In Typical Meli fashion, it didn't turn out that way!
For starters: Our special, beloved tree (My Daddy took me to pick one out early in December) has seen better days and what used to be a symbol of everything Christmas - A big, live tree housing years of memories stored in significant ornaments hung by, (then little, now big) hands - now looks like I hired a drunken college student to decorate it while doing keg stands and taking bong hits. Seriously. A Crawling 6month old with ninja like speed equaled half of the lights being pulled down in one direction leaving it lopsidedly lit and full of lonely branches with zero ornaments on the entire bottom half like someone just stopped half way. Don't get me wrong - I still appreciated my big, fragrant, imperfectly decorated tree but I am glad to see it go later today.
Secondly - my top three kids were MIA for most of the days leading up to Christmas thanks to their Granny (Wil's Mama). She enjoyed some free time before Christmas and lovingly volunteered to take my top three kids, plus their cousin, for a winter wonderland overnight, complete with snow playing and Gingerbread Houses. The kids treasure time alone with her - and she is one of the most influential women in their lives. Their Granny ooozes specialness - and is full of craft worthy talent. She typically goes out of her way to make each holiday (even the little ones!) special - not necessarily by gifts, but by time, family and crafts. Anyways - God Bless her, I had 24hours of just Me + ONE. Oh. My. Gosh. Can we say, delightful! And...Quiet?! Too Quiet?!
They came home late the night of the 23rd, only to return (this time with thier Daddy) to Granny's to continue another year of the long standing Tamale making tradition. Wil's childhood was centered amidst the mountains of New Mexico, and this bit of nostalgia takes them all back with yummy, non traditional Christmas Goodies. Everyone helps - everyone looks forward to it. I, unfortunately, missed out on the fiesta de Tamales this year in lieu of some last minute Christmas things and some much needed time with my bestest (it was her 21st birthday...sure, bwahahhaha). I was also able to enjoy some quality time, braving Walmart on Christmas Eve with my siblings. We survived, and laughed a bunch.
They returned in time for bed - and I have never seen 3 kids rush up those stairs and dive in bed sooo quickly. If you cannot look at kids on Christmas Eve and feel just the tiniest bit of glee, you must have a stoney, black heart.
Then...Santa arrived....kind of....