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I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas.

Mine was… strange.

I mean, it was good, but it was weird. It was the first time, ever, that I celebrated Christmas without my parents and our set traditions. Instead, Perfect Husband and I had to compromise to make our own.

Perfect Husband’s family celebrates Christmas on Christmas Eve. Santa comes early for them, while the kids are out on a drive, looking at Christmas lights. They have a big feast of ham and pot luck goodies.

My family has always done Christmas more traditionally. We go to church Christmas Eve, open presents Christmas Day, and have a turkey dinner that night.

So Perfect Husband and I had to work things out.

We agreed to open gifts from family/each other Christmas Eve, but that Santa would still come overnight so Owl could open his stocking Christmas morning. That worked out ok.

Perfect Husband got his ham, since I got turkey at Thanksgiving this year. I’m not sure how this quite works, though. He’ll get ham again at Easter (to me, ham is Easter food), so does that mean I have to do ham a third time next Thanksgiving before I get my next turkey dinner? Unsure at this point.

I did my sweet potato casserole, one of my favourite Christmas/Thanksgiving dishes, and Christmas Eve I made tortiere, my own family’s Christmas Eve meal.

So it was weird for both of us – PH because we were eating tortiere on Christmas Eve instead of ham, and me because we were eating ham on Christmas Day, instead of turkey.

We Skyped with my parents so they could watch Owl opening his stocking this morning, and that was nice.

And I got awesome gifts – Perfect Husband got me nerdy T-shirts, including an Anxiety Girl shirt, a geeky board game (Munchkin Quest, which we played this evening and is awesome), a promise of a video card once boxing day sales kick in, and I got a new video camera which I have been needing for a while (my friend and I have been toying with the idea of making dog training instructional videos, but not with my low-def 2007 model handycam!). This is a Sony PJ260V and is entirely awesome and has a PROJECTOR on it. So you’ll be getting some HD videos posted soon.

I was deeply relieved to learn that a gift he had ominously referred to as my “Fifty Shades of Grey Gift” was actually a toy helicopter – something I have always wanted – and nothing scary for the bedroom.

He also gave me (get this, The Squeee!) an 1858 edition of Jane Eyre, which he had professionally restored. It’s beautiful. I want to run my hands over it and keep it in my pocket but I’ve been keeping it up on a high shelf instead, well away from inquisitive toddlers!

And Owl, well, he got TOO MUCH STUFF!

Puzzles, books, stuffed animals, clothes, undies, noisy electronics… I think the cake was taken by our Daycare Lady, who apparently got him (and every other boy in the daycare) one of those Let’s Rock Elmos, which is both adorable AND creepy. I need to post a video of that soon because Owl was just AGOG.

Our favourite of our own gifts to him (which were minimal and actively reduced when we saw the influx arriving from relatives) was a $10 box of plastic foods, which pretty much deserves its own post, accompanied by cute HD video so stay tuned for that.

He fell asleep clutching the shark slippers my sister in law sent him.

We also exposed Owl to The Grinch (which he loved), Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer (which bored him) and A Muppet Family Christmas (the unexpurgated version, which PH had transferred to DVD from a VHS tape six years ago), which held him entranced.

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I have a feeling I’ll keep forgetting that Christmas happened, since this was such a departure from all my previous Christmases. It felt like a wonderful day, but not like Christmas per se. It didn’t smell like Christmas, or taste like Christmas, because there was no turkey or gravy. It wasn’t at my parents’ house where Christmas always takes place. We opened gifts Christmas Eve instead of reflecting on the Christmas Story. It didn’t feel right.

I’m sure it felt just as weird to PH. But this is how new traditions start, I guess, with departures from the old. Maybe some day Owl will complain when things don’t match what today was like, because that will be Christmas for him.

I also haven’t been filled with that Christmas peace that I have had in the past, probably due to disruption of traditions and my work schedule interfering with my Christmas spirit. It’s hard to get in the mood when you’re working even on Christmas Eve, instead of on a mini-vacation back home, you know?

But I have no complaints. There will be many more Christmases, with turkey and grandparents, and midnight mass, and next year Owl will understand about Santa, which will be fun. We kept telling him Santa brought him his stocking stuff and he kept saying “No, Daddy did it!”

And I have a second edition of Jane Eyre, man.

No complaints at all.