "Joy."
Sunday night... Mom and Dad and Chloe and I went to see Avatar. Still amazing.
Today I worked 1:30 to 7, and then finally went and got the supplies I need to make David's Christmas present. So hopefully I'll be getting that done shortly. And for dinner tonight, delicious chili made by mom!
*A tip for eggnog makers: I find that the easiest way to separate eggs is with my hands; however, if you are doing this, you should A) heat your house and B) warm the eggs a little. My fingers felt like blocks of wood after each dozen, so I had to keep stopping and warming them.
**Evidently most essential oils bought from health food stores and whatnot are not nearly as useful as they could be, because the makers of said oils don't actually know what they're doing--what they're going for. It would seem that humans have (or each human has) a particular electric signature. Plants do as well, as do all living things. Certain plant signatures support ours--but the ways in which most manufacturers usually produce essential oils can actually destroy or weaken the plant signatures so much as to render them nearly useless.