Reflections on Christmas 2019

Can you believe it is already 2020? I feel like the lead up to the holidays was super fast and then the actual week between Christmas and NYE flew by…and here we are a week into 2020!IMG_8391Our Christmas 2019 was unlike any of our prior Christmases.  Before having kids, we traveled to family to have Christmas with a big group (either Drew’s family or mine).  After having kids, still we have a rather large Christmas gathering just at our house instead of our parents.  But this year, none of the grandparents wanted or were able to come to our house for Christmas.  I’m not going to lie, at first, I was a little bothered and offended thinking that I must have not been a great hostess or that we aren’t fun enough to spend the holidays with or that I stress out too much…basically the list of my inferiorities went on and on.  However, spending Christmas with just our little family of 4 (5 including Scout) turned out to being the BEST thing ever!IMG_6205IMG_1864First of all, our family got sick with a 5 day fever bug right before Christmas, Reid missed his Christmas performance, then all 3 of the boys ended up getting double ear infections–all the sicknesses were spread out so it was basically the Rankin house was out of commission for a week and half prior to Christmas.  But luckily, everyone was (for the most part) back to normal on Christmas!  I am so grateful that we weren’t planning on having company, as taking care of the boys was my number one (all around the clock) priority.IMG_3210Second, it was amazing having no external pressure.  Since it was just us, we picked up Chinese food on the way home from church Christmas Eve.  There was no food prep and the best part was that we even ate on paper plates so clean up was super easy.  We are making it a tradition as it makes the evening so much more relaxed.  We were able to open a couple gifts and play with the boys instead of fussing with the perfect Christmas Eve mealIMG_0464 2IMG_0465 2Third, there was no time frame which was amazing.  Our families are amazing, but I always end up feeling like I need to have the coffee made or breakfast cooked at a certain time, with it just being the 4 of us–we woke up around 8 on Christmas Day, drank coffee and made cinnamon buns while unwrapping Santa’s gifts.  There was no pressure in opening all the gifts (I actually saved a few for their birthdays as they have enough to play with already!) and they leisurely took their time unwrapping and playing with their gifts all day.IMG_2662IMG_0773IMG_3647IMG_0030 2Lastly, a fail that I made and that I am making note to not make again is that I need to relax more.  I tried and tried to be calm and take it all in, but I got disappointed and a tad frustrated which I hate to admit.  I had been researching for MONTHS the ride on toy that Reid wanted for Christmas.  I read countless reviews, watched YouTube videos, price matched and price watched for seriously months.  When the time came to reveal his big toy–it didn’t start!  Drew assembled it the night before (trust me, there were a few words about the procrastination) and charged it–but apparently the charging connection didn’t work properly so the thing didn’t turn on!  Poor Reid was like “huh, it doesn’t work, okay, send it back to the North Pole to fix it, and lets go play with our other toys.”  I was disappointed and so was Drew.  Deep breaths! IMG_0479 2Then after a while with tinkering with it, Drew got the connection to work–thankfully, I bought the quick charger and it charged up in a couple hours.  However, when Reid went to get on it–it scared him!  Then we couldn’t figure out how to get it up our hill (I read so many reviews that promised its 2 wheel drive would get up our hills).  After much debate between Drew and I, we figured it out and were able to rig it to go up the hills of our yard with no problem.  Luckily, our neighbors came over and were excited to see it–and Reid jumped back on it like a pro and started to enjoy his new toy.

Wow, that was a long story–but I want to remind myself that everything worked out, the only thing I could have changed was my attitude during the whole ordeal.  At the end of the day, it isn’t about the material items, it is simply about us enjoying Christmas with each other.  I kick myself that I let my disappointed feelings take even a little of the joy of Christmas away.  Next year, I will do better.  I will try and not set unrealistic expectations and will make sure that we test anything out days prior to Christmas 🙂 IMG_9920IMG_7383IMG_1384IMG_0773Even with the little misstep of the ride on tractor, we had a truly wonderful day!  We relaxed, laughed, played and enjoyed each other.  We stayed in our matching Christmas jammies all day.  I made a quick and delicious meal for Drew and I that evening (instant pot mushroom risotto, grilled beef tenderloin, and roasted butternut squash kale salad with bacon vingerette).  And we all went to bed, happy and healthy for the week of travel ahead.  It was such a special day and I am so excited for next Christmas and to experience the joy of the holiday season again in 2020!IMG_9385

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