My dad is a fireman. They work 24 hours on and then get 48 hours off. (At least around here that's the normal schedule for a commissioned fireman.) When I was young it would kill me a little bit when he worked his 24 hours on Christmas. It seemed he was always doind this, though, because we were just flat broke as a joke when I was growing up. I'm assuming that they get paid extra if they work on Christmas Day, so he always sacrificed the desperation of his children for extra cash. BUT he always had food on the table and kept a roof over our heads. I love my dad and the way he taught me to be financially responsible, even if it means being temporarily unhappy.
Also, with that being said, another thing I learned as a child is that December 25th is not what makes Christmas Day. Christmas is family, music, smells of the season, happiness, a full belly, good food, and mostly well-wishes and good thoughts of others. What I'm saying is that yes, it's nice to be able to celebrate Christmas on Christmas Day. But if you just can't get together on that day, December 26th is just as good a day. Trust me on that. Presents will stay under the tree. Food will taste just as good on the 26th.
Or in our case, the 24th.
My baby was born last year on the 24th. It's a special day to me already. We had our "Welsh" Christmas on the 22nd and it was awesome. We always do chili for their Christmas. I opted for the Frito Chili Pie, myself.
She got a little cupcake for her birthday there. It was chocolate cake with pink frosting. Holy cow. BRIGHT pink. It turned her bathwater pink, because she promptly got a bath after smushing it to smithereens. In fact, here it is the 25th and I believe her leg is still stained pink.
The 23rd, we went out to dinner at our classiest restaurant, Applebee's, and no I'm not kidding. She got her first restaurant meal - $4.00 mac and cheese and a side of steamed veggies. I was so proud of her for going crazy for those veggies. She ate the mac and cheese, too. She just kept grabbing the carrots and broccoli and zucchini until there weren't any left on the plate. Good girl.
The 24th, we went to Bennett's birthday party. It was just lovely. He had a Dr. Seuss theme. Miss Julia made a fantastic cake and cute little green deviled eggs and rolled up ham. Awesome. We followed up with heading home to meet daddy once he got off work. Then at 6:00 we went to candlelight service at a local church. It was wonderful. After the service that really put me in the right place for the holiday, we headed to the local zoo to see the lights that they put up around all of the animals' cages. Things like that are my favorite parts of the Christmas season. Candlelight service and Christmas lights. (As a sidenote, when I went into labor after a peanut butter-chocolate-castor oil shake we drove to the hospital just after midnight. After being on bedrest for the previous 2 weeks, I got to see all the Christmas lights all around town the night before my daughter was born. What a great memory.) Next it was time to head home for dinner. Jacob picked out dinner and I made it - cornish game hens, parmesan mashed potatoes and shells and cheese. (He loves his shells and cheese.) I think cornish game hens might just have to be the new Christmas Eve tradition at our house. They were delicious.
We opened our gifts. Holy cow, we got Gracie quite a few gifts. And we got each other too much, really. My big gift to Jacob was KU basketball tickets. We are big KU basketball fans at our house. Gracie's big gifts were alphabet blocks that I made for her that were intended to be given to her as a Valentine's Day present along with a rocking horse that we had made for her first Christmas. She's pretty good at rocking it. My favorite gift that he got me was my new purse. I picked out about 15 purses on Etsy, giving myself a limit of $30, showed him all of them, and then I checked my etsy account a few times after that to see which purses had sold. When none of them had, I started to assume I wasn't getting a new purse for Christmas. He ended up getting me a $3 purse off ebay with free shipping! First of all, the purse is cute, and second of all, I especially like it because of the frugality. Way to go, honey. Perfect gift for me.
She also got a rocking chair for her first birthday from her Grandma and Grandpa Welsh. And for Christmas, she got a "baby grand" piano. (We totally thought this was something you could pick up and play a couple of notes on...oh no. It's something she stands up to and plays with two hands at once. It has five settings, people. And that's not including "off".)
We had a super fantastic Christmas.