This morning when I woke up, I realized it was the week of Christmas and little butterflies of excitement bounced around my stomach. You would think it was Christmas day that makes me excited, but it's actually not. For me, Christmas week means celebrating redemption and just being with family.
When I was growing up, the entire month of December I was excited about Christmas. My parents did a phenomenal job with the Santa works and made every detail extra-special. As I've grown up, I've come to realize though I'm still loving Christmas the entire month of December, it's for very different reasons.
I had a very special and unique childhood in that my entire family lived within 45 minutes of each other. Every holiday and birthday we would get to see everyone. When only our nuclear family moved from Oklahoma to Indiana, that changed. We would still get to see family members, just not all at once and not every holiday and birthday. But it made when we got to see them even more special.
Now my family is even more spread out. Most of my family still resides in Oklahoma, but the rest of us are scattered. My sister now lives in NC, my sister-in-law and nieces in Tennessee, my two closest friends in Egypt and Austria, and my parents and parent-in-laws in Florida. Though my husband and I are also in Florida, we're in the process of relocating. This Christmas will most likely be our last Christmas in North Florida.
The varied living locations makes Christmas a little more complicated. This year, we were trying to ship presents all over the place. International shipping makes things extra complicated, but my Austria-bound friend is a smart shopper and ordered something from the states and had it shipped to me directly. She's a great person who knows me really well-- she perked me up on a rough day last week. I received a very unexpected package from her containing stickers with the cutest apron ever (hot pink with green apron strings and black polka dots = my dream apron!) and the words "From the Kitchen of Paw Prints in the Sink" with my name on it. After just graduating with a degree in Creative Writing, this thoughtful gift made me feel more secure and confident during an insecure and doubtful week. Thanks for that, K :) Once I can scan the image in, it will be my new logo for Paw Prints in the Sink.
The reason I became so excited that it's actually Christmas week is because this week, my sister and brother-in-law are coming down from NC for Christmas. I was lucky enough to see them for Thanksgiving as well, but as I'm blessed with a great sister, I like seeing her as often as possible. She's a constant in a world of chaos, making me even more grateful. And though her husband shows his love by immense non-stop teasing, I miss seeing him all the time as well.
Christmas is so much more than presents and persimmon pudding. It's truly about celebrating the real reason for the season and showing gratitude to the family members who love you--and who you love-- regardless. And so in my home, Christmas week is just as great as Christmas day.