Sunday, December 27, 2020

Home for the Holidays

There's no place like home for the holidays.  This year, it was extra special to have all of us home at my parents' house.  After 2020 and all of the uncertainty, being home for a few days with no cares in the world was like heaven.  My family had a wonderful holiday, and for the first time in 3 years, we all were healthy for it.  It was a blessing.

Jeremy, Eliot and I all drove up Thursday (Christmas Eve) night.  Eliot and I arrived at the house about 30 minutes behind Jeremy.  We then spent the rest of the evening talking for a bit before calling it an early night.  After all, we wanted to make sure that we were in bed so Santa would come!

Christmas morning was a whirlwind.  The three of us "kids" got up as planned at 8 am and waited at the top of the stairs.  After Mom, Dad and Nana got all set in the living room, we ran down the stairs like we always have.  We arrived to chairs and a sofa full of open presents.  Santa left me a ton of the Disney books that I'd asked for.  There were so many things on my side of the couch that I couldn't even take it all in.  Eliot had a bunch of gifts on his side too.

We looked through our new stuff before everyone opened their stockings.  After that, we opened a few of our wrapped presents from Mom and Dad.  Eliot got a bunch of new power tools he'd asked for.  I got the Disney Christmas decor and the Hanukkah decor that I'd asked for.  I also got some resin molds to experiment with!  Santa also gave me a few items from the Disney Ink and Paint collection.

At some point, we decided to take a break for breakfast, but before we did that, Eliot and I had Mom and Dad open our family present.  Mom read the poem that I'd included while Daddy attempted to slowly open the package.  He still beat Mom; he's worse than a kid.  Then, we all paraded into the kitchen to prepare breakfast.  Eliot and I made the waffle mix and then he made the waffles.  Jeremy tended to Mom and Nana and served them their food.  Dad made the eggs and ham.  Then, I bounced between everyone helping wherever I was needed.

After we ate our traditional Christmas breakfast, we turned the Disney Christmas Day special on.  We missed part of it, but we saw most of it.  (Thankfully, Eliot and I set our DVR to record it!)  Then, we continued to open the rest of our gifts from Mom and Dad.

Next, we exchanged gifts with each other.  Nana loved her new Fairy Godmother Funko Pop.  (Eliot and I are planning to get her the Cinderella one too.)  I always call her my Fairy Godmother so it was really special to her.  Jeremy loved his new Inside Out Wishables.  (He had seen them while he was at our house making shelves and he mentioned that he'd like to have a set.)  Dad liked his gifts too; we got him a tire pump because he loved the one Eliot and I have.  We also got him a giant Sven and Olaf inflatable to add to his Christmas decoration collection.

Eliot and I got my Mom a Disney Cruise Line Christmas mug and a DCL Christmas Countdown Calendar.  We know how much it meant to her that we went on our cruise last year before she struggled with health problems this year.  She broke into tears when she opened her gifts.  I also gave her a small stuffed Christmas Tree that I made in my sewing class.  (That was the secret sewing project that I spent a good portion of this past class working on.)  She really loved that as well.

Jeremy got Eliot and I the Mickey and Minnie blow molds that Lowes had from their Christmas decor collection this year.  We weren't going to get them, but after having Dad's set in our living room for so long, we decided we wanted a set of our own!  He also got us Bruni, Sorcerer Mickey and Stitch plushes from Target.  Jeremy picked up a few of the Disney Princess Happy Planner items that I'd wanted.  (Jeremy also has 2 more gifts on order for Eliot that we picked out a few days before Christmas and he has no idea what they are!)  Jeremy also got our three donkeys their own Harry Potter wizard robes.  Finally, Nana spoiled each of us with a gift card and money.

Christmas afternoon, we all relaxed, talked and took turns taking naps.  Later in the day, Mom made macaroni and cheese, ham and beans.  We ate while we watched Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy.  Then, we decided to watch a movie.  Jeremy set up his Disney+ account for us to use.  Eliot and I suggested Godmothered (if we wanted something funny) or Soul (if we wanted more deep).  Mom picked Godmothered and we started the movie.  Just like when Eliot and I watched it a few weeks ago, everyone was in stitches from laughing so hard.  It was a good choice since everyone really enjoyed it.  Afterwards, we all wished each other a Merry Christmas one last time and we all headed to bed since we were exhausted.

The next day, Eliot and I slept in.  He finally got up in time to head to the Ellsworth post office to drop a few packages off.  I knew he'd also want to check Home Depot and Walmart.  What I didn't expect was for him to be gone for over 3 hours!  He had a great time checking out the deals and looking at things.  Apparently, he got a bunch of stuff.

Around the same time, Mom and Dad ran a few errands.  Jeremy and I hung out downstairs in case Nana needed us.  We watched CNN for a little bit before we got sucked into a Harry Potter movie marathon.  Eventually, Mom, Dad and Eliot all got home and Nana got out of bed.  Then, we chilled out watching Harry Potter most of the afternoon.  Jeremy and I wanted China Hill for dinner, so Mom and Dad got that.  Then, we enjoyed that while we finished Harry Potter 4.  After that, we watched the news (Mom wanted to see the weather) and then we decided it was time for another movie.

Mom suggested Frozen since she, Dad and Nana hadn't ever seen it, so we opened Disney+ back up and dove into that.  Throughout the movie, Eliot and I sat in the background giggling on the couch while we quoted different parts.  Everyone enjoyed the movie and I was glad that Mom and Dad finally saw the movie that I've been obsessed with for the past 7 years.  Afterwards, Nana and Jeremy went to bed but we stayed up a bit longer to talk with Mom and Dad.  Then, Eliot and I went to bed too.

The next morning, I wasn't feeling great and I was having some stomach issues.  (I think the Chinese food and peanut butter pie for dessert did me in.)  We had planned to make Mickey waffles for breakfast again, but by the time I got downstairs, Mom, Dad and Jeremy were all eating eggs.  Eliot made his way downstairs a few minutes later and we started the process of packing all of our Christmas stuff up.  

Jeremy left for his drive home around 12:30 while Eliot and I stayed a while longer.  I set up Nana's new tablet while Eliot set Dad's phone up with the Fitbit my Mom got him.  I eventually went to take a quick shower before we finished the packing.  Most of our stuff fit in the car, but the blow molds, Eliot's Olaf inflatable and the Mickey mailbox (also from this year's Lowes collection) had to stay at Mom and Dad's house for now.

Before leaving, we had two more things we had to do.  First, Eliot and I needed to take our 2020 Christmas Card photo since there was room now that all of the presents had been packed.  (A few days ago, I teased a sneak peek of the making of our 2020 Christmas photo.)  Second, we needed to take photos of Dad's inflatable display!  

Eliot helped me set up the table for the photo.  Mom got the wine and Dad got an extension cord for the menorah.  Then, Mom held Eliot's phone up as a flashlight and Dad took our photo a bunch of times until we got it just right.  It was ridiculously silly, but it was totally worth it!  It's the perfect 2020 Christmas Card photo- featuring our TP tree, gifts of wipes and hand sanitizers, face masks, a menorah that won't even light for all 8 nights (because 2020), "Covii the Christmas Germ" as our TP tree topper, a 2319 Christmas stocking and wine.  (Not pictured, the giant plush tiger we forgot to add!)

After taking the photo and packing all of our photo props back up, Eliot, Dad and I went outside to check out the inflatables.  Daddy wanted to make sure they were all still upright and Eliot and I wanted to see them and take pictures.  We crossed the road to take photos while Dad fixed a few of them.  All 21 of them were really cute and they literally covered the entire front section of Mom and Dad's land right by the road.

We headed back inside and Eliot and I double checked that we had everything.  Then, we said goodbye to Nana.  Mom and Dad walked out to the car with us and we said goodbye.  Then, they walked up the driveway so Mom could see the inflatables.  Eliot and I pulled out of the driveway saying goodbye and honking as we left.

On the ride home, Eliot and I made a few quick stops to break it up.  First, we stopped at Dairy Queen in Ellsworth for food.  (Neither of us had eaten anything all day and we were hungry!)  Then, we stopped at Lowes in Brewer.  There wasn't any Christmas stuff left, but Eliot did find a few small tools he wanted.  Then, we stopped in Newport to go to Walmart so I could look at the Disney Princess Happy Planner stuff.  They still had a large selection and I found what I was looking for- and more!  We also got a few holiday items that were on sale.  

We talked from Newport to Augusta before I started to get tired.  I ended up dozing off after Gardiner and I woke up when Eliot was slowing down on an exit.  After asking Eliot where we were, he said we were in Topsham and that he wanted a soda.  So we went through the McDonald's drive through and got his soda and chicken nuggets for me.  That woke me back up and we talked the rest of the ride home.  We finally arrived in our driveway around 9:30 pm.

Overall, our 2020 Christmas was a nice quiet weekend to unwind, relax and be grateful for everything... especially after the year we've all had.  The best gift of all was having all of us together and healthy, but we were still so appreciative of all of our gifts!  (We were certainly spoiled!)  Christmas might have looked a little bit different with the social distancing and face masks, but it was worth it to be home for the holidays.  °o°

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