There is so much about this time of year that I find exciting and fun, but this year I was especially excited to spend time with my family. I have always been close with my family and my mom is one of my closest friends, but there was some sort of urgency in spending time with my family this year. Something was/is different about it now.
As always, it was beautiful. And by beautiful I mean hectic, rushed, fun, stressful, filling and comforting. I arrived at my parents (okay, by arrived I mean my mom picked me up just off the Gardiner) with a HORRIBLE cold. So bad that I even took myself to the walk-in clinic before going home for the holidays so that I could assure my whole family that I had been checked out and wasn’t going to die/pass on something really horrible. I went home on Christmas Eve, grabbed my Dad’s car, drove to Toronto to pick up the boyfriend and presents and drove to his parents house in Whitby. Had a festively tipsy night there and my first turkey dinner and woke up after 4 hrs of sleep to drive back home to Brampton in time to open presents with my family. We still do the up at 8am to open stocking and presents because I’ve got two younger brothers and I guess we’re real big on tradition. I’ll admit it, I love it.
For Christmas we have two big days – one for my Dad’s side of the family and one for my Mom’s. My dad’s is a smaller family and Christmas is a bit quieter than the wild one for my mom’s side of the family. Traditions for both are changing since all of my cousins are getting older and either bringing boyfriends and girlfriends or having to miss Christmas for one reason or another.
While sitting around the dinner table (okay, 4 dinner tables pushed together so that most of us can sit together) with my mom’s family, my uncle and I talked about just how special it is that we can do something like this. There are so many of us on that side of the family and we are all able to get together and get along (for the most part) every year for Christmas and Thanksgiving and sometimes a few other times in between. I used to feel so much older and isolated from my more than 20 younger cousins, but now that they are all getting older we all get along so much better and usually stay up later than all the adults catching up and playing drinking games with all the newly legal ones. Christmas is always a nice reminder that another 40 people REALLY love and support me unconditionally and really DO want to know “how school is” or how “that job is going”.
And apart from all the family love and attention comes the gifts. Now that I’m older (read: broke) a lot of my gifts are things that I need or want and can’t afford to buy for myself. Here are some of this year’s highlights (according to me):
My youngest brother was really creative and got me a pass to go snowboarding with him one day this winter. He knows I’ve been complaining that I haven’t gotten to go in 2 years so now I have no excuse AND I have someone to go with 🙂
All in all, Christmas was a great visit with family. Now bring on next year!!