Posted by on December 30, 2010 at 4:30 pm :: No Comments

Christmas represents a lot of different things to different people. For many it is a time of gathering, of renewing connections with family and friends. For some it is a chaotic blur of shopping and hosting that leaves exhaustion in its wake. To others it signifies a renewing of hope and faith in the goodness of the human race and in the future of mankind.

For me I think Christmas is a little of all of the above…and perhaps more.

Jas and his brother Matt: crackers with cracker crowns.

Jas and I are rarely pictured together so this photo is a treat.

Wes was all about cheesy smiles as he played with new toys aplenty.

These are the men of my family-or at least the portion of them that was present and willing to sit still for a moment.

Like most people, Jason and I are super busy at Christmastime. I am a very organized person so I start my Christmas shopping well in advance but even with my abnormally early preparations there still always seems to be a general shortage of time to accomplish all that needs to be done before the big day. We love that we live near both of our families and so are able to spend time with each of them on Christmas but this double family whammy sometimes isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. Many a Christmas has passed where Jason and I have had very little time to ourselves and haven’t even had a chance to open our Christmas presents to each other until midnight or later. I love our families but I love Jason more. (Sorry fams, you can’t seriously think you can compete with that boy.) That’s why I was so grateful when our family get-togethers this year weren’t all scheduled for Christmas. Jason’s family gathered on Christmas Eve while my family members spent a few hours with each other on Christmas afternoon. This left me and Jason some sublime time for sleeping in and making breakfast together on Christmas morning. Fantastico! Since our holiday evening was also free, shockingly, we gladly used it to make a yummy dinner of chicken marsala and gingerbread cookie sandwiches. Lovely, lovely, lovely. I think I’m going to have to insist on less packed Christmases in the future-I can’t go back now that I’ve had a taste of that restful sweetness-I’m hooked.

We gave my sister and her husband longboards for Christmas. John was so thrilled about his board that he had to go right out into the freezing night to give it a try.

Our nephew, Jadon, was very excited about his candy cane and homemade sweater. And I was excited when I realized that the two canes in this picture are chiral images of each other.

The chicken marsala I made for our Christmas dinner was scrumptious! Thanks Robyn for the great recipe.

Jason bought me a new snowboard for Christmas. I was eager to give it a go in our living room.

So what does Christmas mean to me, besides busyness and the crammed family schedule that we somehow avoided this year? It means fun and crazy Black Friday shopping with friends and family. It means hiding presents for Jason in the “secret closet” until the closet doors will no longer close and being supremely excited about my ingenious gift ideas for that superb man. It means spoiling the members of our families that we happen to draw the names of pretty rottenly. It means listening to Christmas music and being unable to keep from tearing up a bit. It means watching nieces and nephews open new toys with the magic of Christmas all over their faces. It means feeling the conviction that mankind is capable of more. It means having a great excuse to spend time with family and friends. It means partying. It means being generous. It means filling a dreary month with some light.

Christmas is spectacular, and tiring, and thrilling, and sometimes exasperating…but I wouldn’t miss it for the world!

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