Considering the fact that Christmas was 10 days ago, I guess it's finished looking a lot like Christmas. Rick's birthday is next week and he likes to keep our Christmas tree and lights up until after his birthday. So technically it's still looking a lot like Christmas, at least in my house. Even the owl on Emma's sweater thinks it stills look a lot like Christmas.
We enjoyed a very non-traditional but traditional Christmas this year. Our youngest son, Keaton, is in a 1-year graduate program at Cambridge University in England. Christmas break was the only opportunity to visit him that we all had in common. So we told the kids (except for Emma, of course) that in lieu of Christmas gifts we would take them to London. (Since we weren't buying an airplane ticket for Keaton, we bought one for his girlfriend, Tina. She went for two weeks early in December.) The whole "Let's go to England" plan sounded like a great idea!
It sounded like a great idea to everyone except Emma. She actually cried and said she didn't want to miss our Christmas traditions: Chinese food on Christmas Eve, leaving cookies and milk for Santa and reindeer food for Santa's reindeer, having Emma and her mommy sleep over, waking up Christmas morning to homemade cinnamon rolls, sitting around the tree opening gifts and stockings, and spending the day in our pajamas playing together. Who would have thought that a 5-year-old would be so attached to traditions?
So we did our best to have a traditional Christmas even though we'd be traveling. We were set to leave on the morning of December 23rd. Brennan arrived a few days ahead of time. So the girls slept over on Friday night. We ordered Chinese food and invited Tina for dinner.
We enjoyed homemade cinnamon rolls Saturday morning. We opened some gifts from beneath our tree. We stayed in our jammies for awhile and played.
We left on December 23rd. We flew from Boston to Newark, then took the overnight flight to London, arriving on the morning of the 24th. I typically don't do well on overnight flights. It's nearly impossible for me to sleep on planes, and when I don't get enough sleep a nasty migraine slams me. But on this flight, Rick and I were upgraded to first class. I'm talking the small pod-like areas with seats that go completely flat. Rick says the seats are ridiculously expensive, but what a sweet deal they were FOR FREE! Yippee! I managed to sleep for about two hours, so of course I had a headache anyway. Nobody else slept much either. Thankfully we were able to check into our hotel early so we all got to take long naps. Keaton met up with us at the hotel in the afternoon.
Rick had emailed the hotel concierge and asked him to get a small, artificial Christmas tree for our room.
He got one alright. A purple tree. To be more precise, a P U R P L E tree! He said it was the only color left. We were fine with it. In fact, we rather enjoyed it. It added a fun twist to our non-traditional Christmas. It looked like a Cindy Lou Who tree (from The Grinch Who Stole Christmas). Emma had fun decorating it with her mommy.
So far so good on keeping Miss Emma happy with our traditions!