Tuesday, December 13, 2016

'Adulting' at Christmas

 I’m a traditionalist.

And I don’t mean that I like things they were back in the 1950s.

I mean, I like tradition. Every year, same thing. Growing up, we did the same thing every Christmas.

Woke up early, sat on the stairs until mom said we could come down, opened gifts (me, very slowly as I really liked to savor each gift), got dressed, went to my Grams and Papps's house, ate breakfast, opened gifts - youngest to oldest. Drove to my grandma Dean and grandpa Bob's house, and spent the rest of the day ogling over what my cousin Megan got for Christmas, eating and watching football.

That was it! That was our Christmas for many, many years and in my eyes, it was perfection!

As we got older, pieces of the puzzle started to change. My grandparents somehow got old enough that they were moved to the nursing home, so the Hills' Christmas moved to my house. And the Barnes Christmas kind of poo-pooed (this makes me incredibly sad thinking about it) because everyone lives all over the country!

Then in 2014, my parents moved from my childhood home to Manhattan, Kan., and Christmas at our home was no longer. My mom even made us get NEW STOCKINGS! Can you believe it? The old-school knitted ones from the 80s are no longer (though she does hang them up in our respective rooms - because though almost all three of us are in our 30s ((Lauren is inching her way there)), we all have our own rooms at my parents house.

Check out those stockings!
 So much has changed since 'the days of 'ol.

Yes, I still kind of sit on the steps at my parents new house and wait for my mom to tell my kids (and me) to come downstairs. And yes, I'm still the first one up on Christmas day, even if my brother and sister aren't there. And yes, I'm secretly hoping my mom has Mariah Carey's 'Merry Christmas' CD playing in the background.

But what I find a little gratifying this year is that I think I may have finally grown up. Not enough to not tell my mom to still get me a few extra presents ‘if she feels like it’. But this year, we aren’t spending Christmas at my parents.

This year, we are all going to my sister’s house in Kansas City because my sister-in-law will be nearing nine months of pregnancy and can’t travel. They also live in Kansas City, so for us all to be together, we have to be somewhere other than my parents house.

My family has doubled and then some since those early days at 210 West Elm. I have gained a husband, a brother and sister-in law, four babies (three of those my own) and one more on the way to spend my most favorite holiday (besides my birthday) with. 

And when I put my ‘adult pants’ on and think about it, there is no where else I would rather be than with my family on Christmas Day because my Christmas traditions started with these people. And in the end, they are what makes this the most wonderful time of the year.


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