Thursday, December 20, 2007

Oh, there's no place like home for the holidays

Five more days 'til Christmas! Honestly, I feel like such a kid again during the holiday season. Now that I have my own child who can semi-understand what's going on at this time of year, it's all the more special to me. Our first Christmas with the baby last year was, obviously, special and a memory I'll keep forever, but he was too new last year. This year, my heart melts every time I see his eyes light up when he looks at Christmas lights, decorated trees (pretty-pretties, as he calls them), and when he turns the radio on to play Christmas music or when he says "ho ho ho" whenever he sees Santa.

Our goal as parents is to, of course, spoil our child(ren) at Christmas, but also to instill a sense of what the season truly is about. I look forward to teaching the Jesus-is-the-reason-for-the-season stuff, to carrying on traditions and creating our own that will, hopefully, be carried on some day, and to performing some kind of holiday good deed every year. Of course, I am beside myself with excitement at the thought of playing Santa this year. Nat doesn't quite fully get Santa yet, but he's learning. I don't see the point in spending hundreds and hundreds of dollars on Christmas gifts - the true meaning tends to get lost - but each Christmas will be special. I look forward to finding new ways to make memories...for just Nat this year, and for Gumdrop as well.

Speaking of Gumdrop - we (hope to) find out the sex tomorrow at the gender ultraound. The plan, however, is to have the tech write the sex on a piece of paper and stash it in an envelope to be opened on Christmas day. A bit of a Christmas surprise.

We'll be spending Christmas Eve and day with my family. Memories of Christmases past have flooded me the last few days. Early years with the entire Italian side of my family crammed into my grandmother's small, small home on Christmas Eve...followed by the Irish side gathering at a great aunt's house later that evening. Home to bed, and up early to see if Santa had, indeed, stopped by.

So much has changed in the years separating then and now. Family dynamics and relationships, traditions - I suppose such is true for many, if not most, families out there. Still, though, it makes me sad that things have changed so much - my children won't grow up surrounded by and knowing their extended family the way my sisters and I did - but it also makes me extra thankful for memories that I have and what still remains.

Merry Christmas to all of you - may your holidays be merry and bright, and filled with much laughter and love.

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