What Makes Christmas Christmas?
December 26th, 2011
We’re still in the midst of holiday frenzy and my camera and my computer aren’t talking to each other at the moment, but there will be Christmas pictures soon!
On Christmas Eve, as Josh and I hung out with the kids before our church service, we both remarked that it didn’t really “feel like Christmas.” Maybe it was because it was 45 degrees and raining and there’d been nary a snowflake all month. Maybe it was because our kids don’t have the calendar mastered yet so they weren’t quite sure it was Almost Christmas. But probably it was because we were flying solo. The four of us celebrated Christmas Eve and morning on our own before driving to West Virginia to be with Josh’s family. Our celebrations with my parents won’t be until later this week when we rendezvous with them back in Pittsburgh.
And for me, Christmas isn’t Christmas until you’re with your family.
It wasn’t that I didn’t enjoy our own Christmas festivities. (Well, in truth, the Christmas Eve service was extremely disappointing for me because I didn’t get to experience its loveliness, having had to do a forced extraction of an extremely recalcitrant three-year-old.) The kids LOVED their stockings and special present from Nana that awaited them in the morning. They tore through their gifts with zest and we all pigged out on cinnamon rolls. My husband surprised me with a gorgeous diamond pendant. It was great.
But it still didn’t quite feel “right.”
Until, that is, we arrived in West Virginia. We blared Christmas tunes throughout the four hour drive and cranked up our favorite when we were a few blocks out from Josh’s parents’ house. Thus, as we pulled into the driveway, it felt like something from a holiday music. There we were, mini-van packed to the gills with suitcases, food, and Christmas presents, honking our horn to alert the family, and singing ‘Joy to the World’ at the top of our lungs.
The family greetings were glorious chaos as we hugged and kissed and admired the tree. Within 30 seconds of arrival, Miss Mouse had identified her gifts under said tree and (egged on by her grandparents and aunt) was ripping them open with glee. Shortly thereafter, we had a wonderful turkey dinner and as I looked around the table, I knew it was Christmas.