Just about everything about Christmas was different this year. To begin with, we knew we were not going to be able to spend very much because we have so many bills to pay. Our little baby is a running, climbing toddler now, so a lot of our normal decorations (and Christmas activities) had to stay in the box, as it were. Add in some sickness and you end up with chaos.
I guess the very first thing that was different this year was that my husband and I decided that we should only spend $20 on each other. I was worried because I knew that it would be unlikely that I could find anything at that price that would make him happy, Doldin being an electronics guy. So he suggested that we each choose our own gift, which was a first for me. He wound up getting parts to make an arduino (and no, I didn't know what that was until he explained it to me), and I got this. Yes, it is a children's product, but it will be very useful to me in my paperdoll designing. I even got it $2 cheaper with the aid of a coupon.
Though I like my choice, I found it somehow sad to be buying my own gift. Maybe I'm just old fashioned?
Another thing that was different this year was that we attended our church's Christmas Eve service rather than going to my parents' house. Unfortunately, Doldin was feeling awful and The Precious was very sleepy, so they had to leave before the service really got going and I spent the rest of it alone. At least I didn't mess up when it came time for me to bring up the wine. I had never been an oblationer before and was pretty nervous, but as I said, it was fine. After church I got a ride home from a friend who really needs to do a blog of her own--she's incredibly talented! Just look at the gorgeous gift basket she gave us! And believe me, the contents taste even better than it looks.
We didn't get the tree decorated until Christmas Eve. Or perhaps I should say, I didn't. My husband put up the tree and got the lights on, but there were no decorations except a paper chain I made from old Xbox magazines until the very last minute. After the service, I decorated the tree feverishly while poor Doldin snored on the couch feverishly. I could only decorate part of the tree because The Precious thinks that ornaments are toys. Most of the ornaments that I have had since I was a child were breakable, so they were left off. Instead, we ended up with a tree covered mostly in handmade ornaments and those painted Styrofoam balls from the dollar store. The star would not go on straight either.
So, not our most glorious Christmas tree, but at nearly midnight on Christmas Eve, I didn't care.
But the tree wasn't all that I had to work on! I still had gingerbread to make and a hat to knit for my new baby nephew, and Santa still hadn't arrived.
So I stirred up my gingerbread, which baked
while I knitted and did festival quests on Lotro!
I also tried to get caught up on dishes and laundry. At two AM on Christmas morning, I gave in and fell into bed. The hat still wasn't done.
Thankfully, I woke again full of Christmas spirit, largely due to the smiles of my sweet baby and husband. It was wonderful to see how much The Precious enjoyed her new gifts!
Of course the cats had to play with the wrapping paper, and Moonbeam found a box to sit in.
In my family, it was a tradition that each of us kids receive an ornament every year to save for our future Christmas trees. We decided to continue this with The Precious, and found her a lovely porcelain angel made by a local artist.
I got some great gifts from friends and family too--I'm going to have to do a whole blog post about my new jockey cap soon! And I have a feeling that the Jane Austen calender is one I'll be using for wall decor even when 2013 is past.
Where was Doldin during all of this? Photographing and filming when I couldn't, of course.
There were lots more presents and way more photos than I could fit in here, even splitting this into two posts! So, friends and family, you will find a link to the rest of the photos soon. Just please be patient. All three of us are sick at the moment!
Part Two coming ASAP.