It occurred to me after we returned from our almost spur-of-the-moment trip to Atlanta for Christmas (which was a lot of fun) that we may never again host Christmas/Christmas Eve in our house. It’s pretty clear that Clare won’t be returning for the holidays ever again and Andrew’s fiancé’s folks are quite invested in Christmas, so Andrew and Alex probably won’t be spending the holidays here ever again.
When I made that realization, I was really bummed. I felt sad and a little hurt. After all, we travelled to Illinois every Christmas for at least two decades even though I would have liked to create some Christmas traditions here in Bethesda with our kids.
After thinking about it though, I realized that we did make traditions in our home. It might not be on Christmas day or Christmas Eve (in fact that was a tradition in itself — having our personal Christmas after Christmas) but we still hung stockings on our mantlepiece and unwrapped presents in the morning of the day we designated our “Christmas”.
I don’t know what the future holds for subsequent Christmases — travel probably. Maybe we will go see Clare sometimes. Maybe Dean, Clare and I will rent a house somewhere warm for a Christmas someday. Maybe if A&A have children we’ll all gather wherever they are.
We have a few traditions on the holidays — Christmas we go to Illinois and spend Christmas Eve with Dean’s family and Christmas Day with mine. Thanksgiving we often see a movie while the Turkey cooks. On Easter we go to church after a family Easter egg & Easter basket hunt.
So, today we went to church and came home to take a photograph with my new camera. I’d seen the self-timer a couple of times, but never used it to take a timed photo except accidentally. Clare thought she knew what to do. Dean set up the camera on a tripod in front of the house and focused on the front stoop. Joe happily posed for him.
Then Clare went out to help Dean set up the shot. She focused on him and took his photograph.
Thinking it was all set, Dean called Andrew and me to join the family photo but no one knew what to do for sure. We tried a couple of times and stood on the stoop all wearing our best “say cheese” smiles but nothing happened. We felt a little foolish, especially when cars drove by. Clare suggested we take 4 photographs and Photoshop them together.
So I thought I’dgive it a try. I did figure it out but was not fast enough to get in the photograph. And then couldn’t reproduce what I’d done the first time.
So Andrew thought he’d give it a try.
Finally Clare decides to try again. After pushing several buttons we noticed the light was flashing. She ran up to the stoop and got in the photograph just in time.
We’ve since read the manual — so next year we’ll be all set.