This has been a difficult end of the year for us financially, yet somehow Christmas pushed through it all. We recently had a leak in the dining room, and we had to get the roof repaired from a defect left by the people who built the house decades ago. Then I had to try and get the dining room wall and ceiling back in presentable shape before my parents and sister arrived on Christmas Eve.
We usually have our big family gathering on Christmas Eve for dinner and the gift exchange. My sister and brother-in-law and their children, and my parents came down. My wife and I had a falling out with my parents a few years ago, and while we had patched things up with my mom, my dad had not yet started speaking directly with us again. You would think that the older would be the wiser, but in this case, that fell to the “younger” generation. I invited my dad to be a part of the family gathering, because I just felt like life is too short, and if he wants to remain aloof, I still want to feel like I did the right thing.
My nine-year-old son said, “I know what grandma can get me! She can bring grandpa for Christmas!”
Also, despite the financial position we are in, things were worse for my sister and my parents. But we wanted everyone to have a good time anyway. So there were a considerable number of factors conspiring to make this a difficult Christmas.
The wall and ceiling repair took me right up until the day before Christmas eve, but it was accomplished! It still needs some touch up work, but it was presentable for our Christmas Eve dinner. My dad came, and he was on his best behavior and did not say anything rude or mean, and he had some special moments connecting with each of my kids. Dinner came together well, and we played some fun family games before everyone had to leave. We also took a family picture.
Despite the paucity of gifts, my kids had a lot of fun on Christmas. I now have a Broncos jersey, which was an awesome gift for me! I spent quite a bit of time cleaning and organizing my home office on Christmas, bringing some much needed organization into my life and writing space. As the day waxed, my two-year-old son wandered into my office, and we did a puzzle together. We heard “boom” as my son said, and he sat in my lap and we watched someone shooting off fireworks in the distance. We accomplished a lot, my wife and I had a great time with our kids and the rest of my family, and we watching fireworks through the window with my two-year-old in my lap was the perfect capstone to an amazing, low-budget Christmas.