As always, Christmas came and went faster than I could comprehend. The last thing I posted before today was my goal to get into the holiday spirit before it was too late. Christmas shopping and crafting and wrapping and music and movies certainly helped. However, I notice that it’s the actual holiday and the traditions it holds, such as dinner on Christmas Eve and watching It’s a Wonderful Life and A Christmas Story with my sister, that add the missing link.
It’s on the holiday that I finally feel that joy, relaxation, and spirit.
I cried on Christmas night. I cried because Christmas is over, though my mom always says the season has only just begun (despite what the stores tell you, it’s okay to continue celebrating and gifting and being merry). But really, I think I cried because I left my home that evening (I had work at 5 a.m. the day after Christmas) for Brad’s. And while it was great to give each other our presents under his silly beer bottle-topped Christmas tree, I think I was hit with that realization of growing up and things changing. Work the next day, away from my parents and sister, all back to reality.
My sister and I have had a tradition for as long as I can remember. Growing up, we shared a bed and, even when we finally got separate twin beds, we shared a room. It was only in 2004, the year we moved out of the house, that we got separate rooms. But Christmas isn’t meant for separate rooms, so we would move my mattress into her bedroom and we’d wrap presents and watch A Christmas Story and set an alarm so we could sneak out and check out the goodies underneath the tree and annoy our parents. As we’ve gotten older, we still sleep in the same room and bed, but we stay up later, we sleep longer, we don’t really check the tree.
It was the first year I realized that I am getting closer to a future without these kinds of Christmas Eves. Though there are no plans for nuptials or babies on the way, eventually I will have my own place to live, a husband, some kids…if all goes well, of course…and these traditions will disappear in favor of new ones. I will always cherish them, and I can only hope that (if I am lucky to have them) my future children share the same excitement as my sister and I have all these years. There’s no specific time that my current traditions will stop, but I’m so close to it. I know it’s coming.
I guess the best part is, no matter what, Christmas will be about family.