Tomorrow morning the kids will be up early but they aren't allowed downstairs until 8am. We like to build the suspense. :) Plus Jenn is working today so a couple of extra hours sleep will be welcome. We will go downstairs and open our stockings and then Jenn will put the turkey in and we will have breakfast. My oldest has a homemade cocoa recipe so we will have that, probably with a bit of Carolans in it, and then once we have eaten we will open the presents. This is a tradition from Jenn's house and it's a great one, the kids go a bit mental waiting but it also draws out the morning and makes it last.
We visited my folks last weekend and we saw friends in Sudbury as well and we had company Monday night and are having people over next week and we will see a lot of friends over the holidays. It's my favourite part of Christmas other than Christmas morning itself.
With three kids in the house Christmas is a big deal, of course, a really big deal. Our oldest is now eleven and her enthusiasm has not waned one bit. She loves receiving gifts but she has also become immersed in the idea of the whole holiday, not the baby Jesus part, we are not church goers, but in the joy and the excitement and the pleasure that it can bring, the giving of gifts, the feasting, the parties with family and friends. She has spent weeks making gifts, homemade treats and hot chocolates and handmade soaps and scrubs. Seriously. She has become ... challenging over the last few months, asserting herself and pushing Jenn's buttons and after being told this she retorted that Jenn pushes her buttons so yeah there you go, it's going to be a fun ride. She's a wonderful kid, smart and funny and generous and she is growing up and it's breaking our hearts.
The boy is facing some adversity in between the pipes. His last game his team, previously undefeated, was shelled 9-2. He didn't get an ounce of help and afterwards he was choking back some tears. I hate being the father of a goalie but he enjoys it and now he has to work hard and try and bounce back. I'm going to be taking a lot of shots on him over the next few days I think. He's the rock of the family though, a golden boy. He works hard and never complains and he is a brilliant boy and curious about the world around him. He is all me, Jenn says, but the truth is he is all of the best of me, with none of the bullshit and we could not have a better son.
Our youngest is a bright shining star. When she laughs it is a roaring rolling series of giggles and chortles and howls and it makes everyone around her smile. She is in grade one now and still at the stage where she makes great leaps in the space of weeks, at one point in September she learned how to read, swim and tie her shoes in a matter of weeks. Unreal. She has always been a bit wild, certainly less serious than her siblings, and so we were surprised, happily, when we found out that she is killing it in school. She is the heart and soul of the family.
Jenn turned forty this year and celebrated by going to Vegas where she ran her first and only full marathon. She remains the love of my life, brilliant and hilarious and beautiful, and we make a damn good team. I'm a lucky man.
As for me things are great, mostly because of what I have just told you. We have been very fortunate this year after the great sorrow from last year. Mom and Dad keep on trucking, at 82 and 81, and I am fully aware that some day this will no longer be the case. They are active and they are enjoying themselves and they are teaching us how it's done. I have my health too, just turned 47, can you believe it? And I have a good job that I enjoy and we were lucky enough to travel this year, New York with Jenn and Germany with a dear old friend. We are very very fortunate. Some of that good fortune we have earned. Most of it is the luck of the draw. Jenn works Christmas Eve day and Boxing Day this year and she is caring for children who have not been so lucky and I could not imagine what it would be like to be the father of one of those kids.
I've been writing here for nearly nine years now. Isn't that mental? I don't write so much anymore, it's hard to say the Oilers suck in a different manner. The team is a disgrace but through this blog I have met so many good people and have been part of a fun community for nearly a decade. I have a rich and wonderful life and this has been a good part of it and I am lucky beyond measure.
Best wishes for a Merry Christmas to you and yours and a safe and healthy and happy 2015.