Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Christmas 2007: First Time Without Becks

I feel like Doogie Houser tonight on this Tuesday before Thanksgiving. The upcoming holiday reminds me of something I am soon to experience. Something new and different than most winter breaks.

This coming Christmas will be my first Christmas without my siblings. For 24 Christmases (actually—make that 22 since I was an only child until almost age 2) I have been amongst family.

No, I am not having to spend a Christmas without electricity in a foreign country or forced to work brutal hours at my office during the holidays. I have agreed to do the fair thing and spend Christmas with Dan and his family.

I really ought to go through all the reasons that this is the right thing to do. Dan spent last Christmas with my family in Raleigh and is set to spend this Thanksgiving with my family also. That means he’s staved away his wants and needs the last two big holidays…for my wants and needs. He didn’t see his father or brothers last Christmas—nor was it easy to coordinate. His two dogs, Roxxi and Harley, had to be boarded for several days (not cheap)—and he had endure the quirky personalities of my siblings, father and stepmother.

I look forward to doing something new [with Dan's family] but cannot escape "the old."

Sighs escape my mouth as I write and come to this reality. I am the oldest of my parents’ children, so it only makes sense that I would be the first to NOT spend Christmas with the family. Additionally, I am engaged; this means working toward creating my own family. Before you few blog readers get any ideas, we’re not planning on having kids any time soon. I only mean that by getting married, I am working toward having “my” family. Wait—our family.

Now I must share a few family Christmas traditions I’ll miss this year (but on the flip side, will enjoy the next time I get to partake in them):

  • Watching my siblings open gifts one at a time, meaning we get to see each other open gifts from each other—truly enjoyable!
  • Smirks as we all realize we helped our parents pick out one-anothers’ gifts.
  • “Pluck” cake, which is a delicious breakfast dish of cinnamon and sugar encrusted breakfast biscuit pieces baked in bunt pan—mmmmm
  • Breakfast casserole, something that must be prepared the evening before but is worth the wait. I can taste the cheddar cheese and fluffy eggs mixed with spicy sausage as I write this blog.
  • Staying up late with Anna, Ben and Paul, anticipating the Santa to come. Even after many years as siblings, we still enjoy speculating our Christmas gifts and losing time in conversation. I am one lucky girl.
  • Some kind of family argument of squabble, usually of minor proportion.
  • The smells of baking food, Christmas trees, hot chocolate and a warm fireplace—and sounds of busy wrapping paper, laughter, cheesy Carpenters Christmas music and clinking wine glasses.
  • Scrabble, Scattergories, Cribbage, Golf and maybe even Tripoly. We’re a family of dorks who sometimes favor Michigan tradition.

While I deep down know this is all about growing up, I am going to miss my siblings dearly this coming Christmas. Hopefully all know that I am there in spirit and look forward to the next holiday that we are all unbearably close to one another. Us all being together makes for a crowded couch—but a hell of a set of memories every time we’re together. I love you all.

1 comment:

jessica said...

:::sigh::: I am right HERE with you on this one. It literally brings tears to my eyes just thinking about this issue. This year, I went down to Panama City to have Thanksgiving with David's parents. I don't think I ever realized how traditional I really am. We went out to a restaurant for our Thanksgiving feast and then spent the rest of the day driving home. Which meant no house smelling like turkey, no watching mom stuff the turkey, no family standing around and talking while doing dishes together, no christmas music (dad starts it on Thanksgiving), and no falling asleep to football.

For Christmas, my parents are going to Michigan to be with my mom's family. I didn't want to spend the money or use my vacation days to take off and go. But, I'm going to miss it dearly. That's two holidays in one year without my family. I sometimes don't realize how much I miss them. Christmas is going to be so weird this year. For the second time in 23 years, I won't be waking up at home. We don't have a Christmas tree, we don't have decorations. I even got my Christmas present from David in OCTOBER (my choice, you can't suggest it and then expect me to wait two months!).

Oh the trouble of growing up and creating your own Christmas traditions with your friends and "new family."