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A Quick Christmas With The Cristianos
Happy Day After the Day After Christmas!
Ellie and I are settled back at home in New Jersey after our annual whirlwind Tour de New England, while Brian is off on his next leg off the trip.
Our quick holiday getaway was lovely, if a little rushed. And because next year at this time I’ll wonder to myself, “What did we do last year for Christmas?,” here’s a little rundown of the festivities.
This year, the plan was to make two stops: First we’d hit up Rhode Island to see Brian’s Grandma, aunt, uncles, and cousin. We’d spend one night there before continuing on to New Hampshire, where we’d crash with my parents and also get to see my brother, sister-in-law, niece, and nephew. After two nights there, it’d be back to New Jersey.
We figured that if we departed for Rhode Island around 10 AM Friday, we’d be in for some smooth, traffic-free sailing. But in true Cristiano style, we left much later than planned (on account of a puppy playdate and the subsequent, necessary bath that followed), and as punishment, the three-hour drive took six hours.
When you’re in good company, a six-hour drive is NBD. But when you’re in the middle of a Crohn’s flare — yes, that’s still rocking my world — it’s not so pleasant.
We finally made it to Rhode Island in time for dinner (pot roast a la Grandma!) and some catching up, then crashed for a few hours.
On Christmas Eve morning, we had breakfast (eggs and bacon a la Grandma!), waited for my stomach to settle somewhat (it’s still at its worst in the morning), and then hit the road for New Hampshire.
Three-ish traffic-free hours later, we made it to my old stomping grounds! Tyler (my 4-year-old nephew) and Abby (my two-year-old niece) were so excited to see Ellie, which made for a fun visit. Tyler definitely understood the whole Santa concept this year, and Abby didn’t, but she loved being at the center of all the fanfare.
And Ellie! Ellie loves the kids and was so excited to have a giant yard filled with snow at her disposal. This was her first time getting to romp around in a lot of snow off-leash, and she was thrilled.
Christmas with my family is super low-key. We stay in our pajamas for two days straight (in the past I’ve snuck out for a quick run, but that wasn’t happening this year), eat a lot, take naps, and then eat more after taking our naps.
Now that we’re all grown up, we’ve mostly decided to keep Christmas about the kids and not to exchange gifts among the adults. But my mom refuses to abide by that rule, so I still came home with a few goodies, including a Forestbound ESCAPE bag. (Forestbound is a company founded by one of my friends from elementary school! She’s so talented, and I always love getting to support a small company or someone I know. Her stuff is awesome. Check her out.)
The days away were as merry and bright as I’d hoped, but the nights were hardly silent. I was up and in the bathroom a lot, and was generally dealing with a significant amount of discomfort. It wasn’t the end of the world when I was at Brian’s Grandma’s or my family’s house, but the travel in between wasn’t fun. In the spirit of keeping this post not about my health for a change, I’ll spare details.
We headed back to New Jersey on Monday around 2 PM, and were home by 8:00. The traffic was light, but the black ice was gnarly. We saw eight cars go off the road, two of which flipped over entirely. It was scary and I was happy not to be the one behind the wheel.
Now Brian is in L.A. for a 24-hour visit with his mom and sister while I’m back here Crohnsing, working, and de-Christmas-ing with a pup by my side.
And the award for Most Boring Christmas Update goes to…Ali On The Run!
Just the way I like it!
(I’ll be back later this week for a Crohn’s update and a look back at 2016. Because I may be sick and the world may be going to shit, but the year wasn’t all bad! I’ll choose to end on a high note.)
From my family to yours, we hope you had a wonderful holiday!