This holiday is one that I will always hold dear. We rented a lovely house in Vermont for a full week. My husband and I are here the entire time, heading home on Saturday. One daughter and her husband, our other daughter and her boyfriend, my sister and her husband all joined us with different schedules. We took a day trip and visited my parents about two hours away. Now, my husband and I are alone and snuggled in with a large snow storm blowing outside, a fire in the fireplace, hot cider with mulling spices on the stove and a stack of books begging to be opened.
The days with family have been a riot. We argued about how to spell “lieu” during a game of Bananagrams (of course the iPads were whipped out to call up the Scrabble dictionary). My sister had puzzle pieces stuck on her forearm when we were working on a jig saw puzzle and we accused her of cheating. We forgot to set the kitchen timer and my bread was a tad burned (still tasted good). One car became stuck on a patch of ice in the drive so six of us crammed into another car (illegally) to head out for shopping. We showed old family movies and roared with laughter at how I had dressed my daughters when they were little (what was I thinking?). All of this was pretty darn idyllic.
My special gifts certainly include this family time. It happens too infrequently. Importantly they also include the acknowledgment from others that our family moments need to be protected and preserved. My husband and I have a long standing tradition that pops up on an irregular but consistent basis. This year was no exception. He plans a trip for just the two of us. It’s always a surprise and usually includes a beach. One year he packaged a box of sand and I had to figure out what that meant. This year I unwrapped a bathing suit.
My daughters, who are 30 and 27 years old, gave me a fantastic joint gift that will never be discarded. It’s one that can’t be topped. They took a large format calendar, the type that has a big page for each month. Each girl marked the days she was free throughout all twelve months. These are the days available to be possible “Mom Visit Days.” What can be better than that?
It has been a year of a number of challenges. To have it end on a high note such as this makes my heart sing. And you? What are the special moments you’ve had over the year that will stay in your special memory bank?
I wish each of you a healthy and joyous new year.