It's Christmas Eve here in Pigsknuckle... well, OK, it's Christmas Eve in a whole lot of places. I've done all I'm going to do for today (not all that much, really). Presents are wrapped, breakfast for tomorrow (for some of my family) is prepped, the house is... tidy. Ryan's up in her room watching a 'Dexter' marathon (because nothing says Happy Holidays like a serial killer doing his thing over and over and over and over...) and I'm actually about to settle on the sofa for a bit of BBC crime drama on Netflix myself.
Tonight is not like the Christmas Eves of my childhood... or my young adulthood... or even when Ryan was tiny and we'd come from NC to Pigsknuckle for the holiday.
Our family is different now. It's just the two of us, really. My dad, who was the glue that held us all together, died. My marriage ended. My younger brother and I pretty much (mutually, silently) decided we don't want to ever spend time together again. My extended family in the states are all dealing with their own struggles (and joys) and the trips up and down the eastern seaboard are just too difficult to make.
But it's all good.
Though there's a part of me that longs for family Christmases steeped in age-old, boisterous traditions, Ryan and I have our own smaller, newer, quieter traditions. We get our real tree and put up our happy decorations... we watch 'A Christmas Story' and 'It's a Wonderful Life'... I do my Solstice rituals... we open our gifts together (me first, always, at her insistence)... and we always go to the movies on Christmas Day and get take-out after (my favorite, favorite part of the entire day).
It's different than it was...
It's not what I imagined when I thought of the Christmases I'd create for my family...
But it's good.
My job, which I love, allows time for me to spend the week between Christmas and the New Year on vacation. My wallet doesn't allow for me to go anywhere, so I get to spend the week getting things in order for the calendar flip... I set some goals, I do some organizing, I read, I find some time to be creative.
The holidays have never really been my thing. I wish they were. I wish I looked forward to them and thoroughly enjoyed them. But I find them hard. I find them too hectic, too filled with missing people, way too filled with obligation, too expensive, too much. But I've realized that I actually have the power to change that. I don't have to do more than I want to do.
And that's very good.
So, as I sit here at nearly 8pm on Christmas Eve, in sweats (not even showered), ready to watch old episodes of 'Wire in the Blood,' my dog and two kittens all curled around me, my daughter upstairs, engrossed in blood and guts and Showtime depravity, I'm content.
And that's so very good.
So Merry Everything, my peeps! Merry Everything and Happy Always! xoxo