Growing up, Christmastime was always my favorite part of the year. My parents did a spectacular job of making the season magical and building traditions for our family. Every year until I graduated from college, I remember waiting at the top of the stairs with my three younger brothers, all dressed in our pajamas, for our dad to get ready with the video camera and for the coffee to finish brewing before we could come down to the family room. I also remember, every year without fail, bundling up in the car with hot cocoa to drive around our neighborhood looking for the best Christmas lights- and, when we got home, my mom beaming at my dad and saying ours were the best.
Since finishing school, I’ve moved around a lot and spent a few Christmases apart from my family. This will be my second in a row- both spent in New Mexico, with frosty mountains swapped in for Chicago’s snowy roads. No doubt I feel a little sadness missing out on the Zucco fun, but I’ll FaceTime with them in the morning and will see them for vacation soon, so it’s been pretty easy to be positive about the situation, and Shaun’s been good about reminding me that I still talk with my family plenty during the season. With all that said… it’s been nice to start building new traditions here.
The way Shaun phrased it to me yesterday was that now, as adults, we’re creating the Christmas magic in ways that “grown-ups” did it for us when we were kids- and it helps that Shaun has a lot of family here, so there are plenty of kids around to create the magic for. We’ve passed on the excitement of chocolate-a-day Advent calendars, explained the Nativity, made gingerbread houses, bought little Nutcrackers (which Shaun’s mini me insists on using for even roasted peanuts), baked cookies and packaged them in little Santa tins, and thrown snowballs with the little bit of snow we got this month.
It’s a bittersweet feeling being on the other side of Christmas in that way. But “grown-up” or not, I still feel the magic, and I get it in different ways now – appreciating decorations in town plazas, snuggling up with cocoa and movies, insisting on corny Christmas carols in the car, and knowing that I have new friends and loved ones to spent the day itself with.
Wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas, with all of the magic the North Pole has to offer. :o)