As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about…..more meaningful holiday memories. You know my mantra is more of everything is always better. I love stuff! I adore clothing and jewelry, shoes and handbags, lusciously draped fabrics and passementerie (fancy French word for decorative trim. Oh, so chic.), gallery displayed artwork, gorgeous furniture, whimsical appointments, an eclectic collection of music for my I-Pod, delicious food and great wine (or cheap wine)……just to name a few of my fav’s. However, more than anything, I love my devoted family and cherished friends.
While stuff is great, and it is (!), the experiences that we share with the people in our lives are so much better! The gift of time is the gift that keeps on giving.
I’m always reminded of the generosity of my only sibling, my brother, Ray. He takes his role as uncle very seriously. Even though he lives out of state, he makes being a part of my Nick and Amanda’s lives a priority. When Nick broke his right ankle 4 days before his 16th birthday (perhaps a sign from the Heaven’s that Nicholas was not quite ready to get his driver’s license) my brother hopped on a plane from Atlanta to bring him Rock Band and make his birthday special. The Rock Band jam sessions haven’t been quite the success without him because each team apparently needs a good drummer and Uncle Ray is quite the percussionist. He flew in for 24 hours to see Amanda walk across the stage as she received her 8th grade diploma from Our Lady of Perpetual Donations Grammar School (unlike Jethro Bodine, who only graduated from the 6th grade, we were pretty sure she’d be a shoe in). He was here as his Godson, my Nick, turned 18. He’s attended more than his fair share of hockey games and has helped Amanda with her science fair project.
That’s what it’s all about; being together, celebrating each other and creating memories. Santa may have a tough time squeezing his big red bag down the chimney for my good little girl and boy, but the real focus is on what’s important; each other.
Last Christmas, Chuck and I got cross country skies. We rented a pair each for Amanda and Nick and had the very best time criss-crossing the grounds at Cantigny and the golf course at Arrowhead. It was so great to be outdoors, laughing at our ineptitude, picking each other up when we fell (some of us more than others. You’d think the one accustomed to daring fetes across a 4” wide balance beam might be able to stand up longer) and being together. We’re totally counting on some more snow so we can do it again this year.
We love playing games together as a family (Trivial Pursuit, UNO Attack and Spoons top the list), enjoying our times at meals together (though Nick often asks, “Do we have to watch the Food Network while we’re eating food?”), watching the kids at their sports, admiring all of the good (and terrible) things that Wrigley does, and sharing some of our most favorite television programs, like Modern Family (which we DVR each week so all four of us can watch it together).
This year, on Christmas Eve, we’re keeping some of our traditions alive. In the afternoon, we always have snicky-snacks and splishy-splashes with my dear friend Judy (who’s like my sister) and her family. Then the eight of us then head over to attend mass together. I’ve always hosted Christmas Eve dinner, a huge feast; crab bisque soup, strawberry salad with a poppy seed dressing, a peppercorn crusted beef tenderloin and homemade chocolate pudding for dessert. Chuck had an amazing and completely innovative suggestion; instead of all of the pomp and circumstance, let’s don our pajamas and order in, Chinese food, from our very favorite restaurant! My mom and George were totally on board. Who knows, maybe a new tradition will be born.
More time together, more family memories, more meaningful experiences, more Merry Christmas’s……