Christmas trip

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Top to bottom: Withholding carrots from greedy Freddy Boy, the game “Things” degenerates into the same five silly answers, and the free sticky pad from Aeroporto Malpensa is a hit gift.

Sometimes it happens this way.  You have one of those Christmas vacations where it rains almost constantly, where people get sick or are going through a hard time, and where the young people are saddled with so much homework that they hardly have time to visit.  In general, the time seems entirely too short.

Still, you do what you can. You stay inside and build a fire, and pile blankets on the sick.  You forgo the gifts or else become very creative with what you have on hand, and you play games, read Dickens, or do puzzles instead. There’s a Pileated Woodpecker in the front yard. You turn one of your homework assignments into an essay on the absurdity of having so much homework.  You walk in the woods or feed carrots to horses. You laugh at the disruption of it all.

It’s still Christmas.  We still get to see both sides of the family.  We still get to visit the place (more or less) where we were all born.

It’s still a good trip.  I hope yours was too.


Top to bottom: Talking around the tree, toasty hand warmers for the musician from my gift-creative sister, this year’s puzzle (my mom sends her regrets as she evades the photo).


6 thoughts on “Christmas trip

  1. Merry Christmas, Laura!
    Sometimes those “failed” kind of events are easier because I have to give up most of the usual expectations, and that relieves a lot of pressure…then there are the surprise opportunities to love and be creative, as you point out. God bless your family in the new year.

  2. Laura, you captured beautifully the complexity of celebrating Christmas with family. I too find that it can be challenging and even messy, with lots and lots of together time. And too much holiday homework is a real bummer. However it sounds like despite the bumps, it was a time of good cheer and grace. Hopefully the time spent with puzzles and Dickens was restorative for you and yours.

  3. There is usually the Christmas that I plan for, the one on my “list” — and then the Christmas we actually experience. Sometimes there is overlap; often the real thing is not as pretty as what I have pictured. But thankfully it’s always fun.

    This year my two grown daughters (no homework – YAY!) and son-in-law came for Christmas, and 3 of us became ill (while traveling in Austria, no less) – not what I planned for, yet a really great visit.

    your photos are really lovely.

  4. Thanks, everyone! Yes, sometimes what makes a “good” visit isn’t really what’s on the surface, but what’s in the heart. I’m sorry though, Susan, that your family was ill. Hopefully you still had enough energy left to laugh at the inconvenience of it.

    1. We still carried on and laughed and had a nice time (just in shorter spurts for me!) Part of the fun was a Lord of the Rings Movie Fest over the 24th and 25th — which is in keeping with your latest post. Glad to see your are safely home in Italy.

  5. Hi Laura,

    It’s been a while since reading your blog. I’m glad to be back! We worked lots of puzzles during the holiday at our house, too. I’m going to be catching up on your time in Italy, one of my favorite places to visit.

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