Still snowed in...
Today I spent the day scanning some old photos, and watching movies, and cooking. My hubby has been trying to get to Spokane for a week now. The weather has foiled us at every turn. Finally, he got a train ticket for the 24th that wasn't cancelled. He got on...there was a 4 hour delay after the train left the station, but they are on their way. He should be here around 5am.
Like a lot of people this year, all of our normal Christmas plans have been cancelled. We already decided that we couldn't afford presents this year. Or, rather, giving gifts just didn't seem worth the cost. We already have everything we really need, we don't really want anything that you can get as a gift. And money is tight, as it is for everyone this year. My being an unemployed full-time graduate student doesn't help that situation any. So it made no sense to do the gift thing this year. We plan on doing something nice for each other later--whether it is exchanging gifts or planning a little weekend away or something, we haven't decided. I had planned on making gifts for my family, and we were going to see them--we planned to stay at my brother's house from the 24th to the 26th. But then the snow started, and soon it became apparent that we would not be getting to that side of the state under any circumstances.
So for me, Christmas this year is all about seeing my husband. We've been separated, not by our choice, for a month now. Getting him out here has been the number one priority. I will go back to Portland with him this weekend, but we really wanted to spend the holiday together here in Spokane. And it is very much a white Christmas...
It's actually really a relief not fussing over presents this year. First we asked everyone if we could either agree to not buy gifts for each other (of course we would for my nephews), or choose names out of a hat and buy for just one person, like a lot of families do. No dice. So we asked everyone to not buy us gifts, and I think everyone except my mom agreed to that. Next year, I'm going to ask everyone who can't stand to not buy us presents to donate money to charity for us. I know a lot of people do this already. But my family just doesn't seem to "get" the idea of not exchanging gifts, even though most of them agree with me that we don't really need stuff and the gifts we exchange are never really things that we wanted or needed. I think because we don't see each other that much, having that exchange means a lot to some of them. But I kind of convinced my mom tonight on the phone when she was talking about an animal rescue that she volunteers for, that she could donate to that in our names next year. She kind of warmed up to that idea a bit better...so hopefully I can make some headway by next year. We are very blessed, and we have what we need. I hate bringing home stuff that we don't need, and feeling guilty about it because I know my family gives it to us because they care. A present-free Christmas is actually pretty nice.
We'll have a low-key holiday by ourselves. I've made some of our favorite traditional Christmas foods, and we'll watch some movies and probably go for a walk in the snow. Hubby will get here so late (or early) that we'll definitely sleep in. I think it will be nice! But this is the first year I can recall that I won't spend with any of my family. That is pretty sad, especially after losing my grandparents this year. I'd really like to spend time with them. And they won't be seeing each other, although they all live within 50 miles of each other. The roads are just in no condition for that kind of travel right now. (Western Washington is not prepared for major snow like other areas that usually get it. When they get snow like they've gotten over the past week, things shut down, because there just aren't that many plows and there is no organized response, like there is in Spokane or other towns that usually get snow.)
Being stuck in the house with holiday food and no real prospects of exercise hasn't been good for my weight AT ALL. I can't wait until I can get back to some kind of exercise! Aack, it's driving me bonkers. But right now there's truly not much I can do about it.
Merry Christmas to everyone. May your holidays be as low-stress and low-guilt as possible, filled with love and family.