Like last year, I spent Christmas Eve at the hospital, packing up bags of toys for the boys and girls to wake up to on Christmas morning. It's more work than you think, but well worth it, even if I don't see their smiles in the morning or hear their squels, I know they're happy.
I rushed home that afternoon to make it back to my house before our guests arrived for Christmas Eve dinner. We have not let any year go by without this holiday tradition. I was home in no time, changing and getting ready for the night ahead. As my brother lit the sternos and the smells of the food lingered in the air, my stomach growled and I couldn't wait for the night to start! Guests slowly started to arrive, and the night slipped on by. Our conversations filled the house, and our bellies grew full. We lasted all night without taking pictures by the tree, another tradition that I'm sure my boyfriend could live without, but as people started leaving, we called them one by one over to our tree to take pictures. Taking pictures is something I won't ever give up, because they last forever and I love looking back over the years at events I've been to, experiences I've gone through, and people I've spent time with.
I slipped into a dreamless sleep that night, with a smile on my face as I looked forward to Christmas morning. No matter how old I am, I think I'll continue to wake up early and excited on Christmas. I spent the morning in my pjs with my family. We opened presents, and then put on Christmas movies all morning. I scored a few workout outfits (VSX & Asics), as well as tons of gift cards and fitness related items.
My mom cooked us our usual Christmas morning breakfast - eggs, bacon, toast, and of course, cinnamon rolls. I ate everything, throwing my "lean, clean , and green" rule book out for the day. Life is all about balance, and if you can't have a cinnamon roll drenched in frosting, what kind of life are you living?!
After breakfast, we continued to watch movies. I even got my dad to watch Frozen. Thanks to my job, I was able to sing every song that came on. He just loved that, ha. Later that evening, I finally got dressed (before I fell asleep on the couch) and headed to Sal's house to spend time with his family. I went just in time to enjoy dinner, which was delicious. They could spend all day at the table, first slowly enjoying appetizers, then moving onto courses, and eventually settling down with dessert - it could last hours, which is nice and all, but not something I like to do - I mean who wants to wait all day to eat or spend all day eating?
Sal and I didn't exchange gifts again this year, instead we plan on using the money we would have spent (and then some) on a trip far, far away, just the two of us. I'm thinking some place tropical?
It was the perfect balance of food, family, and memory making, and I honestly would not have had it any other way.
As much as I wish it was still the holiday season, I'll tell you one thing I don't miss about Christmas being over, holiday traffic.