This is going to be our first Christmas away from our families, and yet, we will be with family this Christmas.
We have many friends who are here for this special time of year and feel very grateful that we have places to go and things to do. And we are grateful that we are home and comfortable. My heart goes out to those who are still fighting to go home via plane, train, and bus.
Last night I made some of my Christmas presents and then we decorated the tree. Matt even said that next year we could get a real one or a bigger fake one! :) We watched Chronicles of Narnia with cups of tea, and then Nathan came over. We ordered pizza, drank beer, and watched old episodes of The Simpsons. Poor guy has to work today and tomorrow!
Today I'll finish the Christmas presents, get some wrapping done and go shopping for Matt's stocking (something else I didn't plan for). Tonight we'll have a get-together with friends (Jeremy, Katy, Paige A, and hopefully Matt and Jessica). Tomorrow we'll catch a movie or two (hopefully Nathan will join us) in the morning, and then head to Pasadena for dinner with Gayvin, Eric, and their 4 year old son, Jack.
While we have plans, and are grateful for all that we have here in L.A., I am still missing my family and our traditions. I know there is no time like the present to start our own, I guess because this was so unexpected I am not prepared for these emotions. It's a bit of a rollercoaster. Having our place decorated is so important to me, and yes, we have our tree, and our stockings are on the wall, and I really hope we can hang some lights tonight.
It just occured to me why this is so hard. My mom. She made Christmas so special. Presents were artfully presented under the tree, with the main gift or gifts not wrapped in boxes. I remember one year, when I was 10...I had begged and begged for an American Girl Doll, specifically Kirsten. I wanted her because everyone else I knew had Samantha or Kirsten, and I felt she deserved some attention, and I loved her story. Anyway, come Christmas morning - must've been around 5am - I went upstairs and there she was!! Just waiting for me as if she had planned the trip herself. I was so beyond thrilled. There were some other things I got that year, that were out on display, so I carefully removed her from under the tree and then bolted to my parents bedroom to share my excitement. They smiled, gave me a hug, and promptly told me to go back to bed, that it was too early. So I went back to my bedroom, but took my new doll with me. Over the years, I got more outfits and even her trunk and bed. Now she's in storage, awaiting perhaps our future daughter to play with her.
But I digress. Mom was an artist, and her artistic ways really shone through when the holidays came up. Advent calendars on the wall, stockings, decorations, our tree with all of our old ortaments, the one year we got Coconut and she was quite lively so we got a small tree and put it on a table so she couldn't destroy the ortaments. There was just something so cozy and warm about the house, the love and attention she put into the details. And the cooking...oh my gawd, the food was delicious! All kinds of Christmas cookies, the baked ham, mashed potatoes, brownies, Keith's chocolates, egg nog and homemade apple cider...YUM!! My Dad said they don't even have a tree this year, no decorations, and I doubt he'll even hang stockings. I hope weather permits Diane and Gregg to make it to his house for Christmas dinner. Hopefully a neighbor will offer to drive him to church.
Like I said before, it's a mix of emotions this year. I'm happy to be in L.A. and not dealing with the stress of traveling somewhere, but I'm also missing my family and traditions. It's up to me to try and keep those traditions going while creating new ones and making the old ones work for our little family. With this being our first Christmas away from the Pacific Northwest, I think we're doing pretty well so far. :)