Holidays are always stressful... And quite honestly this year was no exception. I try to remember the "Reason for the Season" but sometimes, the drama of the whole situation just gets overwhelming.
When I take a step back and look at everything from outside the box - I remember the reasons (no matter how much someone may be irritating me at the time) I have such a dynamic and incredible family. We had a small gathering Christmas Day with my Mom's side of the family... Grandma and Grandpa Faucon, Aunt Lorie and Uncle Todd, Mom, Dad, Mason and a girl that works with my mom at the hospital... Heather. It wasn't all my mom's family - but it was the fact that we are all together in spirit. We all remember how much we loved the big Christmas Day at my Grandma Faucon's. The big meal, the mounds of presents and Uncle Phil coming home. I miss those days - but quite frankly... the small things are so nice, too. As we've grown up - it's more about the fellowship and family and friendships and how thankful and lucky we are to have all of those.
This year was the first time we've had a little one to open presents from Santa on Christmas morning in years. Our friend, Mason, needed a place to stay.. and as my mom always does - she opens her heart and her door to all. So early Thursday morning, I drove out to the house - made sure all the presents were in place and crawled in bed with Mason to tell him Santa had been here and it was time to open presents. How fun it was! I had a nice surprise, too... My mom and dad got me a TomTom (I think it is because they're tired of me always grabbing theirs when I am traveling).
Saturday was a different story.. My dad's family is a different breed. The dynamic between family members is so different than I am used to with my mom's side. I'm not saying that as it is a bad thing - they're just all so different. My Uncle Stevie and Aunt Sandy live in Aurora - and they really enjoy having Christmas (I think it's because Uncle Steve gets to cook)... But oh man - I have no clue how they do it... The only way I can get through it all is with a bottle of wine and hopes that it is all over soon.. Now I don't say that to be catty or hateful... But it seems like everything with some members of my dad's family is a chore. One of my younger cousins came into the house with a chip on his shoulder and left with a bigger one. I guess I am still under the philosophy - life isn't that bad - as long as you have a roof over your head, a nice meal at your table and great people to spend your life with. I was in utter shock when he came in the door to do nothing but complain... about everything. I kept thinking (and reminding him) - it is Christmas - it is one time a year we all get to spend time together - and sadly enough - there aren't a lot left. But what should I expect with a 21 year old that knows everything?!
Dinner was fabulous - everyone brought their specialty - and when you have a family filled with food allergies it can make dinner difficult - but everyone was accommodated and the food was amazing! When I look back on the day - the only thing that really bothers me - is the fact that we don't all sit around and talk. I love that part of the holidays.. Sitting with a cup of coffee or a glass of wine laughing and sharing stories. It is the fellowship that the holidays are truly about.. A gentle reminder of how God loved us all so much he gave His only Son. That is truly the reason for the season.
I wish more people (myself included) would remember that... That we were blessed with one family - and no matter how much we like or dislike them... we always should love them.
I hope you had a Merry Christmas and will have a safe New Year's. Here is to an even better 2009.