Initially, I never look forward to this time of year. I dislike the cold, I don’t like giving up my shorts, and layering always makes me feel fat. Despite all that, this is still one of my favorite times of year.
Now the traffic and busy, crowded stores are something I will always dislike (a reason I’ve never participated in Black Friday Madness), but there’s something exceedingly wonderful around this time that can easily outweigh the bad things. It’s a time of family, traditions, togetherness, sharing.
For my boyfriend and I, it’s our first Christmas together so we’ve started our own traditions, some brand new and others integrated from both our upbringings and beliefs.
Probably the biggest of which would be our tree. Sometime during all our conversations before I moved up here, I asked about picking out our tree and cutting it down. Dylan found the tree farm, and with a lot of child-like giggling and wonder, I skipped all around with the saw provided (probably not the safest thing I did this year lol!) until we selected our tree. It was so much fun and the people who run the place were all so nice, we decided we’ll always get our trees there.
Other traditions are smaller, but just as meaningful. A bird nest in the tree for luck, an heirloom ornament that Dylan’s great-great-great-grandfather brought over from Germany, and last night I hung up tiny stockings I had bought last year for our critters.
Brooklyn’s, Sasha’s, Friday’s, Fenwing’s…and Lucky’s. The last little stocking had no hook for it on the wall as our sweet girl has been gone for nearly two and a half months. (https://sheepcarrot.wordpress.com/2014/11/04/the-life-of-lucky/) Dylan agreed that we should still hang it, and he said it should go on the top of the tree.
Dylan and I opened our gifts after he got home from work last night—close enough to midnight for me to feel it was still on Christmas but soon enough for Dylan’s excited impatience. For both Christmas and Thanksgiving I had to work so we rearranged things so we could still celebrate as a family. Thanksgiving dinner we held the Sunday prior and Saturday morning we’ll be exchanging gifts with his mother.
In some ways that makes the holiday even more precious to me, but then the gathering of family is what makes the holidays so special.
To all of you, I wish you Merry Christmas, Happy Yule, Happy Hanukkah, or which ever holiday you observe and celebrate. I hope your day was full of joy and love! And I’d love to hear some of your own traditions during this joyous season!