I have been online shopping, shopping locally, wrapping presents, trying to figure out Christmas cards, baking, listening to Christmas music, and planning for the biggest and craziest holiday we have had in YEARS. I LOVE it and am so ready for it.
We found out a few weeks ago that Bret is going to be on call for the entire Christmas four day weekend. Call isn't that bad. He has to take phone calls, round on patients, and occasionally go in to the hospital (to deliver those babies or if there is an emergency). The bad news was that we were not going to be able to leave town for the entire holiday.
Solution? Celebrate here. So Bret's immediate family comes in on Christmas eve, then his whole extended family comes in on Christmas day. My immediate family comes in Christmas night and will stay until the next day. Oh, yeah I also forgot to mention that Bret volunteered our house for the clinic Christmas party (it is potluck) on the 16th. We have also been to two Christmas parties and have to more to go besides ours.
This time of year was so different living away from family. We celebrated with Bret's coworkers and close friends. We planned a trip back to KS after Christmas and then went back to work. We worried about transporting packages to KS (usually having them shipped). We cooked a big meal for just us and went through the motions of recreating the holidays we remembered with family. It was very special for our little family but very different.
We couldn't be happier to have family all around us and to be welcomed so graciously into this tiny community with such open arms. We are so very very thankful for all of the many blessings this year.