Christmas time has always held a special place in my heart, though. Growing up, every year was the same… the Texas crew would roll into town a few days before Christmas. We’d wait at grandma’s door all day long until they actually pulled up and from that point on, we only left grandma’s to sleep, shower and change clothes. The rest of the time was spent together with the family. We’d do a cousins outing (which meant trying to squeeze 10 bodies into one suburban … poor Neil was always sent to the trunk!) to Tulsa usually on the 23rd and on the 24th, everyone (Barnes and Hills clans) would come to our house for soup and sandwiches before we went to Christmas Eve mass. Christmas morning we would wake up early, open gifts with the parents and siblings, wait for the Hills side of the family to arrive, eat breakfast and open gifts, then off to grandma’s for the rest of the day.
It was a tradition.
That tradition has evolved a bit since those wonderful days. Our Texas crew no longer makes the 11-hour car ride up for Christmas and there is no more waiting at grandma’s door. Our Tulsa trip has been downsized to a Bartlesville trip that usually consists of me, Jordan, Lauren, Daniel, Will and Neil (always the trooper!). Christmas day has found us going to a movie in Bartlesville in the afternoon because we don’t know what to do with ourselves!
Now, it may sound like I’m complaining about the change. Yes, I do get sad sometimes thinking about the transformation of our tradition, but when I think about why I have enjoyed the tradition so much, it all goes back to family. I am blessed to be apart of such a large, loving and happy family.
I do hate that we are not all able to be together around the holidays like in the past and do get sad thinking that my precious baby cousins – Annie, Luke and Stella – probably won’t come to Sedan for a Christmas, but we are still able to carry out most of our traditions such as Christmas Eve dinner and the cousin trip. I will continue to call Seth when we take our Bartlesville trip and whine about how he needs to be there to be the head honcho — I don’t like being in charge and I’m only dealing with about 5 people. Him and Meg had double that and never lost their minds when ordering seven Happy Meals, three quarter pounders – one with cheese, one without onion and ketchup and eight cokes, one orange juice and one Dr. Pepper.
So… whatever your traditions are around the holidays, cherish them. They might not be around forever, but the memories will be!
Merry Christmas… a little early! 🙂
PS. This all stems from Wichita radio stations beginning their Christmas music playing yesterday! Don’t tell Jenna, though — she is very against Christmas anything pre Thanksgiving!