Here's the first thing we saw when arriving at my parents' home for Christmas:
Until yesterday, I'd been childishly sulky about missing the holidays in Ukraine this year... the store displays piled high with mandarins, the "С наступающим!" from cashiers, the fur coats, the excitement for New Year's Eve... but seeing this dog's smiling face was like an insta-holiday mood boost.
In the end, the day went perfectly and I'm glad that we were able to celebrate with relatives this year. I can't remember the last time I was in Portland for Christmas. This was D's first time celebrating with my family so he fielded a lot of "How is it done in Ukraine?" kind of questions. How long do people leave their trees up for? When do the holidays end? Are there any special holiday dishes?
The house was beautiful! There was something special everywhere we looked.
There was a bit of debate at first: presents first or food first? Food won out, followed by drinks my brother made. He's become quite the bartender since I last saw him.
|D's dream destination.|
My parents- without meaning to- gave each other black umbrellas. "Your old umbrella is falling apart, so I thought...", they each explained to each other with a laugh. D and I gave my brother a scratch-off map of the world, since he's fast developing a love of travel. My dad is a bit of a survivalist so he gave us practical gifts "for when the big one hits": 2 police-caliber flashlights and a propane camping lantern.
In true American fashion, even the pets were included. Кит doesn't make house calls so his gifts were opened by us...
...but Chili proved perfectly capable of helping herself:
Looking back at the pictures now, this is probably the most Christmas-y gathering we've ever had. It had a bit of that magic that really makes the day memorable.
We settled in for the night with snacks (leftovers) and even talked my mom into watching The Interview.
After this day of non-stop feasting, I'm especially eager for New Years to roll around with all of its customary dieting and exercise resolutions ; ) At the very least, maybe I'll decide to not pig out and watch trashy movies again until next Christmas. One glorious day of that is enough.
Hope you had a fun day too! What did you eat / give / receive this year?