Whew. Can’t say that I’m too disappointed that the holiday season is over. Sure, having family around and seeing Ezra enjoy himself has been a great experience, but there was a gigantic hole in this year’s celebrations that just couldn’t be filled with any amount of presents, decorations, cheer, or music. Being bombarded with a never ending barrage of “merry” or “happy” or “best wishes” or “2011 was awesome for us” or “joyous” or “new year” does take it’s toll – especially when feeling those things are a passing notion at best.

Another contributing factor to a less-than-stellar season was my work schedule: at work for the Thurs/Fri of Thanksgiving, for 4 of the days of Hanukkah, for the 23/25 of Christmas, and for New Year’s Eve. It certainly was my turn to be at work, and without the seniority to get it off, I had no problem being there….not complaining about that. It just makes it really difficult to celebrate with a family that operates within the schedule of the rest of society. Take an already off year, and compound it with a lot of ‘celebrating at the firehouse’ and things become even more subdued.

We did have some highlights of the season, and foremost was the inclusion of family. Without the ability to travel at all during that time period due to work, we were fortunate to have family come to us. Dave and Mary Jo spent the Christmas week here in Colorado, and we had the pleasure of spending 10 days with some of my family from Israel who were here on vacation (even got a day skiing in with them). The best thing about having family here was certainly the distraction that they provided, the need to focus on something else some of the time.

Despite everything, we were able to celebrate Thanksgiving together (a day early, and again at the firehouse), we did get to spend Christmas morning together (thanks Scott for holding over for a couple hours), we were able to light a few nights of the candles (thankfully that holiday is designed to last eight nights), and New Year’s was spent….well, who cares, it was New Year’s (2011 did have some good moments, but by and large, I hope that it has a wonderful existence in the past – never to be relived again).

A resolution for the new year? Not normally into those. Any day seems like a good day for a change…but here is one that I can think of: cry just a little less and smile just a little more. This year already hasn’t started off with a lot of reasons to believe that this will be easy, but one can always hope, right? That said, here is some help in that goal: pictures of Ezra almost always make me smile (you will notice the spot on the tree that Ezra decorated – everything facing the wrong way, as well as the different take on the Christmas tree photo – swirly).

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