As Christmas approaches (like in 3 days), I've been taking time to reflect on the many wonderful traditions my family maintains. This is my last Christmas as a single woman and at home. Next year, I'll be starting Christmas traditions with my husband and it will have been 8 months of marriage. There have been many tears shed over this Christmas as well as anxiety. I repeatedly asked Michael one day if I could go back to being eight years old when life was so much simpler. He reached down and picked up my left hand, "Eight year-olds don't get this." My ring, his ring, was sitting proudly on my finger. He explained that life isn't supposed to stay simple. We are made to grow and live our lives.
With Ende just married less than a week ago and my wedding coming soon, this Christmas definitely has a theme of reflection and taking in as much as I can. I wish I could bottle up all the traditions, songs, memories, ornaments, smells, and people I am spending this last Christmas with. (I know I'm dramatic, but still) This year, and next, are huge times of transition for my family. This time next year so much will have changed. It's hard to think of my mom as old enough to have children married and graduated from college. She has been through a roller coaster of emotions, but has borne everything incredibly well. She has made sure to enjoy every minute. She's always been the one to keep traditions going in our home.
We blast Christmas music through the house from the day after Thanksgiving, till we take our tree down around New Year's. We dance and sing loudly while guzzling mug-fulls of hot chocolate and egg nog.
Our tree gets decorated despite the boys never helping. They usually just lay around in the living room to say they played a part.
We watch A Charlie Brown Christmas all together in the living room.
Christmas brunch with my mom's siblings and their families is always a joyous time. You really notice how small the tree is when Ra Ra and Pa finish unloading presents. Everyone packs in the living room super tight and everyone is sitting on each other; but that makes it fun. The "littles"(all the younger cousins) bounce around the room wanting to help unwrap presents and sit in laps. When they get a present they plunge to the floor and attack it with no mercy. Pa always (ALWAYS) gives Ra Ra some delicate piece of jewelry that makes her cry and cry and cry. We video it every year.
It's strange to think I won't be around to help decorate or dance wildly to Christmas music next year. I am excited to be starting my own traditions and carry some of the old with me. I plan to soak up this Christmas more than I have others (which I regret) and make sure to be present every moment. It's times of transition that make us stop and really appreciate all of the traditions we were raised with. I can't wait for this Christmas to come and to be surrounded by all of my wonderful people!
Merry Christmas everyone! Enjoy all the love and laughter of the season!