I am listening to Christmas songs on my computer (so low only I can really hear them) and I am really getting into the spirit of the holidays. I am nearly done shopping, and I am counting down the days.
As I’ve said before, I am not religious, but I do love Christmas! Growing up we would always go to the candlelight service at church on Christmas Eve, and I can honestly say, those were the only days I went to church willingly (especially as I got older). I remember looking forward to those services.
Christmas morning we would wake up at the butt crack of dawn and have to sit on the stairs and wait for mom and dad to get their coffee and the camera ready. We would open gifts, then our stockings, and we were always allowed to have chocolate before breakfast.
My parents were born again christian and often talked about God, but also let us believe in Santa. I remember seeing him through our air vent in our house on Long Island. I remember my brother telling me he wasn’t real when I was about 7, and I was upset, but still okay about it all. I didn’t feel like they lied to me, and I was glad that we could still celebrate even though we all knew he wasn’t real.
We also lit the candles on the menorah and us kids learned to say the prayers in Yiddish. You see, my mother grew up Jewish, so we integrated Hanukkah a little, but never did all the gifts for 8 days. I know a few words in Yiddish – part of a prayer, and also “Go shit in a river.” LOL! Gotta love my Yiddish grandma for teaching us kids that one! I also know a song about falling off of a – donkey? Not sure, but my grandfather taught us that one.
On Christmas night we would have a big feast with all the relatives and – if Dad could keep his temper in check – we all had a great time. (What I mean by that is that my Dad is a great guy, but if you bug him when he’s cooking or otherwise distracted, he gets snippy with you. He would never hit us, but he sometimes yelled more than he needed to.)
Now Christmas is different, but in a very good way! We have my parents, gram and nephew over for a Christmas Eve party. We eat, laugh, talk and open gifts. Then D, Big D and I have Christmas to ourselves. We wake up really early and open gifts, eat all day and play with our new gadgets, and eat some more. We call and get calls from family, and we just have a nice, quiet day at home together. And I love it more than I can say.
This year we have a very special extra treat: All 3 of us have an entire week off together! This has never happened in the history of our almost 8 years together. Once in a while D would take off a week during my vacation in the summer, but she never had the whole week of Christmas off with us! She always worked Christmas Eve day and then all week, and sometimes even worked on New Years Eve and day. Now that she has a great job with great benefits, she gets paid holiday and vacation time. She is still getting used to having paid days off. We had a practice run at Thanksgiving, and she decided she loves it 😉
As you can see, I am super excited for Christmas, but I am mostly excited to spend all that time with my wife and son. I am so thankful for them each and every day. They are my everything and I love them so much!
Whatever you celebrate this time of year, I wish you and yours a safe, happy and fun holiday season!
(If you don’t celebrate anything, I still wish you and yours the best 🙂 )