While we are now days past Christmas, I can’t not write about it. What was supposed to be a mellow week before Christmas with no sports, activities, etc, was anything but that. But that doesn’t mean we didn’t have a great time this past week – we were just busier than planned. Maybe that’s our defense mechanism keeping us from being sad that we are away from home for yet another holiday season. Or maybe we are just too damn busy lately!
Regardless, Josh worked up til the 24th so it was just myself and the kids the week before Christmas. We did some last minute shopping, had a few playdates and headed into the city for lunch with Josh one day as well. Keeping busy for us at least means less screen time and isolation for the kids (meaning less time to bicker).
Finally Christmas Eve arrived. I’d been cooking and baking up a frenzy all week – as always more than we need and forgetting the fact that we are heading to Prague the day after Christmas and so leftovers aren’t an option. The kids and I made cookies (which we forgot to decorate and leave for Santa – ooops!) and then we all did a nice fondue for dinner before opening the gifts that the caga tios pooped for us.
If you don’t remember what the caga tio is, it’s a Catalan tradition where you take a decorated log and feed him candy for the weeks leading up until Christmas. Then on Christmas Eve (in our house at least, some wait longer), you beat him with a stick while singing a song demanding that he poop presents and sweets. In our house, our caga tios managed to poop some Minecraft Ender Dragons that miraculously made their way from the US since they aren’t available yet here in Europe. Damn that log can work some magic!!
Early to bed, early to rise. I think I get more excited about Christmas morning than I realize sometimes and didn’t sleep all that much myself. We told the kids that they could not get up before 7. Yes, we know that’s a bit of torture, but they are old enough to be patient. Josh and I, sadly, were up long before that but feigned being asleep when we heard the kids come down at 6:55 and whisper to each other whether they could wake us yet. And then heard them counting down til 7.
At 7 on the dot, they were in our bed, super excited that Santa had, in fact, made his appearance at our house. Commence crazy, chaotic, gift opening. Aidan, being older, took his time and was more patient. It might also have to do that he’s been feeling a bit under the weather – poor kid. Liam…not so much – he was a madman ripping off the paper as fast as he could get his hot little hands on it.
I’d like to think that overall they were pretty happy with their gifts. As we are now in Prague and they are excited about going back home in a few days to play with their gifts, I’m going with a yes on that. Big gifts included video games like Lego Dimensions, Skylanders Super Chargers, Star Wars Battlefront and Disney Infinity 3.0. Then of course, there were lots of Legos. And a few Minecraft things too – like the Stop Motion Movie Maker which Liam can’t wait to use!
With the exception of the year that Josh’s parents visited for Christmas, this was the first time we’d had guests on Christmas day in a long time. New friends that literally had just moved here 3 days before (we had connected long before that). It was fun getting to celebrate with new friends since Christmas is often a bit lonely without our family close by. All a part of the expat experience where friends quickly become like family. Unfortunately it wasn’t til the end of the night when I realized I forgot to take any pictures of all of us together – I guess just the sign of a fun day / night!
It was all in all a great, albeit busy, day filled with a lot of love and laughter – exactly what Christmas is to Josh and I. We’re very excited about our trip to Prague where the holiday spirit will continue with their Christmas markets still open during our visit. Then we’re back in time to ring in the New Year in the Netherlands.
Merry Christmas to all!
Knuffels en kussen,