Sunday, December 7, 2008

My One Thing

Okay, so maybe I shouldn't be posting tonight. I'm not feeling that great mentally, and I think my hubby and I are officially sunk: the car rides have stopped working. It is 11:45pm and my daughter just went to sleep ten whole minutes ago. And it's been this way for a few nights.

It's not that I mind staying up. It's not that at all. It's that I need my time to myself, and when she gets up at 7:30am and goes to bed at 11:30pm, she has been with me every single moment throughout the day. I need a few hours to myself to do things like, oh, say, BLOG, or WRITE EMAIL. Perhaps even just watch some TV or let my brain have some down time. It's important to have that time to yourself if you need it. Problem is, by the time she goes to bed, if I get in the amount of down time I really need, I don't get to bed until 2am or so, and then she wakes up again around 3am. So not only am I not getting in my quiet time, I'm not getting my SLEEP either.

But that's not my only problem tonight. And maybe that topic is why I should be blogging tonight. I called my aunt today to ask about the upcoming Christmas celebration, to find out what the family was doing this year, and it turned into a debacle somehow.

Like most people, when I think of the holidays, I think of spending them with people I love. Specifically, I think of having a meal together where you talk and laugh, where people tell stories and jokes, interesting anecdotes. I think of good food and people putting a lot of thought into what they're making and who they're making it for. I think of doing things together like decorating the tree, pulling out the ornaments from the basement or attic, and ooh-ing and ahh-ing as they pull shabby half-glitter-coated stars out of tissue paper, and thinking back to when someone made that ornament in third grade and how excited they were to bring it home to mom. I think of pulling out the delicate brass-engraved, red-ribboned recreations of sleds or home-town main streets, and thinking back to a special vacation with someone. I think of sitting around a table drinking hot chocolate with melty marshmallows overflowing out of the top, and rolling the dice for Monopoly, and everyone groaning as you land on Free Parking and steal the pot. I think of sitting in a freezing car, sandwiched between relatives in the back seat, as you drive around town looking at all of the amazing neighborhood lights displays while Christmas music plays over the radio.

And you know what? It's not the marshmallows or the board games or the lights or any of the physical stuff that comes with the holidays that's important to me. It's not the gifts, not the food, not the music -- it's not even the religious significance. It's just getting to see the people I love happy and enjoying themselves. It's enjoying these few moments we get with our loved ones. It's that bonding, that camaraderie that I love. It's one of the few chances during the year to not just tell people you love them, but to show them as well. That's the single most important one thing about any holiday to me.

This year will be the first Christmas Eve my husband and I have spent in our house. I like to share these sort of events. It seems to me that if there are people around that you don't usually get to see, it makes things more special. More memorable. A day less ordinary.

It's just not as easy to get excited about the holidays when you know there won't be anyone else to get excited with you about them. Cutezilla isn't quite old enough yet, and our friends have their own families. As a result, I'm not sure if there will be anyone here to share it with. It seems like the rest of the world has their own agenda and their own schedule -- and I guess that's okay. Maybe he and I need to make our own traditions for our little family unit, too.

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