The holidays are over, and you'd sort of know it from looking at my house. I took advantage of the weirdly temperate weather and took down the outside lights before it snowed on them even once (I put them up after our one-and-only dusting of less than an inch.) However, the inside decorations are all still up. It wouldn't surprise me if we spend Valentine's Day taking down the Christmas tree.
We had a pretty good time over the holidays: Annette's parents came over for Christmas Day, we traveled to Illinois to see my family, and we took a trip to Dubuque to see the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium's Polar Express 4-D 15 minute movie.(The fourth D is that they fill the room with steam whenever the train is on-screen, and you occasionally get water sprayed on you to simulate snow.) The kids seemed to enjoy it, and we spent a couple more hours visiting the museum exhibits.
New Year's Eve was extremely low-key. Cassandra had her first slumber party without Mom (they attended a Brownie sleepover a few weeks before) and seemed to have a good time. I have to admit that it felt odd to not have the entire family home, but I guess it only becomes more of the same from here on out. Annette, Alex, and I did the countdown and shared a family hug at midnight. We did have to pull Alex from his video game, but that's not an uncommon thing around here.
Next year, I think I need to take the week before Christmas off, instead of the days between Christmas and New Year's Day. Even knowing that I often feel that Christmas whizzes by and trying to take steps to slow things down this year, it was over before I knew it. Maybe heading into Christmas with an entire week with no work will let me enjoy the season more. I felt a real sense of disappointment the few days after Christmas with how soon it was over. Didn't this season used to stretch on forever when I was a kid?