Growing up, I was an only child. We lived about 500 miles away from our family and we didn't go visit during the holidays. Then, as I grew older, we moved 3000 miles away and we really didn't visit at Christmas then! So, for most of my childhood, it was just me and my parents at the holidays. No big family gatherings, just us, in our beautifully decorated home, sharing the holiday together.
When I became an adult, it became necessary to change things up just a little, naturally, as serious boyfriends and later a husband, came into the picture. I spent part of the time with my family and part with theirs, like most couples do.
Once I married my wonderful husband, Steven, however, a huge change became necessary. You see, they live in Los Angeles, and they too adore Christmas. But, in a different way. Steven has a much larger family than me, and he is used to be being with them for the holidays. So, we had to make adjustments. As the years went by, and we had our son, it became clear that no matter what my thoughts were on traditions and how much I wanted us to have family traditions, we were supposed to be with Steven's family for Christmas. I really struggled with this for a long time, until just recently when I realized that, no matter what I thought I wanted, we have traditions. We have family, and we are loved. Very loved. Steven's parents love to have us come and visit and spend time with them, and to be honest, I completely treasure that time. His parents are so good to me and I love them more than I could ever say. I am extremely blessed to have people who care so much about me and want to be with me.
So, as this posts, I will actually BE in Los Angeles, with my family, celebrating Christmas a few days early because this year, I have to work before and after Christmas, making it impossible for us to spend more than the weekend with them. However, this year, unlike some years in the past, when I have felt a bit "off" about being there, I will treasure every moment, every hug, every smile, and be grateful for the time we are blessed to be able to spend together because....
Christmas is what you make of it.