Christmas is over.

With the blink of an eye, it came and went. Santa managed to get a drumset with cymbals and an electric guitar down our chimney, but forgot the earplugs for Mom and Dad. That’s ok, though. The smiles on the boys faces, not to mention the glass-shattering screams that were caught on video sure makes it worth it, Santa.

It was a week of memories, including the vision of my husband in a towel and oven mitts, tending to the turkey in our oven, one I’m sure is permanently etched in my brain. A week of listening to my sister, or Aunt Shel to the kids, desperately reminding them that food is not allowed upstairs in the playroom. Somehow, my now 5-year-old convinced himself any food that he sneaks to Aunt Shel’s second floor is okay for the taking. Same goes for his partner-in-crime, my 6-year-old niece, who had a firm grip on 4 peanut butter cups in her sleeping bag, only to find them melting in her hand when she got busted. ‘They’re just the wrappers, Aunt Deb,’ she would say, but Aunt Deb knew better. I’m guessing she’ll pick something a little less messy next time, like tortilla chips or grapes.

Stupid rules.

We made a family trip to a local frozen yogurt shop, where my sister had promised my youngest he could get ten toppings, since they charge by the ounce, something that lost its spark when Hayden found only six toppings he cared for. That’s ok, too, since his big brother made up the slack by selecting fifteen toppings that kept him up well past 2 am.

Aunt Shel will get paid back one day.

A big thanks to Shel for hosting our family for two nights, as we all discovered who snores, (I shall remain silent), who gets up early (my nephew, Jackson!), who wears long underwear under their clothes, (85-year-old Grams,) who always has a comeback, (Greg), who forgot to bring enough diapers (Kristen,) who constantly snapped photos, (Kristen, again), who brought the flubug (Mom and Justin), who was vaccuming before we even left the house, (Michelle), and who met the trash man at the curb with an offer to help load the 60+ bags, with a handsome tip. (Brother-in-law, Tom.) The holidays aren’t the same without my Dad, nor is life, though I felt his presence, from the mini Coke bottle ornament my sister left in our rooms, to the egg casserole he loved for breakfast, or the Johnny Mathis song that came on the stereo.

Dad lived for days like these.

The holidays ended in time for us to wrap more gifts in birthday paper, for my youngest who turned the big five two days later. The sports fanatic had one simple request…a football field, but settled for a collection of sports equipment that he’s been wearing since Sunday, while mesmerized by the lifesized Derek Jeter ‘Fathead’ in his bedroom. More later, for now I’ve gotta make lunch and try to get past this flubug that I brought home. And prepare for 2010. As if that’s possible.

Happy New Year.