'You look so delighted', he said this afternoon as we chatted on Skype. I was telling my boyfriend how nice it will be when the children come to my place later in the evening. Initially the plan was for them to come last night but plans changed. They were going to spend Christmas dinner in New Braunfels with the new family and would be returning home late.
I missed having the children here for Christmas but I knew we would have our celebration soon enough. I set about decorating the tree this morning. The 300 lights took me about ten minutes to place on the six foot tree - a far cry from the six or so hours it took the ex to put the lights on a tree double the size in previous years.
This year's tree had white lights and most of the ornaments I had bought for the children every year - one for each child. The presents were wrapped and the living room was now a peaceful place where we can now sit on the daybed couch by the fireplace.
I dropped off Cinnamon and Sage at the day camp at my gym early this morning and then went upstairs to work out for an hour. My intent was for them to have other children to play with today. I also needed a little more time to set up the place and make it welcoming. It was still their father's last day with them this week but since he was headed to Berlin later in the afternoon, I had to pick them up earlier than planned.
Today was a day off for my boyfriend so we had time to see each other on Skype throughout the day. He went to watch two soccer games with friends but missed the first half of the second game since he chose to talk with me instead. I greatly appreciate him taking the time for me as I know how much he loves his games.
Throughout the day we separated for an hour or two at a time. It is amazing how much one can accomplish when time is of the essence. Normally I would have dragged the various tasks out for hours but when time is limited and you make spending time with someone a priority, things manage to get done much quicker.
I finished wrapping presents, scheduled Saffron's hair appointment for the day after her return, took care of laundry, dealt with some mail correspondence, wrote an email, and put the finishing touches on the Christmas tree all in the span of one hour before returning to chat on Skype. This accomplishment made me happy. Seeing the delight on the children's faces when they saw what I had done with the place also brought a smile to my face.
I picked up the children from the gym half an hour earlier than they finished as my boyfriend wished to see them before he went to bed. Upon entering our home, I had the children close their eyes until they reached the stairs. Then they went upstairs to take a shower and put on their pajamas. When we reached the bottom of the stairs, I had them close their eyes again so they could see their surprise.
When they opened their eyes, I could see their delight as they saw the tree and the daybed couch with comforter and pillows. I told them we would all be sleeping there tonight in front of the fireplace. It was nice to finally have a place to sit down as the cold tiles were far from comfortable.
My boyfriend called on Skype and talked with the children as they opened their presents. It was nice he was with us celebrating Christmas albeit from afar. The new Lego flip top table was unwrapped and yet to be assembled and they noted their lack of Lego blocks or sets for the table. In time we will take care of that, but the important thing was now they had somewhere to play.
They have a Lego flip top table at their father's place which we bought for them when they were still young but there was little chance I would get that as a permanent fixture for my home. They also have many blocks and sets which I wish not to repurchase due to the great expense. I made the table my big expense for the year and one well worth it.
My favourite part of the evening was seeing what the children made for me. I love getting handmade cards from them as I know how much time and love they put into making them. I also love seeing how far they have come in writing and drawing.
The other presents they received from me were a puzzle for each of them which I brought from my trip to Germany in October - a bunny puzzle for Cinnamon and a lion puzzle for Sage. The big box in front of the tree contained two stuffed animals - a lion for Sage and a white fluffy bunny for Cinnamon. All three got a Curious George Christmas movie and a book which they wanted to unwrap tomorrow.
From their uncle, aunt, and Nona from California they received more presents - a Ravensburger elephant puzzle for Sage and books for Cinnamon. Cinnamon commented how the book, The Wind in the Willows, was difficult to read but I have no doubt she will master it soon enough. As for Sage, he has plenty of puzzles to keep him busy for a while.
This year's unique ornaments for the children came from my latest trip to Ireland. They were felt ornaments, handmade in Ireland. For Saffron, I chose a green tree with red and white beads. Cinnamon's ornament was a white and red stocking with a Christmas tree stitched on it along with white and red beads. A red star with white beads and white stitching I chose for Sage. The one on top of the Christmas tree was one I selected for me and my boyfriend - a white heart with red and green beads.
The day was delightful indeed. It finally felt like Christmas with the younger two children home with me even though we celebrated two days later. I only wish Saffron was here to celebrate with us all.