Five Days of Christmas

December 29, 2003

Michele and I had a wonderful five days of Christmas this year. Family occupied three of the days, and the other two days were just for us. We had a wonderful holiday filled with drama, humor and spirit.

Christmas Eve we traveled to my parents home for the, ah, traditional Christmas Eve spaghetti dinner and opening of gifts. When I was an adolescent, my mother worked full-time as a nurse and every other year she worked on Christmas day. Therefore we started opening gifts the night before instead of Christmas day itself. Now that she has two grandchildren she wants to be apart of their Christmas experience, opening some presents the night before allows her that pleasure. Michele and I were pressed into service making the marinara sauce, which we did the Sunday prior. All in all it was a good evening.

By the time we arrived back home we were exhausted and basically collapsed in front of some taped Nick-at-night before going to sleep. We were up in the night talking about the emotional "presents" the evening had provided us, as well as the fears for the upcoming day. We are also making some decisions about our future that have been weighing heavily upon us. After about two hours of talking we were able to go back to sleep.

Christmas day we traveled to my brother's home were we gave his children their presents from us. We spent the day there eating and visiting. Lisa, my sister-in-law, prepared an awesome dinner and we all sat down to a huge table (11 of us) and feasted. There was some tension this day, but none that cast a pall over the day. I had a good time, but I was glad to finally get home again. After two long visits with family I was ready for some time with just my Sweetie.

Friday was our Christmas. We had deliberately held back the presents to each other, and we had our own turkey to roast. The day was quiet and relaxed. Our gifts to each other were simple and brought smiles to our faces and tears to our eyes. The turkey was fantastic, moist and full of flavor. I've started roasting them upside-down which makes the breast meat very tender and full of moisture. We had cranberry sauce, yams, Brussels sprouts, and dressing along with our turkey. It was a wonderful day.

On Saturday we again traveled to my brother's house so that I could join Chris and his two boys in seeing "The Return of the King." Michele spent the day with Lisa, and the girls watching a couple of chick-flicks. It was nice to connect with them without the pressure of a holiday or parents around. But it was yet another long day away from home.

Sunday we again had a quiet, relaxed day at home. Naps were taken, and little work of any sort was contemplated. We did venture out briefly to collect a take out dinner from a new Mexican restaurant. Otherwise it was just the two of us doing what we like best, being with each other.

It was a wonderful Christmas holiday, one of the best I've ever had with my family, and I am sorry to see it pass. But I am looking forward to have another long weekend with just my beautiful wife this coming weekend.

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Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.