Ahh Christmas Eve...hmm what to say about this year.
Let me start by saying that December 24th used to be my favorite day. I loved it more than my birthday, Halloween, Easter and Christmas Day itself. Why? Because we would spend the long evening at my grandparents cozy, festive house. Family would be bustling about, we would eat a lovely meal, open gifts in the tiny living room and then be banished to go and played while the adults held their exchange. It was all so wonderful and magical.
And it is no more.
But that comes later.
In the morning, I showered and then we watched Titanic. It's a new tradition of ours since we always associate it with Christmas when we first watched it during that season. I made the customary cinnamon roles and we relaxed for the 3 hour duration of the movie.
After it was over, I had to spend a looooong time in the kitchen baking my last cookie batches. E was in there too as she'd been put in charge of making two lasagna trays for the next day. Music was playing and festive-ness was all around when sadly, E's one tray folded and uncooked lasagna went pouring all over the floor. It was very sad but while my dad was cleaning up the mess and E was sobbing in the other room, I really had to continue baking. I kept looking at the clock and thinking, "If I can just be done at 3, I can relax in my room for awhile before having to get ready for church." As I was rolling cookie dough into dozens of little balls and setting timers and washing pans I had a blissful image of myself laying atop my covers with my space heater going, hands behind my head as I contemplated the holiday and just rested.
Sadly, it never came to be. For one thing, E left right after the lasagna incident to primp for over two hours and she left the kitchen a mess. Dad cleaned some of it, but I knew if I didn't do the rest, it wouldn't get done (my mom had to work until 4 so she wasn't around to help either). So I worked on cleaning the kitchen for a long time, I had to deal with E's sauce spatters on the oven and covering and storing her dish. When I was done with that, I naturally had to straighten the family room which was quite a project in itself. You see, the last thing I wanted was a messy house as we headed out for the night and then to have it all disorganized, cluttered and dirty on Christmas morning. I cannot enjoy a holiday in disarray. So I vacuumed and folded blankets and tidied up that room as well.
Before I knew it, three o'clock had come and gone and it was time to get dressed for church. I was super excited to wear my new red dress and get to church on time but we walked in late and I even forgot to grab a candle.
I've talked about it in years passed but the whole congregation sings Silent Night by candle light at the end of the service and I look forward to it so much. Not having a candle, and the whole stress of the day almost made me burst into tears as we sang the opening carols. I prayed and calmed myself and my mom ended up giving me her candle which was really sweet and made me feel like a toddler :).
Service was beautiful as always and afterward I got to fellowship a bit and hand out gifts we'd gotten for some of our friends. I just love my church and celebrating the holiday with people who truly know and accept the real reason.
From there we went to my cousins house. There is this big drama because our family gathering used to start in the evening, around 6 or so but for some strange reason, certain family members wanted to make it an earlier all day thing. So now it starts at 3...in years prior we had gone for an hour or so, and then left for church and came back. But it was pointless and silly so now we just go after church (about 4 hours late...) and that's that.
You see, they'd already eaten and there was hardly any food for us. Yes, they saved us no food really. I was actually not angry, but just sad. In general, I feel sort of distant from that side of the family and it only seems to be getting worse. Then some people were mean to my mom and us for setting up a Secret Santa instead of the very boring and very lame gift exchange that usually happens. Whatever, I'm really just over it.
The highlight was the peppermint cheesecake that my friend from church made and we brought over to share. Oh it was delicious!
We left around 10:30/11 and looked at some Christmas lights before heading home and turning in to bed.
So the day didn't go off perfectly but all was well in the end.
Stay tuned for Christmas Day (a much merrier time indeed!)