Sunday, December 28, 2014

My favourite Christmas (2014)

I keep calling this Christmas "my favourite one of my whole life."

I do not believe I have ever felt such magic, such sadness, and such closeness to God during the holidays. 

The truth is, Graham and I have spent the majority of our time this holiday season thinking of and praying for our best friend, who has been suffering.

She is as strong as a warrior and as gentle as an angel. Going to Mass has a whole new meaning to us now. God's miraculous, healing touch is all we ask for (in addition to our eternal plea that He help us become the best versions of ourselves that we can be). We love you Sam, with all of our hearts. 

Christmas morning with my handsome man. Wearing my K initial necklace from my best friend.
Graham and I do not consider ourselves to be overly materialistic. Designer brands do not matter to us and we do not normally buy things without talking about it first. 

That said, we are - of course - not without fault. Graham becomes quite easily enamoured of watches and shoes. My eyes go starry when they cast upon a vintage camera...  And I've been lusting over a pair of Swedish Hasbeens for quite some time (forever). 

That said, this year, we decided to keep our gifts small and thoughtful. 

If nothing else, this past little while has shown us that what is most important is being there for one another. 

(My Swedish Hasbeens can wait...)

Gingerbread House Wars!
We both went pretty tropical. I think Graham's looks like a face...
Last Christmas Eve, Graham and I started a new tradition...
Gingerbread House Wars!
This year, it went a little something like this.
  • We gave ourselves one hour on the clock.
  • Graham nagged about my counterfeit (non-gingerbread house kit) materials.
  • Graham ate all of the pretzels.
  • I drank all of the eggnog. 
  • Graham scammed my "ocean" (blue) icing. 
  • We laughed the. entire. time.
We agreed that spending Christmas Eve just the two of us made it feel really special. Before we began our gingerbread battle, Graham read his Christmas card to me aloud. There were many tears...

We headed to 11 o'clock pm mass... because we're old and couldn't make it until midnight.

There, we prayed for Sam and thanked God for all of our blessings. We sang Christmas hymns and carols. And near the end of the Mass, I dozed off on Graham's shoulder (because I had taken so much Benadryl*). 

*I discovered earlier this week that I am severely allergic to mangoes (hence the Benadryl). My best friend has asked over and over again: "Who eats mangoes in the middle of winter?!" Not me (anymore)... 

Our little family. Yes... I match Eggnog. Everyone thought we were pretty cute ;-)
On Christmas morning, Graham and I rose early. We exchanged a few small gifts and revelled in our first Christmas as a little family (Eggnog's first Christmas!). He doesn't yet quite grasp the notion of  opening gifts... but he does love his new toy piggy from Santa ;-)

Our first "green Christmas" in Merrickville! Where's the snow?!
By 9:30 o'clock am, we were en route to Merrickville!

When we arrived, we were greeted by my incredible, smiling family. Graham and my brother (who is doing amazingly well in school!) played outside with Eggnog while I chatted with my mom about wedding plans (exactly 7 months away!). My dad was hilarious as ever. My mom said a very special grace before brunch and my dad told us about his plans to transform one of their barns into a "sleepover cabin" for Graham and I. We are so excited!

I love my daddy.
My favourite men!
But soon it was time to head back to the city and spend the afternoon with Graham's family.

Christmas with the Nesbitt's is always a pleasure and one of the greatest highlights of our holiday season! They love Christmas. 

We spent the afternoon opening gifts, sharing stories, and anxiously awaiting Christmas dinner. Graham's mom loves to pick out clothes for me. She has two sons - Alas, I am her daughter ;-) - and she shares my love of vintage clothing. I am so lucky!

Once dinner was served, we each enjoyed two enormous helpings of turkey and all the fixings...

Our little Eggnog snuggling with Graham's parents' boxer, Nyla. So sweet!
Graham saved just a little bit of room in his tummy for Cannelloni. Before we knew it, we were off to my Nonno and Nonna's house.

(It was a busy day.)

There, we reunited with my parents, drank wine, ate torrone, and played briscola (a popular Italian card game). I partnered up with my brother. This was a big mistake (albeit hilarious). We aren't the best communicators...

Oh, and Graham ate a second Christmas dinner...

As you can imagine, we feel tremendously blessed.

Overall, Graham's favourite gift this Christmas was from myself, a book (1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die) written by 90 music critics. I did not expect him to love it as much as he did (he tends to be a little... "set in his ways"... when it comes to music). But he could not have been more thrilled.

We plan on reading it together, listening to each and every album (well... lol).

Each time we select a favourite (I'm a little worried there will be many favourites), we agreed to search for it at one of our favourite record shops. So fun! 

Being my excessively orderly self, I asked Graham if we could go through it in chronological order... He laughed... Then said no. 

My favourite gift this Christmas was from my parents. This year, they decided to start a new tradition. They did a good deed in mine and Graham's name. They made a donation that will purchase a pair of very strong glasses for a child that cannot see. This child would not have been otherwise able to afford these glasses.

My eyes tear up just thinking about it.

My mom asked that we continue this tradition when we have children someday. I promised that we would.

What a special Christmas it was.

Merry Christmas to you and your families! 


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