Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Christmas at Our House, It's Tradition

I still don't want to admit that Christmas has come and gone, and maybe that's why I haven't posted about Christmas yet. We anticipate all year for Christmas, and then it's gone within a blink of an eye. I had to work on Christmas Eve, which was something that I have never done, but I wasn't mad because I was able to bring a little holiday cheer to the children that were stuck in the hospital on Christmas. We received so many donations at the hospital that we were able to make bags for the children to open up on Christmas morning, because Santa visits the hospital. Every child that still believes in Santa doesn't realize that; they think that since they're not home, Santa will forget about them, and my job is to make sure the hospital experience is as normal as possible, so of course Santa comes to the hospital! While I didn't get to see the joy on the children's faces on Christmas morning, they were on my mind as I opened my own gifts. After we had packaged the gifts in bags, I headed home to help set up yet another Christmas Eve at our house. It's become a tradition that we all look forward to, no matter how much we stress about it. It doesn't matter who comes or what we eat, all that matters is that we're surrounded by loved ones. Isn't that what Christmas is about... not the presents or the feel in the air, although that does contribute to the happiness, I know it's all about the love. As family started to arrive, I started to feel that love, fill up the room. As family, and friends started to arrive, and the coats were sprung across the bed, I began to think how truly lucky I was to have this love in my life, to know that each individual was there because this meant something to them too... it had simply become a tradition.

The night quickly slipped away as wine was poured and delicious homemade food was devoured. Tutus were brought out and pictures were taken by the tree. It could not have been more perfect, with friends and family all around, even if I did wind up with an overabundance of pictures being taken on my phone {thanks Mel}. I wouldn't have changed a thing.

The next morning, I awoke to the smell of bacon, eggs, and cinnamon rolls... not an unusual smell to wake up to on Christmas morning in my house, because my mom made sure that we always shared Christmas breakfast together. I couldn't sleep any longer, even though it was still early. I think no matter how old I get I will always wake up early on Christmas morning, whether there are presents under the tree for me or not. It's just a tradition. Plus how could anyone go back to sleep after smelling bacon. 

We passed each other the gifts we had picked out and wrapped up, but we didn't unwrap together, instead we watched as each individual person unwrapped their gift, because what's the sense of rushing? What's the sense of passing along your well thought out, meaningful gift and not being able to see the joy on their faces, that is unless they know what they're getting... like my dad had known, after we had went shopping together so he could try on new cowboy boots. He still acted surprised when he opened the box I had wrapped. It was the joy in everyone's eyes that made the presents well worth it. We could have gotten each other nothing, and no one would have cared, but that feeling ... that feeling you get when you know you gave the perfect gift... it's indescribable... even as I sit here trying to type this... I'm unable to, and I would safely assume there are more people out there with these feelings. That morning we spend as a family, alone, but together. That morning quickly slipped into the afternoon, and before I knew it we were headed to Michelle's house to celebrate with her family, and eventually my Aunt and Uncle's to end the night. That is when I saw Sal. Some might think it's weird that we don't spend Christmas day together, but it doesn't bother us, it's what works for us. We each respect our families and our times together, and realize this time with our family is important, there will be plenty of time to spend with each other and our own family in the future. We didn't exchange gifts this year either, which people reacted to with confused looks as well, but again, it worked for us. Instead of material things, things that we could buy ourselves, we decide to save that money and go on trips and adventures together throughout the year. 

Christmas is a time to spend with those you love, to share that love, but not by showering each other with gifts, but by being with one another, sharing stories, laughing, and creating tradition after tradition

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