Then I got more family around me and things improved pretty dramatically pretty quickly.
We visited Bryce and Sara and the family earlier this month with Oma and Opa, and that was grand, as it always is. When 2/3 of the cousins from Rocky Mountain House arrived, things got even more festive as we visited, played games, attended the Christmas Eve service together and exchanged gifts.
Audrey did a great job getting the house looking great, and my small contribution was curating her Christmas music onto the upstairs computer, resulting in a Christmas playlist over 22 hours long, with no repeats. Sure, there are 11 different versions of Silent Night, but none by the same artist, and we can add another three albums to the mix that don't shuffle up so well, like Trans Siberian Orchestra and Fenya's choir CD, The Time of Snow (available on iTunes!). This was also our first time hiding a Christmas pickle in the tree, and Glory was the one who found it, and won a movie (Ghostbusters!) for doing so.
Tara, Jerry and Jason came to church with us Christmas Eve, and Jerry proposed to her Christmas morning (!), so I get a new brother-in-law and nephew out of the deal, and couldn't be happier. We overnighted with them in Leduc on the 27th, seeing The Hobbit that evening and going for breakfast at Cora's the next day.
Sometimes it seems the best way to escape your fate is to embrace it, like Han Solo getting closer to the asteroids in The Empire Strikes Back; I am far happier having gotten in some much needed family time with our out of town relations than I would have been having had the time to myself. Now, if I can just reconnect with more of my friends before returning to work January 2nd, things will be perfect!