Teddy's first Christmas was a lot of fun. The action has dragged out over several days, so I am late in posting about it!
Our trek west began after Teddy's morning nap on the 24th. We loaded up the car and drove to my parents' place in Almonte, where we had lunch. Teddy had his afternoon nap, and we opened a few gifts. Once Teddy awoke, he opened several, too. He was mystified -- I do what with this paper? - but he generally enjoyed himself. He also spend hours toddling around holding on to Grandpa's hands and taking a few shaky steps.
My parents' parish in Almonte isn't huge, so they only have 2 masses on Christmas Eve (and one at the mission church some distance away) and one - late - on Christmas Day. The daytime mass was not an option (for reasons that will become clear later in the post) and the 11 o'clock (not midnight - lots of elderly folk), our usual haunt, would be too late for Teddy. As a result - Dave and I braved the 5 pm mass, complete with the pageant. We arrived half an hour early and had to stand in the vestry. If we'd had any other option, we'd have exercised it, but we didn't. The children were adorable (we couldn't see them acting, but we saw them processing in), and Father Lindsay was wonderful with them.
We couldn't see much or hear very well, so that was a bit of a bummer. In the entire liturgical year, though, this mass is the one that I know like the back of my hand. From the age of 4 until I was 26, I think that there was 1 year that I wasn't involved in the Christmas mass - singing in the choir for almost all those years, but I've read both the 1st and 2nd readings numerous times, have read petitions, and have proclaimed the gospel about 5 times. It started when I was 5 or so - I was one of the few children confident enough to read aloud. By the time I was 7, I was the only child who could reliably pronounce "...while Quirinius was governor of Syria". As a result, I can recite all three pieces by heart. Seeing the kids and hearing those readings, we got excited thinking that in the next few years, Teddy (and any future children) will likely be involved in the celebrations at our own parish. How fun!
Anyway, after mass we had all had dinner (pasta and meatballs), then let Teddy open a few more gifts. He headed off to bed, and we opened the rest of the gifts. My parents were incredibly generous, as usual. Thanks, guys! We headed to bed and my parents went off to the 11 pm mass.
On Christmas morning, Teddy got up around 7:45 (his 7th and 8th teeth are starting to come through, so he'd woken up in the night). We had breakfast (cinamon rolls!) and opened our stockings. Then we packed up the cars and headed to Kingston during Teddy's nap. The 25th is also my Nonna's birthday, and this year she turned 80!
We arrived in Kingston just after 11; we were the first to arrive. Within the hour, my Uncle Sergio, Sally and the kids arrived from north of Kingston, and my Aunt Pat, Fred and the girls arrived from Brampton. We had a HUGE feast - antipasto, lasagna, chicken, turkey, salads, other vegetables - the usual. Teddy ate like a champ, and we had a great time. It's not that often that all 15 of us are under the same roof, so it was wonderful. We exchanged gifts - everyone was so generous once again - and had cake. Then, we packed up and continued west.
Teddy slept for almost all of the drive to Georgetown, through the dark and rain. We arrived at 6 and headed straight to the home of Dave's Aunt Mar and Uncle Gerry, where the bulk of the family were gathered. We had some food, we waited until the end of an EPIC Texas Hold'em game, then moved over to Nanny and Poppy's house. Teddy and the nieces opened their stockings, then we all exchanged gifts. Once again, we were bowled over by the generosity displayed by the family. And my inlaws were thrilled by our surprise for them - a Wii. My mother-in-law LOVES it and has played for hours every day since Christmas. It's a hit!
We took it easy on Boxing Day, glad to be here since Ottawa was getting pounded with freezing rain. We went visiting with Nanny and Poppy, seeing other members of the family, and I popped out to pick up some essentials. That evening, some of the Aunts and Uncles came by to watch the Leafs' game (gag) and play with the Wii.
The 27th was a Sunday, so off to 8:30 mass we went for the Feast of the Holy Family. It will likely be the last Christmas in the old church (sob!) as the new one is due to open next fall, and it was lovely to see the church all decked out one last time. After mass, we came back to the house and puttered around. Barry, Wendy and the girls stopped by after lunch, and we they had a great time watching Teddy toddle around. Later in the afternoon, Dave and I headed to Toronto to visit Jorge, his lovely wife and their adorable daughter. They hosted us for dinner (thanks, guys) and cleaned up after we bailed -- we had tickets to Jersey Boys! It was a great show and we're thrilled to have seen it. Teddy was a superstar for his grandparents, too, so that as a relief.
Today is our last day in Georgetown. We'll be visiting my Aunt Pat and the crew in Brampton and seeing Blaine and Colleen. Teddy spent the morning walking from person to person - he's made amazing progress! His record was 14 steps and his balance is just so much more stable. Good work, button!
I hope that you and yours are having a wonderful Christmas season!