Yesterday was the last day of my precious Christmas holiday. Today it was back to schedules. Back to parenting without my husband to back me up during the day. Back to healthy no excuse eating. Back to scheduling in my runs instead of heading out when the mood strikes. Back to waking up earlier than 9. I’m tired just thinking about it.
But such is life. If I was on holidays all year round I’m sure I’d get pretty sick of the lack of structure in my days. I do like to be on a bit of a schedule or I never get anything done. And of course you just wouldn’t appreciate a holiday if it never ended. No, this is good. Getting back to business is a good thing.
I’m so lucky to have had an extended Christmas break with my hubby home. Sixteen whole days of vacation time with him! It was great! We did a lot of travelling between families but it was all worth it. A definite Christmas success (more like three Christmas successes).
We started off in Wetaskiwin visiting my parents the weekend before Christmas. My sister, her husband and my adorable nephew came to celebrate as well. My mom pulled out all the stops and was super accommodating for me with all my food restrictions! I definitely wasn’t super strict about my diet over Christmas but I still wanted to stay away from wheat and stick pretty close to clean eating and only clean eating treats (no refined sugar). Well my darling mom made us a lovely clean eating meal when we arrived and even bought rice noodles to make a separate mini lasagna for me the next day. The best thing of all? She made me DAMY Nanaimo bars (SO GOOD!) and clean eating sugar cookies! It was so nice to be able to indulge with everyone else without having to stray from my clean eating ways.
We had a great time visiting with my family. My kids ADORE their little cousin. So they had tons of fun running around together filling the house with giggles. When it was time to leave my kids were slightly depressed that they wouldn’t be able to hang out with little J for a while. But they also knew Santa was coming soon so they cheered up quick. 🙂 Spoiled with too much food, too many presents and lots of good conversations. First Christmas was a success!
Back home for Christmas Eve to Boxing Day. This was our very first Christmas where we were actually at home for Christmas Day. We decided that we want to try to be at home every year for Christmas morning. We want to relax and do things together in our way with our traditions. I love visiting with family but I also like to spend time with just my little fam as well. And sometimes with the busyness of Christmas gatherings I find that I miss that alone time for us to be together, just the four of us.
This was also our first year attending the Christmas Eve service at our own church. Since we are always away for Christmas we have never had the privilege of enjoying our own worship team and pastors on this day. They put on such a great service and I thoroughly enjoyed it! My 3-year-old may not have agreed. He was all over the place during the service and did not want to sit still. Even with the provided colouring pages, he just wanted to roam! Good thing the service was mainly singing so he wasn’t really disrupting anything. He fell asleep on the way home and caused quite a ruckus when he was awoken for supper later. He pretty much had a fit from supper to bedtime and beyond. At that point my hubby and I were seriously wondering why we decided to have Christmas at home.
BUT, Christmas Day was a new day and a great one! Presents, yummy breakfast, coffee and Bailey’s (all alcohol is considered “clean” over Christmas! ;)), PJs all day, craft time with my girl, Lego time with my boy and we finished it off with a yummy roasted chicken dinner and a clean version of my favorite sweet potato casserole Yup, great day.
Since I wanted to try out my new Christmas present, my Oakley Urgency sunglasses, I even went out for a run in the -30C. I quickly learned that I was not quite outfitted for that weather yet so I cut the run down to 4k. But it was still great to get out in the ultra brisk air. And it gave me a good excuse to do some boxing day shopping for winter gear the next day. 🙂 Second Christmas, success!
On the 27th we headed out to Cranbrook to see my hubby’s family. Time for the madhouse!! Parents, papa, uncle, sisters and significant others…it was a full house! But lots of fun. We always play lots of games when we visit. Some are tame like Mexican Train Dominoes and Rummoli. And then there’s the ones that usually tend to get out of hand and a little bit raunchy like Things and Quelph, which was the new addition this year. Tons of laughs!
We also tend to do more outdoor things when in Cranbrook. There’s just so much to do in the mountains! Lots of tobogganing with the kids, skiing for the hubby, snowshoeing for me and my SIL and of course hot tubbing!
My hubby and I were also able to attend Cranbrook’s first ever formal New Years Eve bash: Bright Lights, Big City. Time to break out the heels! It’s been a long time since my hubby and I have danced the night away and even longer since we’ve done anything for NYE. So we were definitely due for this night out. We got dressed up, met up with friends, were treated like VIPs in our reserved area with leather couches (we are kind of a big deal in Cranbrook… 😉 ), got a little out of hand, sang along with the band to some of our favourite 90’s songs, did some great people watching, laughed a heck of a lot and just all around had a great time. I was extra grateful for my awesome in-laws who kept the kids out of our room until 10 the next morning. I think I’m getting too old for those late nights. And my feet were swollen and sore for a full day afterwards from my way too high heels that I actually managed to leave on all night. But it was all totally worth it. Third Christmas, success!
We came home on the 2nd to relax, recoup and get ourselves organized before the start of real life. More sleeping in, relax time, errands and chores. Sixteen days. I can’t believe it’s over. I think this is probably one of my best Christmas vacations yet. It was such a great mix of good people, good food, relaxation, and all around fun times. I’m so very blessed in so many ways. And I’m so grateful for all the amazing people I have in my life. Thanks to everyone that made all three Christmases a success!
What do you do for Chistmas vacation? Do you stay at home for Christmas or do you travel?