Christmas is a big shindig for my family. The festivities start on Christmas Eve – often with a themed party with attendees donned in ugly sweaters – and extend to the following day, through a breakfast feast, presents, a nice dinner, games, drinks, laughter, and ultimately ending with us crashing in front of a holiday movie with some pie and eggnog.
Over the years, the family has grown and branched onto separate paths of their own, but this house has held them all. Every year has seen us – no matter the distance – coming home to this place of warmth, family, and wild shenanigans. It’s my favorite time of year, and I wouldn’t miss it for the world.
But as the years progress, changes are inevitable. My brother has missed a few years due to work, and my sister’s family won’t be here for the first time. It certainly isn’t the same without them, but we still have a blast with those who do make it, and we know those who can’t are here in spirit. Someday, there will come a day when we can’t be here, ourselves. It’ll be different, and I’ll miss the big family, but we’ll grow it into our own traditions and forge a new path.
This year might be our last in the house my parents have had since I was in middle school. My parents have retired, and they’re looking to move. Fortunately, it’ll be to a place closer to us. They’ll be in a new house without these memories I’ve nurtured for so many years, but their being closer means I can visit more frequently. All of the Easters and Thanksgivings, birthdays, and spontaneous camping trips – all of the little things I’ve missed since moving out of state – those will return to our lives. These are the things my life has been lacking, and I am excited to have those I love back in my day-to-day.
I love my family, and it’s difficult to see it change. But I know we have amazing times ahead, even if they aren’t in my childhood home. And I know I won’t always get to see my entire family for the holidays, but I treasure the moments we get, and I’m hopeful for the future adventures, changes and all.
Merry Christmas, from me to all of you!