Are you singing the song now? Me too.

Navidad + Christmas 2015

Our second Mexican Christmas has just come and gone, and I’m thankful for another Navidad with mi segunda familia.

Christmas Day lunch

But let’s back up a bit to talk about the wonkiness that was this Christmas.

Things were different this year. First of all, I spent the first two weeks of December more or less on the road — for work. It was exciting because I love working with my team and I love coach training. But all of those holiday things that felt worth doing? You know — ice-skating, looking at lights, crafting? Yeah. None of those happened.

We did make it to the GOOG holiday party, though, and that was a blast.

We loved our masks!

We do decorate the house every year. If you’ve visited my parents’ house you’d see I come by it naturally. I find I don’t have the time to fuss with much decor, so I don’t do anything for minor holidays.

Okay. By minor I mean “anything that isn’t Christmas.”

Anyway.

We moved some furniture around and decorated the tree. S is our expert tree assembler and needle-cleaner-upper. Yes, that’s a fake tree. I love it — it comes in three pieces and its pre-lit and — BONUS — it was $100 at Walmart six years ago. I’ve never bought anything at Walmart that works other that this tree. The idea of tromping around a tree lot in December is the opposite of my idea of fun.

That’s the thing about the holidays — it’s easy to get yourself into compare mode rather than just asking yourself, “Hey, what do we like?” Taste in Christmas decor is relative (just ask our neighbors who go nuts with non-matching lights), just as taste in pet wear is also relative.

Yes, Astrix has an ugly holiday sweater too.

She loves it — no joke.

S likes something small to mark the seasons, so we like the holiday decor so that when we come home on a random Tuesday in December, we can be reminded that this is the season that we’re in, even if the day-to-day doesn’t feel much different.

L: She hates the hat. R: Our best tree yet!

This year we decided to just do stockings for one another and then give each other experiences as gifts. S will be taking parkour lessons and going to rally car school (clearly not what I would want for him but he was nuts about it), and for me we are going to a couples’ massage class and doing a spa overnight date at Snoqualmie Lodge.

Stockings were a hit, too. We’re getting better every year at picking out fun little things for one another.

We are wearing the same shirt. Sadly, not on purpose.

But forget all this merriment — we had to pack for Chihuahua. If you’ve traveled abroad for Christmas or been a package-runner for S’s mama, you’ll understand the dilemma. We stood in front of our bags (one checked, one carry-on each) and looked at the huge pile of stuff that had to go. How many shirts did I really need? Did we have a gift for this person or that? With the high temperatures forecasted between 30 and 75 degrees (not kidding), did I have the right outerwear? Did I have room for my big coloring book?

I had a pretty anxious episode the night before we left. It was awful because I couldn’t sleep and then that meant it was hard for S to sleep and then that meant I was in survival mode the following morning. 2016 is the year I want to master these anxiety attacks. I’ve done much better but big uncertain trips like this one (we had less than an hour in Dallas! stress!) I need to do better.

But we made it. And then it was family time.

The siblings

It was nice to have a relaxed Mexican holiday in that I felt much more comfortable. It was easier to just do what we felt like doing. I think I gained a few pounds because of Mama’s yummy cooking. And we were greeted with a much more active and much more verbal nephew.

Daniel, 21 months old now

As I shared in my habits post last week, I’m committed to learning Spanish now. S’s family is so warm and loving and welcoming and I know how much I am missing by not speaking the language. We haven’t picked our Chihuahua travel dates for this year, so I’m racing as fast as I can towards fluency.

I also got the chance to meet cousin Gina’s baby, Miguel Angel! He’s seven months old and I’ve never met a baby who is that active (especially kicking). It’s sweet to see them as a family of three. And to see S try to hold a baby.

And me, probably.

So, it was a different and wonderful Christmas. I hope yours was lovely as well. I’m trying to remind myself that Christmas is really about spending time with the one you love most. And so through all of the Navidad highs and lows, I was glad to have this guy at my side.

Feliz Navidad!

xo, Sarah

P.S. We did do a short holiday with my parents and my brother when we returned — a holiday dinner and gift exchange at our house. Splitting the holidays is hard for all of us.

But Astrix is starting to like my mom, so that has to be worth the wait.

Neither Mom nor I could believe that this actually happened. Thus a photo.