But, when I took the children back to their dad's house, it was sad. He looked a little sad. Then, I got sad and I couldn't look at him anymore. I kissed them goodbye, and handed him the present and food my grandmother had sent him with my eyes down and I left as quickly as I could.
I cried a lot Christmas Eve. but kept reminding myself that different doesn't have to be bad.
Christmas Day was exactly what I had wanted it to be - relaxing, productive and fun.
I woke up when I wanted, a little sad, but not weepy. I finished wrapping presents, completed the first prototype of my new invention (J.B. Weld is my new favorite thing!) and headed out to my brother's house at my leisure. Honestly, it was nice to let someone else host a Holiday. I've hosted at least 2 of the 3 big Holidays each year for the last 5-6 years and this year nothing. I can see the appeal, to be quite honest.
Brother delivered on his "No Judgment Zone" promise as I knew he would. We had fun. Lots of fun. Fun with his kids, fun playing football (an instant new tradition) and fun bundled up around a campfire telling stories and lies.
Today was my turn to have the kids for Christmas at my house. It was nice relaxing day of presents, home-cooked lunch (complement of my mom) and just playing with the col stuff Santa brought. Exactly what I wanted it to be.
Looking over the last 3 days, it looks like I was right. It was different, but not BAD. Parts of it sucked and I hope those parts get better every year. But, overall, it could have been so much worse. I'm happy to have had it almost perfect than the alternative.