We have found that Christmas is not really Christmas as we knew it anymore since Mom left. We're trying different things, trying to make it more our own.
This year Son and his family decided to stay home on Christmas Day. For this year it was probably a good thing, given the fact that it snowed. And then it snowed. And it snowed some more. They didn't need to be driving in the blizzard we had, so it was better that they'd decided to have their own Christmas at home. That led the rest of us to stay home as well, because no one wanted to celebrate without part of the family there.
Our Christmas day was strange-feeling. We did the normal opening of our little group of gifts, then everyone went back to bed while I attempted to make Christmas dinner. And I use the word "attempted" in the loosest possible form.
I tried earlier in the week (unsuccessfully) to get others to join us for Christmas dinner, and so purchased a bone-in turkey breast since it was only going to be the four of us. Unfortunately, I didn't take it out of the freezer in time to brine. Not only that, but I forgot that I purchased a roaster last year for the specific purpose of cooking the turkey so I could have more oven space. The turkey had to have gravy to be swallowed because it was so dry (see Mistake #5). Combined Turkey Mistake #1.
Since the oven was occupied (see above) I decided to try to make the cornbread for the dressing in the microwave. Mistake #2. We ended up with dressing that could literally bounce.
I forgot to use the frozen corn Mom always used. Mistake #3.
I forgot to use the kind of green beans Mom always used. Mistake #4.
There were no giblets to make the gravy. Mistake #5.
After all was said and done I went upstairs to take a nap and forget the disaster. I left the rest of the family to clean up. They didn't put anything away, meaning we had to throw it all out the next morning.
At least that one thing was done right. :)
Friday night we braved the elements to drive a half-hour, which turned into over an hour due to the weather, to celebrate Christmas with Hubster's side of the family. But Hubster's side of the family consisted of only two nephews, their families and his mother. No one else had been silly enough to drive in the treacherous conditions. We ate, the kiddies opened presents, and we battled road conditions over an hour home.
Saturday we cleaned house and I baked cookies and battled pie crust. The poor house doesn't know what to think. It's never been cleaned this much in this short a time period. It may go into shock. I gave up on the pie crust and decided to have only cookies.
Saturday evening Son and family came over to visit. Cutie wanted to play with Grandpa immediately, and Grandpa obliged. We played Wii games, and everyone laughed at me and my lame attempts to steer a lawnmower. Cutie decided to spend the night, then changed her mind at the last minute and told us she'd be back another time.
Sunday was a flurry of cooking and organizing and wrapping presents and cleaning some more and eating (thanks to the patience and assistance of Son, DIL, and Cutie). Sis and her family got here around 2 p.m. and our official Christmas began.
It wasn't like Christmas of old, that's for sure. But it was cozy. We had a fire in the fireplace, the tree in the corner, gifts, a small child, pleasant conversation, food, and I think a good time. I could almost see Mom there.
We're slowly finding our way. It may take a few years, but we'll get the hang of it. It won't be as it always was, but somehow we'll do what Mom would have wanted.
We'll remain a family.