Christmas for Four

This year, for the first time EVER, we stayed home for Christmas. As in, our home. We did not travel to either one of our parents’ houses. There were no trains, planes, or automobiles. No one traveled to spend the holiday with us, either (which was perfectly fine with us!). We had a lovely holiday with just us four. We think this will be our new normal.

The week before Christmas, we boarded the Christmas Train at the Irvine Park Railroad to visit Santa. Lil seemed to like Santa. Viv seemed to still be freaked out by him.

Visiting Santa

Visiting Santa

On Christmas Eve Eve, we ate an early dinner, bathed the girls and put them in their jammies, and then loaded them into the car. We went through the Starbucks drive-thru and then drove around for almost two hours looking at Christmas lights in Nellie Gail Ranch and Baker Ranch and listening to Christmas music. The weather was cold and windy, as a rain storm was blowing in. I remember driving around looking at Christmas lights before we had kids, imagining what it would be like to celebrate the holidays with kids of our own. This year, there was no need to imagine – our two precious girls were with us, snug in the backseat.

On Christmas Eve, Dan baked homemade cutout sugar cookies with Vivian. I made homemade spaghetti for dinner. We went to mass at 4pm. Dan helped Vivian put out cookies and milk for Santa and carrots for his reindeer. And then…Santa came!

Making Cutout Cookies

Making Cutout Cookies

Fast Asleep - AFTER Church!

Fast Asleep – AFTER Church!

Waiting for Santa

Waiting for Santa

Christmas day was a lazy day (well, as lazy as it can be with two small babies at home). We opened presents. Dan helped Vivian paint outside using some of her new art supplies. I made a pot roast and homemade mashed potatoes for dinner. In the afternoon, Lillian and I took a walk around the neighborhood and then in the evening, we all walked around the neighborhood and looked at Christmas lights and the city views.

Chambers Girls in Their Christmas Jammies

Chambers Girls in Their Christmas Jammies

Playing with New Toys

Playing with New Toys

Painting

Painting

Bundled Up for a Walk

Bundled Up for a Walk

Before the day was done, Dan had composed this poem and posted it online. Too, too funny!

‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse
Wait just a minute – that wasn’t it
For Christmas this year, I won’t feed you bullshit
We just finished making cookies and were covered in flour
When Carrie said, “We must be at church in one hour.”
I looked at little Vivian who is just past two
“Ready in one hour” is about the best she can do
The tale I will now tell you led to our Christmas psychosis
And reaggravated my granulomatosis
You see earlier that day, Vivian had skipped her nap
Because she had asked me to and I’m a warm-hearted sap
Her behavior that evening was not quite the best,
Perhaps due to early onset PMS?
I need to go back, I’m getting ahead of myself
Let’s just say Viv is lucky there’s no elf on our shelf
Through fussing and crying we cleaned up our mess
I threw on a shirt; Viv picked a dress
Carrie prepped Lillian and we head to the car
With 20 minutes to spare and church was not far
Although crowded it was, we found a parking space
Miracles were happening all over the place!
Upon entering the church, our eyes filled with gloom
It seemed all that was left was just standing room
I traded for Lillian and picked a spot by the door
Carrie wandered down front and sat with Viv on the floor
Then a miracle happened, wouldn’t ya know
Space for one more family – in the front row!
Things broke down after the first reading
As we all said ‘Amen’ and returned to our seating
Viv pointed to the altar showing where she was to go
Carrie and I together silently shook our heads no
She grinned and did what she intended to do
With no words at all she was saying, “Eff you!”
Carrie’s reactions are quicker than mine
And she grabbed our girl in the nick of time
But that was just the beginning of it
As Viv melted down into one full on fit
While Viv was committing this mortal sin
Mom looked at Dad – it was time to tag in
Of course once I had her, she did perfectly well
Like ice cubes are currently freezing in hell
So the evening went on, we did the best we could do
Then wouldn’t you know it, Lil joined in too
When I couldn’t take any more, I took Lil outside
And low and behold that just turned the tide!
Since Lil was silent and crying no more
I looked at my fantasy football score.
Yes I know – I wasn’t too proud
But Carrie will hear you if you say it too loud
Since it appeared that I had no chance of winning
I went back inside to finish the inning
We finished the service and left after communion
As parishioners looked at me like a heathen
We zoomed out of the lot and had not gotten far
When I only heard silence and looked back in the car
And of course the reason I did not hear one peep
Is because both of them were fast asleep
And then my jaw nearly hit the floor,
When Carrie smiled and said, “I still want two more.”
We rushed through our dinner and put the kids to bed
“We can make number three now if you want to,” I said
Carrie sighed and told me she had too much to do
Now the balls in Santa’s sack aren’t the only ones that are blue
Carrie always does too much before she gets her rest
Lil would be up again in three hours at best
Eventually, though, Carrie went up the stair
As I stared off in space, while I sat in my chair
Clearly it had to get better than this?
In just forty-five minutes it would be Christmas
I let Carrie get a 30 minute head start
(Because when I come to bed I snore and I fart)
I yawned and I slowly slipped under the covers
And held onto my pillow as if we were passionate lovers
Seven hours later I awoke with a smile
I had not slept the whole night through in awhile!
I grabbed Viv and Lil and we went down the stair
Mom was still sleeping blissfully unaware
I got the kids breakfast and I did my best
To make no noise and let Mom get her rest
Two hours later Mom woke to the clatter and came down the stairs to see what was the matter
There was fog in her eyes as she stared at me
But it lifted after just three cups of coffee
(Carrie had gotten up four times last night, to her detriment, but Lillian’s gastro-delight)
We smiled and laughed as we opened each gift
A happy Christmas morning gave us all a great lift
As we gathered this morning around our green tree
I thought to myself, “how I love my family”
Let’s all be honest, sometimes life gives you shit
But through faith and love you make the best of it
I hope that this story has made you all chuckle
‘Cuz the Chambers may bend, but we will never buckle
This Christmas has given us time to reflect
That no matter how much we try, no one is perfect
To all of our friends we wish you good cheer
Have a merry Christmas and a happy new year!

Since we also had December 26th off work, we continued our holiday celebrations. Dan took Vivian to the park for a few hours. We all went to the Santa Ana Zoo‘s Winter Zoobilation (pretty lame). Of course, we had to ride the train and carousal while we were there, in addition to looking at the monkeys and other animals.

Winter Zoobilation

Santa Ana Zoo’s Winter Zoobilation

Mama and Her Monkeys

Mama and Her Monkeys

Of course, I’m a little sad that Christmas is over. It was fun listening to Christmas music (and hearing Vivian sing many Christmas songs) this past month. It was also fun getting into the holiday spirit over the past few weeks – decorating, baking, wrapping gifts. It kind of felt like Christmas was a month long and not just one day. We are looking forward to celebrating many more Christmases with our girls – at home!

About Carrie

I'm a Midwest transplant in SoCal...spending my time exploring, questioning, reading, writing, baking, skiing, and running.
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3 Responses to Christmas for Four

  1. Diane says:

    You are truly setting up your own family Christmas traditions and that is fantastic. Being able to focus on your girls and their enjoyment of Santa, etc without being diluting by hosting guests or being tired out by traveling is a goal well worthy pursuing and it sounds like you nailed it! Maybe because we celebrating with you folks mid-December, for me too it seems like Christmas 2016 was indeed a month long. I just this morning emptied my daily Christmas dishes from the dishwasher for the final time this season and traded them out for other dishes.

  2. Diane says:

    I love, love, love the Christmas poem Dan composed. that he managed to convey such a detailed story in rhyme – and the correct poetic meter as well – is amazing. Note I said amazing and not surprising. I have come to expect such cleverness and excellence from my son. That poem had me laughing and, with his astute choice of words, I could picture each event unfolding. It is a Chambers Christmas classic for sure.

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