This was my Jamie’s first year away from home at Christmas time. In fact, this is the longest we have ever been separated. And I’m sure anyone who has been away from home at Christmas can identify with the homesickness and nostalgia.
It’s not like we were doing anything spectacular this year, especially with Jamie and the grandkids gone. Jared decided to spend it on the beach, so that just left my mother (Oma), Jono (son #1) and me. Other years my mother has been known to entertain up to 45 people for Christmas Eve dinner, so our little trio this year really seemed strangely small. And yet Jamie missed being here… and naturally we missed her. So I promised to take pictures so she could “see” how we celebrated. It was supposed to be kind of a “blow-by-blow” show. So for a couple of weeks here I’ve been carrying my camera in my pocket at all times… and then promptly forgetting to take pictures. So sorry, James. You know me… so absentminded without you to remind me what to do! (-:
But here’s a little of what I have remembered to take…
No Christmas baking this year. But I did promise Jamie not to break my now 33-year tradition of making gingerbread houses. She left me off the hook when I made these teeny, tiny houses. Three for us and another ten as gifts. We’re actually not much into sweets, so I didn’t even ice or decorate ours. Just plain to enjoy the cookie. I took this picture and then forgot to take pictures of the ones I did decorate. Of course.
I also forgot to take pictures of our quiet, yet lovely Christmas Eve dinner. Once again, sorry, Jamie! I did do a little better Christmas morning. Although it seems I always catch Oma with her eyes closed and Jono with his hair sticking up!
Normally Christmas morning begins with kids running around in the wee hours bringing stockings to everyone. Then a nice big breakfast while the kids wait patiently to open gifts. This year we got up late, and opened stockings while having a leisurely breakfast. And there wouldn’t have been stockings at all if it hadn’t been for Jamie, who in the last few years has taken on the job of being the Secret Santa. Even this far from home she came through, sending all kinds of goodies down with a friend willing to step in for her and fill our stockings. As usual, Jamie, the stockings are the most fun part of Christmas morning! (-:
The week between Christmas and New Year’s has been extremely busy for me, as I lined up my 2010 “plan” for this website and worked on putting this year’s BOM projects together. Even so, I did take some time for visiting with friends. In fact, I spent a whole morning with our friends from Boston, Jess and Charles, who came down for the holidays. They have been Jamie’s home away from home this year, and who she goes to when she needs a break from school. (Except for this Christmas, which she is spending with my brother’s family in Nebraska).
Once again, I had a fun morning with Jess and Charles, and no pictures to prove it. Bad mommy!
Traditionally, people here spend New Year’s day visiting and calling each other to wich each other a good year. Lucky me, I sat home and people came to me. Two of the most lovely visitors this year were Jamie’s closest friends, Lucas and Erica. Lucas had baked me a cake, so we made coffee to go with it and had a really nice visit. Here they are, smiling for Jamie!
Last night we went out for dinner with Jess and Charles. Jess and Jared (son #2) were classmates in high school, and in spite of the age difference she and Jono (son #1) were also good friends during those years. Although she lives in Boston now, she comes down every couple of years to visit family for Christmas, and we get to visit with her at that time, too. This year she came with her fiancé, Charles, so we finally got to meet him. You’re right, Jamie, he is really such a sweet guy!
We decided to go out to what is probably the most “traditional” street in the colonial part of the city, known as La Ronda. All the houses along that street have been restored and remodeled. The lower part of the houses have all been converted into restaurants or shops, and in many the upper floors have been made into apartments. The street is closed off to traffic, which makes it really pleasant to walk and do a little window shopping.
We had dinner at our favorite Mexican restaurant, then strolled around a little after eating, and ended the evening in a little café with the traditional “canelazos” and some live music. This time I did take pictures and a couple of videos for Jamie. Good mommy!