The movie “Four Christmases” seemed like the most absurd of titles. Who in their right mind would have four Christmases.
I cannot say for certain that I am in my right mind, but this year, four Christmases is exactly what I am having.
Christmas # 1 took place two weekends before Christmas with my parents, and my brothers and their families. It began the festive season with a fun day seeing my parents and nephews.
Christmas # 2 took place a week later in Kansas with my uncle, aunt, cousins and their families. R. and I drove all the way to Wichita for that event, which was as usual, side-splittingly fun. The entire event is so unpredictable, that we can do little else but laugh and have fun.
Christmas # 3 took place with R.’s family in Florida. For the first time in my life, I traveled to spend the holiday with the family of someone I love. It was also the first time I met his family in person. Through the wonders of Facebook, I had been in some conversation with one of his brothers and his sister, but the holiday was actually the first time I met them in person, so that stress coupled with the holiday, but it did not diminish the good time of the holiday. I am looking forward to another fun weekend vacation with his family in a few weeks at Disney World.
Christmas # 4 will take place on New Year’s Eve, as R. and I have our time to exchange gifts. I am looking forward to this intimate time together as we exchange those things we purchased for each other. I have never given so much thought or had so much fun buying for someone else, but most of all, I look forward to that time together with him, starting our own traditions.
If the first three Christmases are any indication, this is exactly the way the holidays are meant to be. Nothing has been extraordinary by way of expense, but every gift has been thoughtful and the focus has been on relationships. With my cousins and our $1 gifts, with R.’s family and some “getting to know you” gifts, and with R. and I, the first meaningful exchange of gifts together and the time to share with one another.
I have never been a fan of the holidays, but if this year is is any indication of want can be, I may grow to enjoy them more and more.