Our weekend fit into so many classic Christmas stereotypes, it was funny.
Saturday we traipsed (love that word. Traipsing just sounds fun. Much better than merely going.) to a local Christmas tree farm where we rode on a wagon to the tree field, looked at many before finding what A dubbed 'the perfect tree' and cutting it down. Back to the main area we went, to sit by a huge bonfire sipping hot chocolate and watching the girls sled down the hill nearby. Home we went to put up the tree, then watched Elf as we ate chili for supper.
Sunday morning was the kids' Christmas program, performed for a surprising amount of people who braved the worst December snowstorm in decades. It started with the 3/4 year olds singing 'Away in a Manger' while Seren's gaffer stole the show by innocently stepping up to the mic and singing his sweet little heart out. Adorable. The kids sang, some played piano, others violin, and R&A did some highland dancing (well done!). Afterward we enjoyed cider and cookies, then set out for the trek home. Slow was the order of the day as Ottawa received 37cm (that sounds low from what I saw!) and strong winds that made visibility a questionable thing at best sometimes. The roads were pretty good (our road not plowed though) and we didn't get stuck until the last leg of our driveway, where the drifts were up over the wheel wells of the vehicles. Both car and truck got nicely stuck, but the walk to the house wasn't too far.
The wind in this storm was from the east, so the drifting was in an entirely new direction. Some drifted into our enclosed back entry, and I was laughing at snow drifts that were almost indoors. The chickens seemed nonplussed by it all, merely jumping down to peck the snow off my boots when R and I went to see how they fared.
In we went, built a fire, then D went out to snowblow the driveway for 3 hours. The early evening was spent sitting by the fire watching the Charlie Brown Christmas special. I think that one is my favorite. It's funny and sweet and the music is awesome and the story is just so simple and so good. And I always laugh at the way the kids dance.
Once that was finished we set about decorating the Christmas tree. The girls ask every year for the story of the star we have. They know the story but like to hear it. I always did too, I think. There's just something about opening the box of ornaments each year and recalling the stories that accompany most of them. We have some from my parents' early years together, so at 40+ years old they're antiques as ornaments go. We also have two special ones that D's mom had on her tree when she was a little girl, and a couple that are reminders of Josh. Others bring to mind our own family history, and it's a chance to remember and celebrate.
The tree done, the kids to bed, and between the tree lights and the firelight the house seemed a little more magical. The wind howled around the house, casting more drifts that we knew would have to be addressed today, but for the evening we were all snug and cozy.
Some stereotypes are kind of nice.