Sunday, January 1, 2012

Christmas Traditions

I love Christmas. Simple statement, but true. I am sure many people would echo the loving Christmas sentiment. My reasons for loving the holiday do not come in packages with ribbons and bows, but around tables with mounds of food. My family knows food! (And so does Trae's grandparents.)

This Christmas was our first traveling Christmas as a married couple. Last year, we lived in South Carolina, and my parents, family, his parents and family did as well. Splitting time was not stressful, and we got to spend Christmas Eve in our own "house" (apartment). It was nice, even if we did have to wake up very early to go to other SC regions the next morning. During the various family visits, we ate a lot and shared a peaceful holiday season.

This year, however, peace was not a side dish offered on the table.We rode to multiple places, which caused a lot of stress, all over the state of South Carolina (five SC cities in three days). On the other hand, the stress was worth it in order to share time over home-cooked meals with family. The road weariness and fatigue stopped when the car was put in park and family started hugging us while handing us plates to fill with food at the same time. (My Aunt Ellen has the best road-weary traveler cure...a freshly perked coffee with a super large mug waiting for you to fill it!)

Seeing family and sharing family feasts was a wonderful thing, but all the driving left us time. We did have a small two person Christmas with a nice meal before starting SC Holiday 2011 road trip.

Still, during the actual holidays, we were unable to share time to express our love and thankfulness for each other. This time of year, also, is very special to us, because Trae proposed on December 23, 2009; we have incorporated our love for each other with the love God gave us in the form of his son during this holidays.

We did, finally, on the night of December 25th get a chance to be us. The time did not have extensive fixings or fancy dishes; it consisted of eggnog and potato chips off a hotel balcony overlooking the ocean. In the tranquility, which can only be found in the sound of lapping waves, we talked and relaxed late into the night. We feel asleep with the balcony door open so we could keep the tranquility as we fell asleep and as we woke up. Leftover eggnog sweetened our coffee in the morning, and as the sun shone on the ocean, I realized it wasn't the elaborateness of a celebration, but who you share it with. As my husband sat, staring at the ocean, in Grinch pj bottoms, I knew that this moment with that man was one of most precious moments of the holiday.

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