I was nervous about this Christmas feeling different - and it did - but it turned out to be really special in its own, new way. On the heels of a lavish year, Patrick and I opted to give each other stocking stuffers and spend a full day together rather than spend a bunch on bigger items we didn't really need right now. I treated him to goodies like Men's Health magazine, an appointment at Art of Shaving (since he's sporting that holiday beard of his), and these little tiebreakers for when we're making really important decisions like who gets to wash the dishes after dinner ;) And he treated me to things like a holiday scarf, a gift card to my neighborhood nail salon (manicures are my guilty pleasure), and retractable Sharpies because the guy knows he married a nerd. We gallivanted through Central Park (we lucked out with a sunny and mild winter day!), heard The First Noel and had lunch at one of our favorites, the Boathouse. We walked through the Columbus Circle holiday market, finished shopping for family, and spent the evening with friends in Brooklyn giggling over stories and wine and a white elephant gift exchange.
Patrick's brothers joined us in the city the weekend before Christmas which was really great, especially now that we have a giant Aerobed and couch for guests! I know that doesn't sound very luxurious, but it's definitely an upgrade from our old digs. I attempted my second batch of my sister-in-law's famous peanut butter fudge (while one of his brothers napped off his redeye from LA) and it actually turned out! Hooray! I silently fist-pumped in our tiny kitchenette, all excited. The four of us hung out at a couple neighborhood spots and then we went to see Les Misérables on Broadway - such a treat, oh my goodness! I'm still singing the songs in my head!
Christmas with his family was wonderful, too. After an evening church service on Christmas Eve, we gathered back at his parents' and enjoyed a spread of everyone's favorite foods before we exchanged a few early gifts. I found some ridiculous adult footie pajamas to help us girls pretend we were kids and we all stayed up late, chatting and laughing and happy-crying away! Santa somehow got the memo I was going to wake up in a different house and left my stocking at the end of my bed like he has every year since I can remember...so very sweet, even if my husband kicked it off in the middle of the night - ahem! - #marriageprobz. I was included in their 2014 sitting-on-the-stairs-on-Christmas-morning photo which reminded me of this gem; after waking up as the only "kid" for the last however many years, it felt special to be surrounded by such a big crew. I found myself feeling grateful for technology, though, after I Facetimed with my mom and stepdad who decided to spend Christmas in NYC. I really, really missed them, but it felt like we were together being able to sit and chat and see one another. Since they were in the city, I was able to easily arrange a breakfast surprise and goodies in their hotel room which made me feel like I was a part of their celebration, too. Patrick watched It's a Wonderful Life with me (and he liked it!) which meant a lot, and his aunt even had the same German Christmas mug at their house that I mentioned here which was a sign that made me smile. So yes, I was properly eased into new traditions! One new thing we incorporated was cheering with mimosas on Christmas morning (from a bottle of champagne we were supposed to drink on our wedding night) - I think that might need to be a tradition we do each year no matter where we are!
We spent the rest of our time in his hometown visiting with extended family, watching movies (we even went to see Into the Woods!), Facetiming with some of my fam, playing charades (never-ever will I forget Patrick's dad acting out Sister Act haha!), eating everything in sight, and sleeping in super late. I took a break from my normal crafts to take a stab at cross-stitching to mix things up and it was all incredibly rejuvenating and needed.
Now that we're back home, we've caught up on our series finales (Homeland & The Affair), unpacked our suitcases, and restocked our fridge. I even dragged my butt to the gym early this morning in hopes of starting a long battle of working off all that fudge! This time between Christmas and New Year's is a bit of a funny stretch as I find myself still moving at a slower pace as I prep new work, organize my systems for the new year, and sit down and make an actual list of goals for 2015. How do you say goodbye to one year and ring in the next? Do you make resolutions? Do you incorporate any rituals into this week and New Year's Eve/Day? Xo.