For the first time in.. forever (?) my husband and I will celebrate Christmas Eve with just the two of us. Not much has been “normal” this past year, so why should Christmas Eve be any different? So how did this unplanned date night come to be – considering my a huge family, our two adult children and a mother in law who (until Covid became a thing) always spent Christmas with us?
In retrospect, I suppose it’s been a gradual evolution. For years, my parents hosted our huge family for Christmas (and all other holidays) in their rambling house that just seemed made for casual entertaining, Two dining areas, a large living room and a basement perfect for unruly grandchildren (and some adults). I have decades of memories of those family get togethers with upwards of 30 or more of us gathered with endless amounts of food, batches of grandchildren and the occasional dogs. But that was then.
Time has passed, my siblings and I are all in our 50s and 60s and have raised our own families of now mostly adult children and a few grands in the mix. My mother no longer has the large house and dad has since passed away. We now get the whole family together a week or two before Christmas at our airport clubhouse for a fun pre-Christmas dinner and rousing gift game competition, and then celebrate with our smaller tribes at our homes on the actual holiday. Mom makes the rounds and usually ends up eating several meals on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. She is well loved and deserves to be catered to after years of hosting those huge family gatherings.
And my little tribe? Well as mentioned, this year is different. Our mother in law is unable to travel from her home in Fargo due to Covid concerns. This will be the second Christmas we’ve had without her and I miss her beautiful face and kind heart. We call her and we text her, but it’s not the same. I am praying we will see her in person in 2022.
My adult daughter will also be missed as she’s one of those frontline workers pulling long shifts at the hospital on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. We traveled to her new home in Charlotte to celebrate an early Christmas with her and even brought a small tree for her house. (Shout out to all health care workers, police, firemen and everyone who’s been there for the rest of us during this pandemic. We all know how hard they’ve worked the past two years).
And my son; well he’s met a wonderful young lady and is smitten. They will spend Christmas Eve with her family and then drive home Christmas Day. Mom will join us too (I think we are stop three on her tour of Christmas – but hey, she’s the one who had the eight kids).
So that leaves my hubby and I alone on Christmas Eve. Just us – and the two spoiled dogs. I’m looking forward to a day of Christmas music, last minute wrapping, some great take-out and a nice quiet evening to reflect on the true meaning of the season. For us, it’s about family and friends. And this year, it’s a special date night. It’s been a busy year and we’ve been pulled in many directions. I truly believe this was serendipitous. Couple time is always a good thing and a great gift to each other.
Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you can spend this holiday with loved ones – whether it’s two or twenty. And here’s to a better year in 2022!