Because our families live in different parts of Canada, my partner and I always spend the December holidays apart. He goes one way, with the dog. I go the other way, without the cat. This will be our sixth Christmas together but not together.
To make up for it, we've begun taking an early holiday, just for us. We choose a date, and then tell ourselves over and over again that it's Christmas. The night before we do Christmas Eve related activities: wrapping gifts, sipping egg nog, listening to carols. The next morning, we spring out of bed, singing "Here Comes Santa Clause" and rush to our stockings like little silly kids. Then, after a big breakfast, we head back to the tree for the presents.
This past weekend, fifteen days before the real deal, was "our Christmas" together and it was wonderful. We exchanged gifts, both whimsical ones and deeply meaningful ones. He always writes me a song (it helps when your guy is an impressive jazz musician!) and I make him something and copy out a new poem I've discovered that year for him to include in his journal. In years past, I've made him mittens, toques (ski hats), socks. This year, I sewed him a bag** for his pipe and his accessories, and even embroidered his initials on the outside, and left a secret message on the inside (I was going to embroider this as well but ran out of time given that this time of year for academics also means grading, grading, grading, and more grading).
Even more special about our Christmas this year is that the day fell on the same day as our dandy dog's 12th birthday.
He was showered with presents, taken for a long walk in the park and given roast chicken and roast beef for lunch and dinner.Good boy.
What isn't good is that I haven't even begun the ripping of the EZ sweater. The friend's baby shower has now passed, so I've promised to have this gift done first thing, in the New Year, upon my return. .... And where is it that I'm going? ....
I'm going home.
** For the sewing of the pipe bag, I relied heavily on this useful tutorial and only broke one needle but cursed several times.