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I’ve been staying away from blogging for a while, I think just to keep my priorities straight through the busy holiday season.  Time has been at a premium.  It’s been all I can do to try to keep up with Abby as she revels in her new toys and books, simultaneously making it impossible to keep any part of the house clean.

It’s probably an issue of timing; with the late start to this year’s school break, I found myself moving from a weekend of Christmas stuff to a week of wrapping things up at work to another weekend of Christmas stuff that blurred into the week after that with nary a day off.  By the time we were done with all of our family obligations, I could barely stand up straight, much less try to make something coherently “bloggish” out of it.

Now, having been out of it for a bit, I will try to pull out a few realizations from it all.

Realization # 1:  Abby likes to draw.  I knew this before, of course, but giving her an easel and watching her colour on it for hours has only confirmed that my daughter has the artistic gene.  I also plan on using the paper she goes through as wrapping paper for birthdays, etc.

Realization # 2:  Obligation ruins family time.  Christmases are more fun these days.  I think that it comes down to the fact that all of my cousins and siblings have grown up past the angsty teenage years, and have started into making the next generation.  They actually want to see each other now.  And almost all of us have realized that Christmas is much more fun when we just treat it as a chance to hang out and enjoy each other’s presence; gift giving is immaterial, as are the other formalities of Christmas gatherings.  The adults are starting to understand that the fewer obligations they heap on to a given day, the happier we all are at the end of it.

Realization # 3:  I don’t really need anything material anymore.  I don’t say that as a slight to any of the many lovely gifts that I received this year (and there were many and they were definitely amazing).  I say that instead as a reminder to myself, mantra I need to repeat through the New Year.  I have a lot of things.  I bought many items myself lately.  I need to start moving toward producing more and consuming less.  I need to start being content.

Realization # 4:  I need to read more.  Speaking of having many things, my reading pile has risen into double digits.  Time to put down the remote control and start working through that stack.  After all, I completely bailed on my reading resolution from last year.

Realization # 5:  I am getting old.  I’m 31 now, and I feel like I have been a bit of a slow starter when it comes to life.  I think I need to start making things happen this year.

Please be happy and safe this New Year’s Eve.