It was a day that we probably won’t forget any time soon. It started out lovely, with our annual trek out for Chinese food on Christmas Eve. We had sixteen people total, and it was just fun. Everyone had a buddy or two that was around their age, and it was this peaceful little oasis in the middle of holiday chaos.
I do Thanksgiving, Hanukkah and Christmas, and years when they all blend together are hard. Too much holiday, all at once and no time to catch your breath. This was a hard holiday season overall, with Marc working crappy hours. Hanukkah got lost, somehow. Because he was working so late most nights, we didn’t really get to focus on the holiday at all. We did the BI Hanukkah night, and that was lovely. We had my in-laws here one night, and then another night for my MIL’s birthday. We got Glennys down one night and went out for dinner, so that was lovely. And one night, we got hot cocoa and drove around to look at Christmas lights. The whole holiday felt rushed, though, and I’m left wishing that we had a do-over.
I’d actually like a do-over for all three holidays, now that I think about it. Thanksgiving was kind of crappy, and Christmas had some moments that… well, just keep reading.
The morning was a little rough, for a variety of reasons. Part of it just has to do with the weight and drama that gets associated with Christmas – all this pressure on having this one day of utter joy and family love and peace. It never quite lives up to the expectations, and I was not handling it all with the grace and aplomb that I’d like to have. So I was a little fragile, and that was before Sam totaled the car.
We heard a crash, or a bump, from somewhere outside – but didn’t immediately react. We were all busy, looking for shoes or coats or fighting with our hair. Sam was the only one ready, and he headed outside. What happened at that point is still up for debate – but somehow he managed to knock the car into neutral and rolled it down the hill into the garage. A few minutes after the bump, Marc glanced out the side window and yelled over to me, asking where I had parked the car the night before. I told him that I put it in the driveway, because of course, I DID, but it wasn’t there. We both made the connection at the same time – missing car, crash a few minutes ago – wait, where the HELL is Sam??? and ran outside.
The car is a hot mess. We’re still waiting to hear back from the insurance, but there’s no way that it’s not going to cost more to fix it than it’s actually worth. It was an old car with really high mileage. The garage isn’t all that bad, and the insurance will cover the property damage (and we had the added bonus of filing our first insurance claim listing our eight year old as the driver). Most importantly – Sam was fine. Terrified, and he bumped his head on the snow scraper, but he had (thank God) jumped from the front to the back and assumed the “crash position” once the car started rolling.
We’re okay – because we’ve got wonderful friends who offered a car before I even finished telling them what happened, and because it really could have been SO much worse. I don’t always park in the driveway, normally I park on the hill. Sam could have been so badly hurt, or done so much more damage – we were so lucky that it ended as well as it did.
And on the upside, we just stayed home for Christmas. Marc and Jessie worked on her new dollhouse (completely taking over my dining room table for the foreseeable future) and Marc and Sam worked on his dinosaur skeleton and model bi-plane thing that he got. Julianna was very busy with her new tea party set, and we had friends over in the afternoon for dinner. We finished up the night with Annie bringing Glennys all the way down from NH (along with a car we can borrow).
Then the kids locked the bathroom door shut, from the outside. After a hour with youtube and google, a coat hanger and an itty bitty screwdriver, Marc gave up and took an aluminum bat to the doorknob.
Once Christmas was over, things got better. The holiday vacation has been delightful – little moments of chaos, but mostly just fun. Marc had Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and the day after that off from work, so we got a lot of quality time with him. Plus we’ve got Glennys here all week, and that really does make all three of the kids so happy. All five of the kids, because Lilli and Sarah love it too.
Am I the only one who’s ready to wave goodbye to 2014? I think 2015 is going to be fabulous.