After replacing my kitchen faucet (having to settle on whatever was in the hardware store) I think life is too short to deal with plastic kitchen faucets. If you’re still putting up with one, spend the money and upgrade.
It wouldn’t feel like the holidays without some baking, so Birdy carried on her practice of making some treats. With the kids’ help they made sugar, gingerbread, and pecan sandy cookies. Before Christmas could commence, both our kids were with their other parent for the first half of winter break. This was Birdy’s first Christmas without them, which is always hard. I worked extra hours that week, which I was able to take off after Christmas.
The 26th of December, we got kids. From past experience, I’ve learned that kids want to open presents immediately. (Shocker, huh?) Combined with travelling, a traditional Christmas dinner is hard to pull off, so don’t bother. Instead, I prepare a buffet of appetizers, so kids and I can refuel as needed, between presents. The NEXT day, parents can carefully prepare a full Christmas dinner, whilst kids are enjoying their new toys.
Grandma Nini came again, and shared in the festivities. Lil’ Pill was thrilled to give her pets some love. Of course, all were grateful for her ‘sleigh’ full of presents, in addition to her presence. We hung out watching Christmas movies, and playing with toys and board games.
Birdy made some original old-fashioned egg nog. While delicious, it started like a custard, and tasted accordingly, with hints of familiar spices, not like what you buy from the store.
It was a harsh winter this year, so we had plenty of snow. The kids put it to good use, sledding down the bark-chip pile in the front yard. Additionally, the plows had been so kind as to pile excess snow at the bus barn nearby. The kids were irritated that we made the play on the parking lot side. For some reason, the street-facing side is more fun.
Enterprise has an ice rink at the city park (when the weather cooperates) so Birdy took Princess down to try out the skates she had grown into. They have neat plastic ‘walkers’ for those just learning, and marked-off area for that purpose. They enjoyed it, and we may have to rent or buy some more skates for others next year.
Birdy decided to really get festive, and baked kits for home-made gingerbread houses! The kids each had a small kit, and plenty of candy to share. Birdy and I did a large house, and I used some leftovers to build a small diesel train. It seems like we never eat it all, but it sure tastes good dipped in your morning coffee / cocoa.
This year, we each did our own thing for the kids, but learned that it might be better if we coordinate our efforts better next year. You can’t control what the extended family may send, but you may wish to balance out what the kids get from each of you. Birdy and I had differing levels, but we coordinated our efforts towards things that took up little space and/or were designed to increase our activities outdoors.
In brief, after 6 seasons as a single parent, this was the best Christmas I’d had in years! It was much more fulfilling to share it with someone, and experience some new festivities. I hope all who read this had a pleasant season too. If you were one of many with hardship, please believe, there’s always room to improve. Thanks!