And, Christmas is over...

Here we are…  All the wrapping paper and bows that were so carefully and loving wrapped around each gift of love and sat prominently under the tree is now in a wadded and tangled ball hidden deep in the dark cavern of a black plastic bag.  Being as we run a little 'green', I'm feeling slightly bothered about that, so, maybe next year I will try to purchase bulk material to wrap our gifts so when the package has been claimed by it's recipient, the material could be reused to make bags,  pin cushions, or something useful and be given a new life.  Wouldn't that be fun and responsible all at the same time?  In the past we've used pillow cases to wrap our gifts but life got a head of me this year and my 'usual' didn't seem to happen, including sending out electronic Christmas Cards, another of my 'green' choices in life.  We ended up using the rolls and rolls of unused wrapping paper that seem to follow us from year to year so I console myself in the fact they they had to used eventually since they couldn't be recycled and were going into a land fill one way or the other so for this year, they graced our Christmas gifts.

Me and my Furry Babies.

Here is another Holiday secret I will share with you..I love twinkle lights.   The twinkling lights that surround me are making me feel the Holidays even more profoundly although it is true, Epiphany is almost upon us.   I keep a little of the Christmas spirit alive all year long with lights that grace my grapevines atop my mirrors which illuminate the apartment at night .  If they go out, I frantically run to my stash of white twinkle lights to replace them.  This year, although, I got wise and acquired a stash of white LED lights so I'm hoping they will not burn out nearly as often and be more economical to keep lit.  To tell the truth, I'm not sure I'm going to talk Josh into taking down our Christmas lights anytime soon.  I am thinking somewhere in March he might be weary of them but somehow I don't think it will happen much before then.  Josh was delighted to realize from the street, our apartment was clearly visible,  as well as the only one that was lit in our buildings 50 plus floors.  Yes, it is true, we are the Griswald's of the Jersey City skyline.  I have to admit that I love sitting in the living room at night and seeing our life through the glow of the low lights.  

Playing RockSmith amongst the twinkle lights.
Utilizing our pillar for an interesting
lighted Tree.

This was a special Christmas to me.  For the last five years, I have not been involved in Christmas to any great degree.  I would be wheeled into the living room, carefully transferred to the couch to see what had been created.  Last year I saw the tree only a few times and the years before, I'm not sure I even really acknowledged the holidays.  The lack of my presence was brought home to me as I sat at the table wrapping presence for everyone and Victoria remarked it was the first time in years that she wasn't the present wrapper.  I not only wrapped presents this year but made homemade gifts, went shopping for decorations, helped to bathe our home in Christmas joy and even shopped for stocking stuffer at the mall the day before, the day before Christmas as is our family's tradition.  I was a part of the celebration again.  The most important aspect to me surrounding the whole season was enjoying the season with Josh and the children.  

Josh and another work tool.
Every girl needs a lighted compact.
Halo TShirt.
Ready to root the  Nook. 

I realize as I look at Victoria, our first child to graduate high school, a particularly special feat being as she has been homeschooled since preschool, that there will not be too many more Christmas with all our children under one roof.  I know, as I have said before, we will first grown in numbers, then we will dwindle until it is just Josh and I hoping our children will be able to come home to see us.  For me, these last few years are precious.  Our traditions mean so much.  Pancakes or Waffles, gluten-free of course, served with traditional Russian White Sauce (all organic ingredients, of course)  in the morning.  Our tradition of opening gifts starting days before the big day so each gift can be treasured and enjoyed instead of being overwhelmed by opening them all at once and not being able to enjoy and appreciate each and every one.  And, spending the days off tucked away in our home watching Christmas movies, fixing fun food and playing games.  These are the memories that will hold me in my old age and the base for which our children will begin to build their own family memories.  Yes, this Christmas was special.

Sis with Taddington and Sebbie.
The Command Center.

The Command Center.

Our children participated in helping others this Christmas.  They gave, the went to homeless shelters and nursing homes and tried to bring the message of the season to those who lost hope and joy.  I know they brought their Dad and me joy as we watch them grow into maturity and adulthood.  All these thoughts race through my mind as I sip on my Cafe' Latte made by my son just for me as I sit under my very own twinkle lights and ponder the next year.  Again, I say, I am blessed and with the dawn of the New Year, I am blessed again.  

May God Bless and Keep You in His Grace,