It is interesting really how quickly this time of year seems to go. Just a few short weeks ago we were gearing up for Halloween and then, in the blink of an eye, the Christmas tree is up and we are getting ready for the next big holiday. Thanksgiving came and went so quickly it was almost like it never happened at all.
We had a really good Thanksgiving this year. When we were in Orlando, our home had become the catch-all for all of our friends who didn’t have anywhere to go for turkey day. Then, over the years, instead of it being simply a catch-all, it became our family gathering of friends and family alike. It was truly nice and was something that we have been missing up here. The house full of people, lots of laughter and good cheer – these things are a big deal and tough to come by when you move to a new place and are trying to find your way. The first year we were here it was us and Shannon, and although it was quite lovely it was not what we were used to experiencing. Our second year was much better – JJ’s mom came, and his brother and sister-in-law, and Aunts, and cousins – well, you get the idea. It was a full house and it was wonderful. It was exactly what you would want for a Thanksgiving Day.
But this year, our third year here – none of the relatives could make it, and we were left with just the four of us. We knew we’d have a nice day because, well, we actually really like hanging out with each other – but when you have spent so many years with a house full of people it can be tough to spend it with just the four of you. But we were not to be alone this year after all! Several of JJ’s students could not go home for the big day and so they invaded us. It was wonderful having a house full of people again, and truly made the day seem special. Lots of laughter, lots of food – everything one could want from the holiday.
Now we start looking to Christmas. Last year Christmas Day itself was a rather subdued event – again, not like our Orlando holidays, and it will likely be that way again this year. Not that I necessarily mind Christmas being all to ourselves for the introvert in me loved being able to spend all day in my pajamas recharging from the craziness that led up to the big day. Last year we were also blessed with a bunch of friends who came to town before the big day – the Kirkpatricks and the Bannatynes were in town and it made the holiday simply amazing and more than I could ever have hoped for. The days leading up to Christmas last year were really like our normal Christmas Days, they just came early and I can’t tell you how blessed I felt and how happy seeing all of them made all of us.
Perhaps it is time to start new traditions for our holidays, which can be quite enjoyable in and of itself figuring out what your new normal is. And as long as we don’t get rid of the essentials, we should be alright – you know, eating your face off and watching White Christmas….