Traditions at Christmas, Part II

Here’s what we did for Christmas this year.

Our first Christmas celebration was an early one in Duluth. Second weekend of the month, all the Goodspeeds over at my parents house. Almost all the Goodspeeds were there, except Rebekah in Australia, and Jake and Ruthann. Jake ended up in the hospital with heart problems. We were all pretty worried.

Northland Avenue sparkled in freezing cold temps and with holiday lights all around. Justin and I went for a walk after our Christmas meal under the moonlight. It was so pretty to stroll on their quiet, northern streets at Christmas. We ate all the Christmas favorites and finished the night with the present game in their basement. Maggie was right there with us. The red and black carpet swirling all around us. The fire crackled. Kids wrestled all around. We went upstairs for cake afterwards. “Happy Birthday, Jesus.” My mom had ordered if from the Exchange. That night we slept at Janice and Jeff’s. It was dreamy out there, too. In the dark, under the stars. Right near the St. Louis River in the northland.

Christmas Eve we spent with the Salisburys at Gordy and Lin’s it might be the last Christmas there with their plans to move up north. Andy and Brett were there, too. So were both puppies – Odie and Charley. The boys were great and the kids together were so much fun. They ran all around and played and laughed. And didn’t listen…. We had a delicious prime rib dinner. The three of us slept cozily in one of the spare bedrooms. Lin got Gordy a watch. Karen made us all bath bombs. We brought a cranberry pecan salad. We reminisced about our fun trip to see Miss Richfield together earlier in the month. Mark and Deb said they are going to move to downsize. Sarah and Mark go to Ireland this spring.

Christmas Day was with Shearers. How many years running is that tradition? Rachel and I both brought appetizers that were ridiculously similar: mozzarella skewers. Hers Carprese and ours cantaloupe and prosciutto. It bugged me like crazy because hers were way better!! I’m so excited for their wedding.

Brynn was an angel there and everyone spoiled her. Dinner was delicious and we shared family stories and memories after. We ate cookies and cake. We left for home around 9:00. Brynn slept on the way home. We waited to unpack until morning. The next day we stopped by my grandpa’s to pick up a forgotten bag of gifts. Then we took Brynn to “Sing.” She did great during the movie but then had a tantrum as we left the theater.

Then for New Year’s Eve, we drove to Duluth. We stayed with Janice and Jeff. Sheldon’s slept over, too. They made a delicious turkey, stuffing, green bean casserole dinner. Janice doted on the kids with treats, ice cream, movies, presents. Karen just had surgery on her ankle. She was recovering. Justin and I took the kids out on the ice the next morning. We walked the shoreline and looked at the trailer houses and docks laid up til summer. We had a delicious french toast breakfast. The kids watched “Finding Dory.” We scooted home early afternoon. It is always hard for me to leave up north.

We have a ton to be thankful for at Christmas. And each and every year. We spent time with Erin and Isa, Heather and Amos, Walter and Andrea. Each other. We’ve had two lovely, quiet afternoons at home. Cleaning, nesting, getting groceries, recording memories. Lighting candles. Making chili. Playing with new toys. Trying to keep perspective and plan for a new beginning. The next year. Tomorrow, we get back at it.




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