Saturday, December 27, 2008

Captured Moments

Plans. We make plans for the holidays. Then we get frustrated when things don't go as planned. Not me. I like to have some idea of a plan but I have found that the best times have come when we do things that are not in our plans. I have learned to have a flexible outline, if you will, of how things will go but to not be surprised when we change it at the last minute. It's so much less stressful that way. And more fun. This Christmas was no different and was one of the best ever.

My sister and her family were joining us on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day from Louisiana. My Dad was driving over on Tuesday evening from the Nashville area. Dad was to arrive at around 6pm Tuesday and my sister and family were due at around noon on Wednesday. That was the plan.

Dad decided to leave a little early and popped over, arriving at around 2pm. I told him that I hoped he didn't mind that I was still doing laundry and we sat and chatted. My refrigerator had stopped cooling this week and the repairman had been there that morning. The cable box had gone out on one of the TVs. Dad and I drove to the other side of town with the cable box to switch it out for one that was working. We talked in the car about a wide variety of things and it was nice to just enjoy each other's company. We stopped at the grocery store to pick up a few things and returned home to cook dinner. Not the dinner I had planned but it turned out yummy anyway.

On Wednesday morning at 5:45 AM, I was startled out of sleep as the dogs started barking and running to the front door. My sister and family had arrived early too! They had driven through the night without stopping. We installed them in the sunroom to get some sleep. I, however, was wide awake. So I made some coffee and sat downstairs and watched the Today show on the TV with the now working cable box. Then I put my makeup and festive holiday clothes and began breakfast. Not the one I planned but it turned out yummy.

My cleaning people come on Wednesdays and they were due between 11 and 12 that day so we would need to get everyone out of the house for a couple of hours. My daughter had to work that afternoon so I decided to take everyone else to pick up one of her gifts - a snowboarding jacket - that was due in to the store that day. While wandering the store, waiting on them to find the jacket, we decided that it would be fun to take the kids snowboarding on Christmas Day. My nephews live in Louisiana, not the snowy capital of the South, so they don't get the opportunity very often. And my daughter and boyfriend were both getting new snowboarding gear for Christmas so they would be excited to use it. It would be fun, we decided. As we left the store, we still needed to kill some time so we headed downtown to market square to go ice skating on the temporary rink. My daughter ended up not having to work so she joined us. We shopped a little while the kids skated and then grabbed a bite to eat before the last restaurant closed for Christmas Eve then headed back to the house.

We had planned to eat Christmas dinner at about 7, then open gifts. My daughter's boyfriend's family was doing their celebration at the same time so we decided to wait since my son didn't get off work until 10pm anyway. Dad and my sister surprised my son at work. My sister and I decided we would start cooking when we got ready to, and whoever was there when the food was ready would eat. Then we would open gifts at 10 when my son and his roommate arrived. Not what we had planned but it was what we did. And my sister and I got to spend most of the afternoon, side by side, with our laptops, trading photos while they guys watched sports. Then at 10, we had the present opening fest and finally got in bed around 2:30am. That certainly was not in the plan.

Christmas morning we had Santa for my daughter, started breakfast and as people woke up, they joined us. Dad began preparing for his drive home and he left at about 11, sticking with his plan. The rest of us gotready to drive to the snowboarding adventure. The four kids had the best time on the slopes while the "grown ups" watched and drank hot chocolate. There was a viewing area where we could watch and take photos but stay out of the cold. We stayed until about 7:30 that evening before my sister and family left to have Christmas with my brother-in-law's family in Kentucky. It was so much fun we have decided to make it a yearly tradition and started making plans to get a cabin for next year. Uh, Oh . . . there we go trying to plan things again.

My flexible outline did not include ice skating, shopping, snowboarding, or changing meal times. But it wouldn't have been the special Christmas it was without all of that. And it was one of the best. I hope yours was too.


~Vanessa~ said...

Nice hearing about your holiday. Happy New Year :)