I hate to brag, but I feel so well-rested. Doesn’t sleep feel like this indulgent luxury when you’re a parent? My idea of a good time? A meal prepared by someone else, a glass of red wine — and sleep!
As a kid, I remember my grandmother, who always battled insomnia for as long as I can remember, imploring us to nap, telling us that one day we would consider sleep a gift from God. Lord, was she right.
On Christmas Day we did something we have not done in a long time…nothing. There were no people to visit, or guests to entertain, or work to do — at least for me. I even let the dishes and laundry pile up. It was great.
The kids got everything that they wanted so I used the time they spent playing with their new toys to read for pleasure and sleep. Oh, and I was in my pajamas all day. Heaven.
As is typical in many Latino households, we celebrated Christmas Eve, or Noche Buena, as opposed to Christmas Day. We had our big meal and went to mass on December 24. In my family, we have adopted American Christmas in that we open presents December 25 in the morning, but then we do nothing else. I can think of many a Christmas in which we’d go to the movies and order takeout.
As always, our Noche Buena was busy. First, the kids had playdates in the morning when they asked if they could bake cookies for Santa. I admit, I had a moment of panic that reminded me of our Katie’s reaction when her daughter wanted to make bread.
Like Katie, I am not a baker. I love the kitchen and pride myself in being a decent cook, but I am not a baker…at all. My mommy confession for the day: prior to Christmas Eve this year, I had never baked cookies. Heck, I’ve never even made brownies. I know you can buy them ready-made in a box, but I wasn’t convinced my cookies would be as easy to make or as pretty as the ones on the box.
“Why don’t we buy Santi Clos cookies?” I said to the kids. “There are so many beautiful ones in the store.”
“I want to make my own!” both kids echoed.
I immediately thought of our Katie. I took a deep breath. She did it. I can do this, too, I thought.
I bought flour I never heard of, but the packaging said it was for cookies. I also bought tubes of colored icing and sprinkles. Except for these round cookie cutters I use to make empanadas, I did not have anything else to shape the cookies. So we molded them with our hands. Here were the results — the plate on the right were Ari’s masterpieces:
And they were good! We were so proud of our cookies that we showed them off to everyone we video-chatted with. I know, I am a dork.
That evening the kids and I attended mass. I invited DH to see Eli, who was an angel at our church’s Christmas pageant. He declined, but I was not upset because I have always respected our differences in religion and we have many friends at our church who are like family to us, some who attend without a spouse for the same reason. Plus, DH offered to cook our Noche Buena meal. I always cook for all holidays, so I was thrilled to have the night off. Here is Eli, by the way, spreading her wings as an angel:
After mass, the kids and I were starved and we were thrilled to return to a warm home and hearty vegetarian meal. DH really outdid himself with a lentil loaf, a tomato and onion garnish, and cranberry bread. After the meal, our stuffed selves laid in front of the TV to watch Elf, one of our favorite Christmas movies.
The kids went to bed at 10 and surprisingly did not awake until 8 the next morning. I heard them get up when Ari tip-toed to the living room and exclaimed, “Santa came!”
After ripping through their presents, the kids spent the day playing with their new toys. Here are pictures of the kids playing with their new Wii games. Eli wasted no time putting on her new Princess Tiana dress and then her Tinker Bell outfit.
Happy holidays all! How was your weekend? What are you up to this week?