Well, we all survived Luke's first Christmas, and our third Christmas without Olivia.
Christmas has been hard every year (well, maybe not as much the first year- when we were still mostly numb and avoided it all), but this year was especially challenging, as we tried to balance celebrating our first Christmas with Lucas with missing our daughter.
It's the little things and not so little things that are a punch to the gut: Baby's First Christmas ornament that we only have for one baby, stockings, visiting the cemetary on Christmas morning instead of going to church, friend's toddlers all dressed up in front of their tree.
Most of our time at home with just the three of us, I kept thinking about how different it should be but isn't. This is our third Christmas, and it still really sucks that she isn't here.
I think now that we have Lucas here, we felt forced (by ourselves/mommy guilt)to do the Christmas stuff again that we haven't done or to the same extent the previous years. This was the first year I put our tree up since Olivia died (and I waited until the last minute, the 23rd, before I finally did it, and seriously contemplated not putting a tree up at all since it's not like Luke will know or remember the difference- this year at least.) But he LOVES the tree- more than presents and wrapping paper and boxes. So I'm glad I sucked it up and put it up. Anyway, we put the tree up and stockings, shopped (mostly online, thank god for the internet) and wrapped presents, etc. I made and sent out Christmas cards. All of that normal stuff.
And I mostly felt normal. The night before Christmas Eve, after we put the tree up and Lucas to bed, he woke back up while I was in the middle of wrapping presents. I let him crawl around and "help" (which he did by climbing on presents, pulling ornaments off the tree, etc.) while I tried to finish and avoid a trip to the ER with an injured baby. (Sucessful, though it took till 2 am to finally get done.) Even though Lucas wasn't especially helpful, he was really cute, and I thought about how much better this year is with him here vs. last year when he was just in my belly. He really has filled our lives with so much light and laughter and happiness...better than anything I could ask for for Christmas.
We went and saw extended family- Christmas Eve with my mom's side (then at my parent's house later since my siblings both worked Christmas day), Christmas Day we did our own Christmas, then to the cemetery, then to my dad's family. (Joe's family is all in PA.) Luke did pretty well with the choas and so many people and our schedule and everything totally off. He got plenty of presents, although he was pretty ambivalent about unwrapping them. All in all, it was good. Bittersweet as always, but a lot of sweet to go with our bitter this year. Hopefully next Christmas will be even better.