Going into it, it’s obviously helpful that while I am working, it isn’t retail.
There hasn’t been the extra money to do a lot of expensive gifts, but we manage to do really damn well with what there was. Really well. I think the kids were adequately covered. We were even able to get something minor for my mom, and I got a few inexpensive items that were on my personal wish list.
Also? I have no idea what’s under the tree for me from my mom. At all. Which is rare. Usually my Christmas is in the form of work clothes a few weeks or months in advance. So this year I get to experience of both giving to my children and seeing their joy, but also experiencing my own joy and sense of surprise. It’s not the presents themselves, but the thought and love that went into whatever was selected for me.
On a different note, we are still flustered with the children’s behavior, so we decided something I never dreamed of. While Santa is filling stockings and leaving something for Sammy, Santa is not hooking the boys up this year. The items from Santa were already bought, but instead they are from me and Pat. After a month of threatening that Santa is watching and yet their behavior getting worse and worse, it was time to bite the bullet and get the message across. As much as this does break my heart, it’s come to this. And? Santa can come next year as he did last year should there be improvement. I’m next expecting perfection. Just, better.
Otherwise, I think this is the first Christmas in recent history where I’m stress free, relaxed, and just enjoying things. Which isn’t to say everything went perfectly, thus far. But really? In the grand scheme of things? It has been more than good enough.
As has this year. The second half anyways. 2011 brought me the end of the retail era, the completion of the family I have always wanted, and the career path that seems to be the perfect fit. I have much, much more to ramble in terms of work, all positive, but for now I leave it with the general knowledge that I’m really happy there.
I’m really happy everywhere.