Sunday, December 22, 2019

More thoughts on Christmas

I'm not sure if I am melancholy or just tired.  We had our second Christmas even in a week.  Last Saturday my friend Shannon and I hosted a cookie party at my house.    Yesterday we hosted a Christmas party, pot luck, gift exchange here.

I cooked a beautiful turkey.  We had gravy that I had frozen from Thanksgiving, Nick cooked a ham.  We had everything you can imagine and nobody went hungry. I didn't take many pictures, but I am hoping that some of the others in the group will share there pictures with me!

This morning I was remembering Christmases past.  Particularly I am thinking about the kids' first Christmases.

Our first two years overseas, I was pregnant both years at Christmastime.   I lost the first baby shortly after New Years.  The second year I was nice and round with Courtney in my belly.

For her first Christmas, Courtney was 10 months old.  We were living in College Park, Maryland.   I don't remember much about what we did in our house.  My memories are mostly of us visiting grandparents.   We went to Nick's parents, Courtney was dressed in a cute red (probably velvet) dress, white tights with ruffles on her bottom and her Stride Rite shoes.   As a fairly new walker, she wanted her shoes off.  The Sherwood grandparents had hardwood floors.  Courtney kept slipping and sliding in her tights, so we took them off and she scampered around in her pudgy bare feet.

For Morgan's first Christmas we were living in Chiang Mai, Thailand.  He was almost 10 months old.  I am not sure if he was walking yet, but I do remember the cute green pajamas he was wearing.  Both kids were old enough to enjoy tearing presents open!

Darcy's first Christmas was in Tromso, Norway.  He was only 3 months old, so  I suspect he nursed and slept through much of it.

Austin was seven and a half months old for his first Christmas.  We were living in Reston, Virginia then. Austin was certainly able to appreciate tearing and trying to eat wrapping paper.  I don't think he quite understood that there were neat things wrapped up in the paper.

Chance was not quite 3 weeks old for his first Christmas. He was born in Hong Kong and we were staying in a hotel in Hong Kong.  We choose the hotel for the proximity to the Toys R Us store!   Since we were in a hotel, we didn't have a Christmas tree.  We put tinsel on the wall in the shape of a tree.  Somehow Santa was able to find us in our hotel room!

Christmas 1990 was our first Christmas as a family of seven.  Five kids and Nick and me.

Christmas 2017 is the last time we were all together for Christmas.  Plus Darcy and Morgan's partners.

That year (2017) I was recovering from brain surgery.   An infection that I got a few weeks after the surgery put me back into the hospital.   We were not even sure if I would be home in time for Christmas, but I was really more concerned about getting the infection cleared up than getting home.  Everyone could have come to the hospital is they had to.

This is our second Christmas in our "new" house in Aldie, Va.   I'm not sure who will be here, if anyone.  Austin is heading back to Maine.  Chance is pet sitting for a friend on Christmas day.    It's okay.  One thing we have learned having a big family, and also living the Foreign Service life, is to be flexible.

Gifts have been sent to the homes of our out of town kids and partners.  Gifts are here under the tree for the local kids if and when they can come.

We have seen our family grow.  And then get smaller with the losses of loved ones.  It seems that life is constantly moving and changing.

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