Christmas. What a heavy string of letters. For so many years it was a nightmare for me. You tried to keep up the spirit of Christmas and show a happy face. Play with the kids, even though your head was killing you and you were so tired you could barely concentrate.
These days we've gotten into a routine that works well for us. We provide the meat and take on roles as cooks, the inlaws provide the house, vegetables and beverages. They are also cooks in charge of the greens, taters, etc. The rest of hubby's siblings have spouses and alternate spending the Eve with us, or his/her family. Time always varies, because it is for the families with the youngest children, to decide what suits them best. It's relaxed and fairly informal, although everyone wears suits and dresses.The small children are happy and loud, running around everywhere.
I have to admit, this year I really enjoyed Christmas Eve. Even though Runar decided that Christmas Eve 2013, was the Eve we celebrated that our children having become grownups.
The dinner was a success. So was dessert. Runar pulled a Spanish one and told MIL I had already made the rice pudding. , the day before. I hadn't, but they like mine better than MILs. I made too little, well, I didn't, but I thought 1 big bowl of it would be more than enough and left one bowl at home, because Simen loves it so much. Boy, was I wrong! They friggin' licked the bowl. And it was a big bowl, too. Simen didn't get any at all. He had snuck off to wrap some presents and we didn't notice he was gone. Poor, overlooked kid. He knew about the full bowl waiting for him at home and took it in stride, though. That kid is so happy in love these days, I believe he'd let us off for murder. They look awfully cute together, the young turtledoves. It's almost icky.
It was wonderful to have Helene home, which is such a cliché, but it was. and it was really nice to get to know her Runar better too(It is very confusing, having two Runars in the house). I like him. If we measure him by how well and happy Helene looks, he scores well high.
We got home fairly early and everyone being in good mood, we brought out the aquavit, the JD and the beer. We then proceeded getting our kids so drunk they puked and Simen even needed to be helped to bed.
(My) Runar was pleased. "Now the kids know us, they've seen us with our guards down and we have showed them we view them as grownups. We've let Runar know he is welcome -AND! (here he held his index finger up) We all went to bed happy. Well, some were perhaps a bit on the sick side, but still."
He is right in many ways, but I'm not so sure it is a good thing to get drunk with your kids. Maybe it is my upbringing. Maybe it is all the lecturing on this, everywhere. Maybe I just need a bit more time before I completely can accept that my children are no longer children. Besides. Alcohol is a scary monster and always plays a tricky game. It doesn't always work out that well. Sometimes it works out downright bad. There is also an inner voice screaming at me that this can lead to bad things, that they'll end up as alcoholists, or worse.
I beat him down, that voice, yesterday. Because, I know that sometimes it works.
Runar parents got us puking drunk when we were young. We discussed difficult subjects and embarrassing subjects. We laughed and we cried. We were drunk-honest and we over-shared. But we were still on good terms when we went to bed.
I loved his parents for it, then. I really got to know them well, that night and we've had a good relationship up through the years. They made me feel welcome and I still do. It's easy to ask them for help and it's easy to go to them for advice.
I don't know if this will be the case with our kids and their chosen partners, but I do know that was hubby's goal. And mine.
Regardless, it was a really nice evening until the puking started and by then it was waaay late and time to go to bed.
This morning I woke up to Marianne having pooped on the living room floor carpet and after I had taken her out, she came in and immediately started throwing up on the bedroom rug. I threw out the rug and immediately went back to bed. When I got up an hour later, Helene and Runar were already up. Helene greeted me with a grin, asking me how I was holding up and after seeing my hangover face, they both burst out laughing. I choose to take that as a sign they had enjoyed themselves. I later overheard Simen and Helene discussing their elegant exits the previous night. Helene triumphantly declared herself winner, as he puked first. It's good to know some things never change.
It was the first year, celebrating Christmas Eve with grown up kids. It has been one of the best Eves in my life, if not the best.
I hope yours were good ones, too. Merry Christmas.