This Christmas has been a reminder of many things. I know most holidays are stressful with the production that goes into it and the unexpressed emotions around people who sometimes don’t know the truth about who we are. In spite of all that, it is a reminder to enjoy the time we have together. Time passes quickly and you never know when it may be the last holiday you have together. My family has an odd love for each other. We tend to harbor a lot of resentment without talking about what the real issue is and then get angry when we repeat the behavior. Yet we all somehow still want to get together. I have this image in my head of what it’s like to be family and what it’s like to be present with each other and it nearly never turns out that way.
We celebrated with my in-laws last week and it was such a different vibe. I used to feel like my husband’s family was a bit mean because of how direct they were with each other. But I see how they are able to have the conversation and move on which is a thousand times more productive than holding on to something for 20 years and rehashing it over and over again in your head and getting mad because someone doesn’t get it. I mean, don’t get me wrong, there is still drama of sorts and there are still dysfunctional things with people not speaking to each other, but once some time passes, they all come back together again.
None of this is to say that I don’t love the holidays. I adore the pomp and circumstance and the lights and the glitter and the ability to be happy for no other reason than we get to spoil each other a bit. I love preparing a great meal and having my family around me and playing games. I love creating a new tradition mixed with the old. I love seeing the roles shift and watching my parents be the grand-parents and light up seeing the grandkids marvel at the magic of it all. I love creating the magic!
This year I am especially appreciative of having a place to bring the family so we can be together safely and comfortably. I’m grateful to have the family together again for a holiday after nearly two years. I’m grateful I fell right back into the routine of the prep and managed to get it together. It didn’t matter what it looked like in the end, but I’m always glad to try and give my best to everyone. I’m so happy for the memories of what we did together. The games, the laughter, the kids running around. Life is chaotic enough, but ironically enough this chaos is life. Hearing it all, the loudness, the laughter that is life. We get to cherish that while it is here. What a gift.