Two years ago, we were in Italy. As we approached our first Christmas away from our families, my moping put the year's celebrations in jeopardy. I didn't know how to embrace the season without having our loved ones there to share it with. I was homesick and, embarrassing as it is to admit, prone to crying about it. Fortunately, I snapped out of my pitiful state just in time to save Christmas. I baked cookies, watched Christmas movies, and streamed holiday classics through an internet radio station. We went to mass despite not understanding the language. I even whipped up some homemade cinnamon buns because I couldn’t find any Italian equivalent to Pillsbury.
While our families were thousands of miles and several time zones away, these small pieces of Christmases past helped establish the feeling of my favorite holiday of the year. From there, new elements were integrated into our holiday festivities like a brunch of make-ahead egg strata and an afternoon viewing of It's a Wonderful Life. Blending the old with the new, we have developed what I suppose could be considered our own little Christmas traditions. Traditions that will inevitably grow and change as does our own little family and its location.
This year was perfect proof of that. Having a baby to share in the magic of Christmas gave the holiday an entirely new dynamic. (It also inspired the addition of "family nap" to our holiday's agenda.) While Brayden
gifts munched on wrapping paper I couldn't help but be excited for him and
simultaneously excited for myself as a parent. Though he doesn’t necessarily
understand it yet, this Christmas marked his first of many that will likely be
part of countless cherished memories. Small details from these celebrations of
faith, love, and happiness will bring with them the feeling of “home”, like
they have done for Kevin and I. And, I hope that he values them as much as we
do. If he does, he will be able to bring the spirit of Christmas wherever he goes,
much like Kevin and I do now.
So, until the day that our December includes the company of our families again, I will be incredibly grateful for Skype. And, I will continue to be thankful that we have so many loved ones worthy of being missed on the holidays (and every day for that matter). Families that have instilled in us the true meaning of the Christmas. We love you all!