25 December 2009

It's A Most Unusual Christmas

If you were a kid, and were having your Christmas at Dad's house, knowing you'd have to go to your Mom's house two days after opening your presents, would you want to wait for four days with those wrapped packages just sitting there under the tree, torturing you?

Didn't think so. And that's why we actually had Christmas this past Tuesday morning. The twins know who Santa really is, and Santa thought "why not let them open presents early so they can enjoy them all week." Besides, Santa had to work M/T/W and if the twins were preoccupied with Christmas presents, they'd be more likely to give Santa the quiet time he needed to concentrate, right?

So that's what we did. The twins arrived mid-day Monday and hung out with friends while I finished the afternoon's tasks. They went and did some Christmas shopping of their own for me as well (how nice they're finally old enough that, when they're together, they can be trusted to go do things like that on their own!) Then we walked to the shopping center for a few things, got some dinner at Red Robin, and came back for our own personalized Christmas Eve. We watched the Cleanflix version of Love Actually, and talked about why Christmas was so important. About what the Savior's life and teachings mean for each one of us. And I told them why, after all the studying I've done of all the world's religions and faiths, the life and example and atonement of Jesus Christ are the things that resonate most deeply with me, give me the most answers and the most guidance, the most hope for healing and justice to fix this beautiful but broken world.

Tuesday morning I woke them at 6 a.m. and by 7 a.m. of course all was done. They were delighted with their loot, which had the desired effect for the rest of the day. Tuesday evening we ventured forth to redeem various gift cards and had a late dinner, then home to watch more Christmas stuff on TV. Wednesday largely the same; Santa Claus worked (with flagging enthusiasm) while the twins played with toys and friends. Another walk to the grocery store where we got some fresh lobster tails and salmon for dinner. The twins had never had lobster before, and they didn't like it (hence the salmon as a back-up). My kids are weird sometimes. They don't like shrimp, they don't like Jell-o. But he loves peas, she loves carrots and they both love salmon. Go figure. On balance, I'd prefer them liking salmon over Jell-o, though.

Thursday Santa Claus was finally free and could actually enjoy a holiday of his own. Male twin was of course keen to spend day #3 with his new X-Box, while female twin was keen for some time with dad. So male twin stayed with next door neighbor overdosing on video games while his sister and I went to LA to meet a friend. We ended up at the LA Farmer's Market which has been there since 1934. Had a great lunch and a saunter through all the shops and stalls, collecting delicacies for Christmas Day dinner, and reveling in the 70 degree sunshine.

Then back home to collect male twin and suit up in full dress matching kilts, etc. for the Christmas Eve service at St. Paul's Cathedral. Wonderful music and I loved the focus on the real reason for the holiday. Male twin--who is not a night owl--slept through much of it but woke toward the end. Female twin--the night owl--stayed wide awake and loved it all. They both loved the part where the whole cathedral went dark as everyone lit hand-held candles and sang Silent Night and The First Noel to end the service. THAT is how Christmas Eve should be done.

Then home by about 12:30 a.m. and guess what. Both were wide awake again. So by the twins' mutual request we settled in to watch The American Ballet Theatre's production of The Nutcracker. When I think of what they could have asked to watch, I realize how lucky I am to have such great kids!

So here we are on the actual Christmas morning. Twins still asleep but about to be awakened with pannetone French toast with fresh pineapple & pears for Christmas breakfast. Then we'll walk to the movie theatre to see Sherlock Holmes. Then we're going for a walk on the beach so we can take pictures and make all our snowbound friends jealous. Then back to make Christmas dinner.

Throughout the week I have tried to pause to reflect and savor all these many moments with my two precious children, because I know how fast children grow and how fleeting these moments are. I've also thought of all the friends and family members who bless my life and whom I also love so much (many of whom I'll see next week). I am so very, very blessed, and wish for all of you the same happiness. Merry Christmas to all.


Andy Foree said...

I watched the video of the singing in the cathedral. What a beautiful moment! I'm not gonna lie, I teared up a bit. What a great way to spend the Christmas season.

Ausmo said...

Merry Christmas, sounds like you have had the perfect holidays. Your kids are like to have you

boskers said...

Even though I live in an equally beautiful (if not more beautiful) place, during this magical time of year, I can't imagine how magnified the feeling and beauty must be to spend it with your very own children. I'm really happy for you. Merry Christmas.

Frank Lee Scarlet said...

Sounds like a great Christmas...and yes, your snow-bound friends (or at least, this one) are jealous!

mandi said...

Sounds like the absolute perfect week. Who can argue with a kilt?!

Marcus said...

That's how the Missus and I want to celebrate Christmas next year, with a candle lit midnight service. Very cool!