The Hibernation of 2008

This Christmas was vastly different from any in my entire life. Well, Christmas of 1978 was right up there because I spent it with a family I rented a room from in Brighton, England, away from my kids for the first time since their births. That one wasn't different as much as it was terrible, though. This year was just different...

First of all, we started our family celebrations on the 23rd, just sitting downstairs talking and laughing while listening to music.

On Christmas Eve we just kind of hung out together, and Nettl set out a buffet spread like you wouldn't believe (thanks to all of those restaurant gift cards she got from people at her office). After we ate, she passed out the two inexpensive but carefully selected presents we got for each of the kids. It was so cool. They knew that we couldn't afford much, and we knew that they couldn't afford anything, but it just didn't matter. The little personalized bags of cookies and candy that Lauren had spent two days making meant the world to us and everyone else. Nettl and I promised to get each other something for each other later on, after we're doing better financially, but really, neither of us felt we were lacking anything as we sat there in the warm, loving circle of our family. We felt entirely blessed.

Later, we all went to our rooms and Nettl sneaked downstairs to put some snacks in the stockings, then we spent some time together listening to Classical and Baroque Christmas music, and cuddling.

The girls had to leave fairly early the next morning to spend Christmas Day with their father, his new wife, and their brother, so for our Christmas dinner we ate some Marie Callender frozen turkey dinners while watching movies. LOL! We napped, blogged, web-surfed, ate, napped, etc. But I've already written about that.

Thus it went until this evening when Lauren brought Heather home. I did work about six hours last night, as well as a few today, and Nettl did some laundry, but we've mostly looked a lot like that picture up there. The buildup to Christmas, worrying about money and other emotional issues wore us out. It has taken itself out on her via a bad cold, but I feel good health-wise.

Regardless, I'll never forget this Christmas and the way it brought my parents' tales of holidays during the Great Depression home to me. I have a feeling the rest of the family will always remember it too, for the laughter, the music, the smiles, the recalling of family traditions, and the very special bond we've built through the years as a blended family.


  1. Sounds like the way Christmas should be - stripped of all the commercialization, worrying about gifts and money. Christmas should be a time of reflection of the good things you have, the love you share - and it sounds like you've had the best Christmas anyone could have. It's a model for all of us.

  2. Sounds like a lovely Christmas. The best kind.

  3. I agree.
    You've had the best kind of Christmas anyone could have, living the true meaning and spirit of Christmas!
    Yours sincerely,

  4. Sounds like a lovely Christmas. The best kind.


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