A Quick Christmas With The Cristianos

Happy Day After the Day After Christmas!

A very cliché Christmas!
A very cliché 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.

Matching Christmas jammies! I couldn't help myself...
Matching Christmas jammies! I couldn’t help myself…

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.

Banjo, Jasper, and Ellie!
Banjo, Jasper, and Ellie!

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.

Ellie making herself at home at Grandma's...
Ellie making herself at home at Grandma’s…

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.

Tyler loves baking! Abby and I love eating!
Tyler loves baking! Abby and I love eating!

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.

Acting VERY SERIOUS in spite of all the fun.
Acting VERY SERIOUS in spite of all the fun.

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.

Sleepy and happy and full of Christmas cookies.
Sleepy and happy and full of Christmas cookies.

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.

Abby learned how to tell Ellie to "sit," so she did it all weekend long. Ellie obliged.
Abby learned how to tell Ellie to “sit,” so she did it all weekend long. Ellie obliged.

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.

No more antlers for Ellie!
No more antlers for Ellie!

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.)

A Very Crist(mas)iano Christmas. That's as clever as I can get.
A Very Crist(mas)iano Christmas. That’s as clever as I can get.

From my family to yours, we hope you had a wonderful holiday!



8 Responses

  1. Merry Christmas! Ellie is absolutely adorable, I want to smoosh her! So sorry to hear you’re still having flare ups, I really hope you find some relief soon.

  2. Merry Christmas! I’m sorry you’re Crohnsing. I’m Cushings-ing (?) and it blows, but we try to make the holiday happy. We also dealt with the black ice all the way to my folks’ house (we’re also in NH) and it was terrifying, and I was behind the wheel! Happy to hear an update from you and glad you were able to have at least some good times. Wishing you a happy and HEALTHY new year.

  3. Glad you arrived home safely through the black ice. Looking forward to your year end post and rear end post (funny? Maybe not). Seriously though I’m so glad you got to spend the holiday weekend with all your favorite people and Ellie.
    And how exciting for her to have a yard full of snow. Best Gift ever! As corny as it sounds I wish for health to come back your way in 2017 and every year after.

  4. Ice is the worst. We drove up to Bend for Thanksgiving and I nearly drove us under a semi when I hit some ice on the way, it was terrifying, and we saw two flipped cars on the way home. Proud of you for driving on the ice – I totally handed the wheel to my husband after our Dancing On Ice moment!! Shudder.

    Merry Christmas, Ali!

    1. No I WASN’T driving! Brian was. I had offered to drive and he said he would drive, and by the time we hit the icy stuff I was super glad I wasn’t the one behind the wheel. Black ice is no joke.

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about ali

I’m the creator of the Ali on the Run blog and the host of the Ali on the Run Show podcast. I’m also a freelance writer and editor, a race announcer, a runner and marathoner, a mom, and a huge fan of Peanut M&Ms, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (way better than the first one!), and reliving my glory days as a competition dancer in the early 2000s. I’m really happy you’re here.
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