I almost missed today. I put Caleigh to bed and thought I am going to make popcorn and watch The Mistletones. As I was taking my bra off, I remembered I haven’t blogged yet! So, here we are, friend. This post is between me and Tiana Mowry’s angelic voice.
Something that keeps popping up in movie motifs is the meaning of Christmas. Sure, this is cliche and sentimental, but I do think it holds different connotations for each of us. In my life, Christmas has meant the bringing together of family. When I was little, my Nana & Papa’s house is where we gathered. My family lived in the same town, but my two aunts and very cool guncle lived off Cape. During Christmas, they all came to Falmouth and slept at Nana and Papa’s. We would wake up on Christmas super early, do presents at home and then immediately head to where everyone else was just waking up. Uncle Johnny made the best toast and we would eat breakfast and open gifts all together, all 13 of us. I loved having them here. Now, I live in the very house where they used to come. It’s a strange role reversal to LIVE in this Christmas house. While the people who gather have partially changed, my aunts live in Virgina, we do all still come together. My parents, siblings with spouses and daughters, my in laws, guncle and cousin, and this year, Mallory’s in laws. It’s a full, loud, happy house and I wouldn’t want it to be any different.
Along these lines, Christmas has also meant a time to cherish what you have and appreciate it. Out loud. The “kids” in my family have always been asked to write letters to Santa. I remember going through the Sears catalog with a pen carefully demarcating what I knew I needed. I was picky even then. If I asked for too many irrelevant things, I might be the recipient of random gifts. So, I curated my list. I still do. Because of this process, I have to know what I have. I clean and organize my belongings every year so I can be honest about what I need. In doing this, I always recognize how blessed I am to need nothing. It allows me to be openly grateful for what I do have: a healthy child, my best friend as a husband, my dream home, a career that feels meaningful, and people I deeply care about and love. The fact that I might want a fall/winter crossbody bag becomes less significant when I reflect on what I hold dear. I love to make lists about who and what I’m grateful for. I also think now is a fantastic time to tell them. Actually say it or write it down. It’s uncomfortable at first, but you overcome that. Doesn’t everyone want to feel loved and appreciated? It’s one of the best gifts you can provide.
Aside from family and gratitude, my meaning of Christmas is in the small things.
The smell of pine in the house, the flicker of candelight, the glow of white lights on glass ornaments, the over consumption of hot cocoa, a village set up in a bay window, the taste of peppermint, the Grinch, my Papa’s Santa suit, opening pajamas on Christmas Eve.
These are Christmas to me. It’s instilled in my blood and honestly, I don’t know how they got there. Was it through childhood tradition? An expectation? Experiences? Perhaps a combination? However these came to me, I’m so glad they did. I hope I’m passing these on to Caleigh because December is a magical month. It holds the power to make a difficult year seem brighter.
What do the holidays mean to you?