Looking back on Christmas when I was young, I realize that it wasn't the gifts that were important or what I remember-it was family. Of course, we embraced the reason for the season, Jesus' birthday. Every year, my family went to San Angelo where my daddy grew up and my parents met in high school. All my grandparents lived there (very convenient) and all my aunts, uncles, and cousins would meet us there. Having all our family together was the most special thing and what made it wonderful and memorable. As an adult, my family (even my kids) have lived all over the place. I will identify locations with the photos below. Last year was the first time in the 16 (at the time) years I've been on the east coast that I've spent Thanksgiving with my mom, sister, and her family. And it was the first Christmas I had spent with all of my children in over ten years. It was a banner year. This year was not and I won't try to sugar-coat that it sucks. Four of us for Thanksgiving, three of us for Christmas. I have promised myself this is the last year I'm doing this.
So, I was (as usual other than last year) reluctant and not excited to decorate for Christmas at all. Of course I do, I have Matt to think about-he deserves it just like my other kids. But it was much thinner than last year. All he really cares about is the tree. Above I went all out and put a berry wreath on my statue of David in the entryway. I could'a stopped there but, wait...
Yup, a tree. A real tree. It looks better in person but it made Matt happy and the gifts he wanted were under plus a good surprise which is hard to do with him. More on that later.
Here's the start of what I really missed. This is Millie, Maya and Eder's daughter, my great-niece. She was just an infant when I last saw her at Thanksgiving last year in Oregon.
My oldest, Lucas and his girl of seven years, Kristen who live in my hometown in Texas and who were in Nashville for Christmas.
My middle son, Justin, and his girlfriend, Angel, as they head to spend Christmas with his daddy and family in Virginia.
My beautiful and funny as all get-out niece, Maya, in Oregon.
Ben, Maya and Eder's son, my great-nephew in Oregon.
My nephew, Aaron, and my sister, Valori, in Oregon.
Maya and Eder, in Oregon. I love you all and I'm working on something for summer!