With less than a week to go til Thanksgiving, I’ve already watched two Christmas movies, gone to a Christmas concert and even listened to Christmas music on a long car ride this weekend. I’ve even made my own wish list for my family and have gifts in my Amazon shopping cart waiting to be purchased. This is all way ahead of the game for me. I’ve never been a Christmas person. I’m not a Scrooge but I’ve just never really felt a lot of excitement about the holiday season.
I’ve always figured my feelings (or rather lack of) about the holidays came from growing up as an only child. Sure Christmas was always fun and exciting, at least as much as it can be when Christmas morning is two adults watching you open gifts and then you play with them by yourself all day, but it certainly wasn’t an explosion of wrapping paper and noise that I now know is Christmas in a multi-child household. And of course there was the year my mother had a friend dress up as Santa and come to our house on Christmas Eve night to tell me to go to bed on time. I was probably four or five years old and I still think that has something to do with the anxiety I still feel as an adult about following rules. However, this year I find myself looking forward to the holiday season in a way I never quite have before.
This will be the second Christmas I spend with my boyfriend and his fairly large family. Last year there were nine people (and two dogs) in the house for Christmas and it kind of blew my mind. I do love his family dearly and they treat me very well but there are some things I just don’t understand because I don’t have any siblings. Initially I asked a lot of questions like “Why does everyone talk over each other and argue at the dinner table?” or “Why are you and your sister so mean to each other?”. Don’t get me wrong, my mother and I can argue like nobody’s business, I just didn’t realize that all families were that way.
This is also the second Christmas since I’ve met my biological father and I now have even more family with him, his wife and my grandparents in my life now. Last year, my boyfriend and I hiked into the woods with snowshoes to cut down our own Christmas tree and lit the candles at his church’s Christmas Eve service. These are things I had never experienced before yet had always longed for in a way and now I’m looking forward to them. So when we all sit down to Thanksgiving dinner next week, I know I have a lot to be thankful for.