a holly jolly Christmas

Favorite Christmas Present

Since I made a number of my readers cry with my emotional porn of a post the other day, it’s only fair that I update you on how my Christmas Eve actually went down.

Counter to previously stated plans, last night I did not drown my sorrows all day and night while watching sappy after sappy holiday movie. I didn’t order take-out or make one lonely quesadilla or eat hummus and carrots for dinner.

Instead, I spent the evening with my kids.

On a whim on Christmas Eve Eve, I asked Ex if I could have my boys over for dinner on the 24th for a small window from 5:00-7:00. I knew that having a chance to see them, plus Nancy’s plan to come over late night would be enough to stem the tide of tears that were bound to be shed. As it fortuitously turned out, the window I wanted to see the boys happened to fall in the window when Ex and kids were going to go to church with his mother, a tradition none of the three of them was looking forward to.

Jack: We went to church last year, and I really think you should only have to go once every other year.

Ex (on the phone later): Giving them to you for dinner gets me out of church with my mom, so you can have them.

Maybe it was that I was generous with the champagne when Ex and his mother brought the boys over. Maybe it was the festively wrapped presents under tree, the Christmas cookies I had spent the day baking, or the smell of a chicken roasting in the oven, but minutes after leaving us to our dinner, Ex called and asked if I wanted the boys to sleep over at my house.

You know my answer.

We gorged ourselves on chicken and cookies. We tracked Santa on NORAD. We opened and put on our Christmas pajamas. Colin set a trap to test whether Santa is real.

At 8:30 they went to bed (not without significant complaint) and round two of my evening began. Nancy came over in her pajamas, bringing mousse liver pate, delicious cheeses and more bubbly. We watched Love Actually.  And since my heart didn’t feel quite so Grinch-y tight, instead of buckets of tears, there was merriment all night.

Because one is never too old to learn from the good Dr. Seuss, let me end with the final words of How the Grinch Stole Christmas. This is how I feel about the last 24 hours: “Christmas day is in our grasp so long as we have hands to clasp. Christmas day will always be just as long as we have we. Welcome Christmas while we stand heart to heart and hand in hand.”

Merry Christmas!