I have always loved the Christmas holiday season. The baking, shopping, wrapping, decorating, picking out and cutting a beautiful blue spruce tree, and the 3 months of rehearsals and subsequent 13 performances of the Nutcracker Ballet, have been my traditions as long as I can remember. When I was younger, we always cooked all day and had relatives and friends to our house for food, games, and a drive to see the beautiful lights on Christmas Eve. Then on Christmas morning we would wake up and open gifts, eat cookies and leftover shrimp, then dress up and head to my grandparent’s house for more gifting, relatives, Christmas music, and a huge Christmas dinner.
Sadly over the years things have changed. My parents’ divorce, relatives have moved far away, my grandfather’s death three years ago, and as a college student I am no longer available to perform in the Nutcracker. We now have an artificial tree, none of our out of state relatives could make the trip this year and my great grandma is in the hospital. I went on a fun shopping afternoon trip with friends then it was just my mom, grandmother, and me for Christmas Eve. We still had shrimp, wine and other yummy foods, played games and we watched “A Christmas Story” like every year, then went to an 11:00pm church service. On Christmas day we did our usual routine, except we visited Grammy in the hospital where she in unhappy and disoriented. It just wasn’t quite as magical a day as I had remembered as a child. However, I still have my best friends by my side, family that will soon come to visit, and plenty of new friends to be thankful for.
As I grow up I realize that things will never be the same as the past, and you shouldn’t try to make it so. The world and our lives are always changing and I think adapting and reflecting are things that make coming back home fun.