This Christmas will be one that I won't quickly forget. First off, it is the Christmas of my 43rd year; and I can say with all certainty, that I KNOW, it won't be my last. Second, this Christmas eve marks the night that we discovered that Nicky is allergic to shrimp. Talk about guilt. We were invited to the home of Jenny and (SMF) David's, friend Lisa, for Christmas eve. Jenny told me that Lisa would be making Tamales and she was going to make a seafood stuffed shells dish. Jenny asked me to bring appetizers; so Luis made his world class, Guacamole and I brought some Hummus, Crab and roasted artichoke spread and garlic & herb cheese, accompanied by sesame bread sticks, pita chips and Naan. We didn't eat dinner until about 930 or so; and there weren't that many things that Nicky and Kelsie would eat. I had encouraged them both to try Jenny's shells; and Nicky took a bite and said that he liked it. I asked if he wanted more and he said yes. I served him another shell and after about two bites, he told me that his mouth was itching. He wasn't interested in eating anymore, and he seemed quite concerned about how he was feeling. We went into the bathroom so that I could get a good look at him, and his lips had started to swell and he was getting a red rash around his mouth; which soon spread to his cheeks and neck. I immediately asked Jenny for some Benadryl. I gave Nicky four meltaways, and watched him very closely. We decided that it was best to go home; so we thanked our hosts, wished everyone a Merry Christmas and bid them a good night.
All the way home I felt incredibly guilty about Nicky's allergic reaction to the shrimp. I KNOW that there was no way that I could have known that this would happen; but because I had urged him to try the dish; I felt like it was my fault. Nicky (kindhearted soul that he is,) assured me that it wasn't my fault and swore that he was starting to feel better; and by the time we arrived home, the swelling had gone down and the redness was gone. My guilt; however, remained well into Christmas day.
I started receiving texts at 6am this morning; but thankfully I managed to get back to sleep. I slept in until 9, then made my way downstairs to turn the tree on and put up a pot of coffee. My family slept in till just after ten. Crazy, huh? WHAT kids sleep that late on Christmas morning? Well, I guess tired ones who took four Benadryl meltaways do; and thankfully, the girls did as well. I greeted my clan, and we made our way downstairs to open presents. Although the presents were few in number, everyone got exactly what they'd wanted. AND, I must say that everyone's stockings rocked.
Growing up I always had a Christmas tree; and we had stockings as well, but I suppose for appearances only; because it wasn't until I lived with my friend Big V, after college that I learned how delightful a filled stocking could be. I LOVE finding things for everyone's stockings and so this year, I told the kids that they would each be given $2 so that they could buy something to put in my stocking. I explained that it would be a good opportunity for them to have to be thoughtful, gift givers and it would be a great way for them to experience shopping. I told them that they didn't have to buy anything for Luis' stocking, because I would; and I have to say that Luis and the kids did a fantastic job. I received a Reese's peanut butter cup, a mini bag of coffee, sugar free mints, 2 different sets of ribbon for scrapbooking, slim Jims (YES, I said Slim Jims) and a $25 Starbucks gift certificate. I'm so proud of my family; they truly rose to the occasion.
Going along with the theme of keeping our Christmas simple; we had planned to go to Lake Pleasant in the afternoon with Jenny, David and family; but yesterday, when trying to buy some wood for a campfire, we had heard that there was a no burn restriction for our county. It turned out that we wouldn't be able to make a campfire at the lake; which meant that we'd be unable to remain there in the evening, because it would be too cold without a fire. We altered our plans slightly and went out to the lake for a couple of hours. It was a beautiful day to be at the lake. It was peaceful, quite and a perfect way to enjoy the day. The kids threw stones into the lake and enjoyed the outdoors; and Luis and I chatted with David and Jenny as we took in the scenery. We came back to our house and grilled, as we'd planned to do at the lake; and the kids were even able to have their Smores.
I'm always so amazed at how quickly Christmas passes; after all of the time and planning that has gone into it. In some ways, I wish that we could go through Christmas in slow motion; but this is real life so we don't have that option. Instead, we just have to enjoy the moments that we can; capture as many on film as possible AND commit them to memory, as I have today.
I hope that you were all able to enjoy EVERY moment of your celebration; as I did mine.
Till next time...
Queen of EVERYTHING