I am really getting into the Holiday Spirit this year. This is saying something. I usually DREAD the Holidays, it is always a huge stress inducer. We never have enough money for presents, ( Yes I know that is not what it is all about, but when you have kids, and love giving things to people as much as I do, it is a big deal to me ) there is usually family drama, and it is just an uncomfortable time for me, and I am always glad when it is over.
That is not the case this year! Thanks to some special people and special blessings in my life, I managed to complete my shopping already, and I was able to get some really fantastic things for both my kids and my parents, and I know they are going to be so happy this year. That makes ME so happy. Nothing makes me happier to give my kids something that makes their faces light up with joy, and this year it was really fun because my older two are young teenagers, and the things I got them are fine tuned to their individual personalities, instead of generic crap I usually had to get them.
This year things are different with the family drama aspect this year as well, because of some hard work on my part, and my Mom's part. For the last few months we have been working really hard ( especially me, since I was the one with my ass on my shoulders ) at repairing, or, more aptly, CREATING our relationship. She and I are closer than we have ever been, we spend a lot of time over there, and I have done my best to help her out whenever I can. I helped her with a big bill that would have really messed them up, in more ways than just monetarily, since my dad would have went off the deep end had he been aware of the situation. He spends money like they are rich, when they are not, and my Mom, who has fibro and only has half her lungs, works her ass off for insurance and to survive, because what my dad makes off his paltry social security is a joke. Dad does not seem to realize this and spends money like a rock star.
So I helped out in a crunch for her, which started the ball rolling, and then I starting doing little things every time I go over, like running the vac at her place, which is a job, they have a lot of carpet, and helping her clean and cook and such when I can. This Thanksgiving I was so excited, I made a lot of stuff and helped with the prep of her own stuff, so she would not have so much to do, and could enjoy the day instead of being exhausted from cooking and cleaning for a week prior. She and I have gone shopping together, and we have hit some yard sales and done some fun stuff, and it has been so awesome, and I am so happy to feel close to her, I love her so much and having this new relationship with her means the absolute world to me.
Yule will be extra fun this year to I am hoping, since I have none of the gift giving stress, and I fully intend to help her with the Yule meal. My cheesecakes were a huge hit at Thanksgiving ( It was the first baked cheesecake I ever made ) and everyone raved about it. Mom told me that it was the closest thing to my grandmothers cheesecake she had tasted ( my grandmother died when I was 3 ) and you can imagine how good that made me feel. It was as if I could feel my grandmother there for a minute, smiling at us, her first daughter ( Mom ) and her first granddaughter ( Me ) and first great granddaughter. ( Mariah ) It was a magical feeling....
I also made a couple of casseroles, a corn casserole and a broccoli and cheese casserole, which came out a little dry, but it was the first time I had made either of those from that recipe, and I know how to fix it next time. I made deviled eggs, which mom usually makes, and they went like hot cakes. I also made peanut butter fudge, which was divine! Mom did not want to share LOL! Rod, my Dad's best friend, kept asking who made the cheesecake and the eggs, they were so good, and mom said "Angel did!" ( Bella is my craft name, for any new readers, my given name is Angela and my family and friends who do not call me Bella call me Angel ) and he said " Get out of here! Angel, what in the world has gotten into you? You are starting to cook like Judy!"( Mom )
That was the biggest compliment I could have gotten, my mom is a phenomenal cook! I just felt really close and part of the family, which is a major thing to me since I am kind of the black sheep of the family. It was a wonderful day, well, week really, I was over there 3 days in a row lol.
Yesterday afternoon, Alex and I set up the Yule trees. I have a small place, and no room for a full size tree, and I am not much of a traditionalist anyway, so we have two small trees. I have a red and silver tree that sits here in front of me, and a 3 foot lavender tree with white lights that I have sitting on a table in the living room. They are small, and kinda of scraggly, but we love them. I needed more lights and a few more ornaments, as some had gotten broken while they were put up in the closet, so Alex and I hopped in the truck and took off to the dollar store while Jack napped. I got two strands of lights, one for my desk tree and one to hang under the bar to add some color to the room, a pink tree skirt to accent the purple tree, and some ornaments. I also got a cinnamon broom, which smells soooooo good right here next to me. I looked at these cute mugs, from the fall collection, one was an apple and one was a pumpkin, but I did not get them. However, I thought about them all night and all day so Alex and I went back this morning and I got them, as well as another cinnamon broom for my bedroom.
Here are some terrible pics of the trees ( the ones without flash are so blurry, sorry, but I have very shaky hands ) and a pic of the cute mugs!
No the lavender tree does not lean, I am just over to the side of it as I took the pic lol. Look how cute those mugs are! Please ignore the desk stuff and stuff on the wall behind the bigger tree, that is Alex's Fall art she made in school lol.
I am going to make some glitter snowflakes or something with Alex later, to hang around the room, and we are going to go hunting for pine cones later, we are going to glitter those up too!
I am just so happy this Holiday season, and it is really showing in my actions and attitude.
This is going to be the best Holiday season yet, I can feel it!!