Monday, December 29, 2014

Christmas recap in pictures

'Twas anything but calm this Christmas Eve for us - we took part in Ms. Ellie's kidnapping mystery and each took our role very seriously as you can see - himself as a prankster reindeer, me as an overbearing elf and Eamon as a rude reindeer.

You can see our costumes were quite tame compared to others! And not as cute as some (sorry that the cute baby Samantha was cut out here).
 Then there was the unwrapping of the presents and Eamon was kept busier than most! As usual.
Sonny followed Eamon around again (Eamon loved it!) and was checking out his loot. Dragons were popular again this year.
Despite the late night, Eamon bounced into our room around 7 or so telling us Santa had been and the kid was not disappointed. We opened the presents from Ireland that morning too. This is the only picture I have of Eamon Christmas morning and if you look closely you can see he's sporting his 'George and Mary' slipper socks. He told me earlier it's not Christmas morning unless he's wearing them. When did that tradition start? Anyway, it's a quiet moment but had I been a few minutes earlier I would have captured him wielding his new inquisitor rebel light-saber.
After dinner (see the trifle on the table?) Eamon showed off some of his crafting skills and everyone made large snow flakes like those hanging from the light fixture. He's a dab hand at them and turned out quite a few.
 On St. Stephen's day we caught a movie and some lights at the Botanical Gardens in Richmond. It was a beautiful display and the whole theme of bicycles made us feel they did it just for us!

 They had trains there too. What are botanical gardens or light displays without them?
Since we've been home we've been doing some hanging about - jigsaw puzzle done by breakfast, see? Some other crafting and puzzle making going on as well as movie watching (a Hobbit marathon even!) and reading. In the next couple of days himself and Eamon are venturing into museums and art galleries and skating rinks.

Overall not a bad little holiday.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

All is calm

Long past the days of excitement and anticipation of Santa and presents and selection boxes, the strongest memory I have of Christmas in my own home is the overall sense of peace and tranquility that permeates my mother’s house on Christmas Eve. The shopping, the cleaning, the chopping and prepping is complete – nothing more will be done tonight and she’s enjoying one of the few tipples she’ll have over the holidays (not so for the rest of us!). The overhead light is off, the fire is lighting as well as the candle in the window to welcome us all one by one either from out of town, from work or the pub, from mass or to drop off a plate for tomorrow. The house smells like Christmas. The ham is cooked and we’ve been warned not to go near it but nothing can keep me from picking off a few chunks and burning my finger tips in the process. Salty and hot and delicious. “Is it too salty? I steeped it overnight” “No Mam, it’s perfect.” “Get away from it now or there will be none left for tomorrow”. But I know that ham will stretch long past St. Stephen’s Day and I'm making sure the second taste is as good as the first.  
 
There’s probably music playing and the TV is muted with a familiar film or mass from the Vatican. A neighbor or a relative drops by with a tin of biscuits; “will you have a drink?” “Oh, only a short one Jim, we’ve got a few more stops to make tonight.”  When a few of us gather we might even break into song - not quite the picture perfect family gathered around the piano but we can string a tune together and debate whether we'll open up another bottle of wine. 
I know families celebrate Christmas differently and our little international family has blended traditions which we celebrate equally but I just want to say that while I'm in the middle of the high jinx and bustle of Christmas Eve here (this year dressed like an elf!) I will be thinking of the Christmas Eve calm back home, humming "Fairytale of New York" and no doubt finding something equally tasty to pick at. 

Happy Christmas.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Keeping the spirit

I'm feeling a little behind this year on Christmas festivities and tasks. I always like to get the work part (shopping!) done early so I can concentrate on the fun stuff but this year isn't quite working out that way. Eamon was dragging his heels writing his letter to Santa as well which didn't help. No doubt our years are numbered but I'm like the proverbial ostrich with my head in the sand and I'm covering my ears going "la la la la la not happening this year, not this year". He soooo didn't want to have his picture taken with Santa but there are certain traditions I will not let go of - just need to find Santa now.

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Placed!

I think this will make Eamon happy after I 'betrayed' him on the Turkey Trot last week - he placed 2nd in his age group.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Hello Christmas

This time last year we were in Ireland and Eamon got to experience a very important part of my childhood, a highlight of Christmas - the Late Late Toy Show, the serious chat show which we weren't allowed to watch was taken over once a year for kids. We were washed and pajama-ed and allowed to stay up late to watch the show (it usually runs till 11.30), it show cases all the new toys and games of the year and I loved it. I still love it and there must be so many people like me around the world that RTE live streams it and records it. Well, I just think that today I may stay in pajamas and watch the show - perhaps have a bit of eggnog and gingerbread and welcome the Christmas season in.

Saturday, November 29, 2014