Tuesday, January 7, 2014

A Tale Of Two Christmases

Yesterday we celebrated Christmas with jb's side of the family. (They are Ukrainian Orthodox and follow the Julian Calendar.)  Her dad and all her brothers were able to come to our home and eat, talk, and open presents.

I was the first time we've hosted a holiday - and it went off without a hitch.  As jb's dad noted during his address before dinner, it's rare that jb's side of the family is all in one place - and it's just them/us.  When they do have the opportunity to get together it's either at Church, at my parents' home, or with other families.  That's lovely, as well - but it did feel extra special to have this time.

Particularly since it was spread over several days and Pops and the Uncle's got to partake of that in-between time with the kids that is so hard to capture when you don't live under the same roof.  Do you know what I mean?  First thing in the morning, right before bed, when things get "boring" and they are left to their own devices to entertain themselves.  Those times are hard to glimpse as a daytime visitor and are the most intimate way to build a relationship with young kids, I think.

Duet performance of "I'm A Little Teapot"
jb, Uncle Julian and Leo went to the late evening service on Christmas Eve.  Leo was well behaved the entire time and *almost* made it home awake...but not quite.  It's hard to put a sleeping kid in the top bunk!

The play room got a thorough cleaning and the kids did a great job of keeping their toys picked up while we had extra foot traffic.

For dinner we had some traditional Ukrainian foods including garlic, rye bread, pickled herring, fried fish and pierogies with butter, onion, and sour cream.  We also fried up some zucchini so there was a vegetable on our plates - and I think that is going to be a new tradition.

We ate at our kitchen (slash only) table.  It wasn't the fanciest meal, but it was delicious, relaxed and fun.  It was also Leo and Zoe's first experience with a "kid table" for a holiday meal.  They totally dug it.

After dinner we moved into the family room for dessert and gift opening.

Zoe and Leo could not believe we left the cookie plates within their reach.

This morning the kids sat on Pops' lap and played computer games while I made breakfast.  I don't value one type of moment over the other, but I'm so glad that our holiday included both sitting down to a traditional dinner with the whole family and idly passing time at the breakfast table.  

Now I guess Christmas is officially over.  The darkest days of winter are beginning to wane, too.  It will be a while before we welcome Spring (hello polar vortex), but I feel like we're emerging from the winter darkness and have light and warmth to look forward to.  

1 comment:

  1. Dresden1/11/2014

    This was so special to read! (& OMG Zoe and the cookies!!)