Holiday Spirit

Christmas, when you have small children, is completely different vacation than when you are adult children. When you throw in the mix of having a job that usually begins in a different state a few days after Christmas, you have to work hard to get that holiday feeling. This Christmas is the second year in a row that Rob and I had left Nashville for Christmas and had to travel back home for the weekend or to go immediately after Christmas. The two years before that we had a bakery and worked on Christmas. It has been a tremendous struggle to get into the spirit of Christmas let alone be able to find the real holiday feeling. There has also been some time since we have even had a Christmas tree and this is the first of the years I did not even cook. However, this year, I believe I found that holiday feeling and I was surprised.

I come from a huge Italian family. When I was younger, we did all sea fish thing on Christmas Eve and Christmas morning was a huge deal. Even now my family immediate family has grown to a whopping 24 people. It’s just my siblings, children, and my parents so if we all lived in the same state, the holiday was rebellious most people, it is usually a spouse. However, growing up in a large family makes it difficult to adapt to a small quiet Christmas, but this year I finally have been able to reach the holiday spirit, even without a Christmas tree.

By late morning opening gifts, wandered the four blocks from our apartment and had a fine Italian meal. It was the sauce, meatballs were, there was vodka, there were smiles, were laughing, and it was the abdomen were filled just as much as if I had cooked. It was usually a long drawn out affair but when I was able to actually sit down and enjoy my family without being 100% tired of cooking. I did not rush through my meal to be able to clean up the kitchen to get ready for dessert. I was able to sit at the table without a care in the world and just be grateful and thankful. Grateful for the beautiful daughter graduating with her Masters in May. Thankful I could look at the other end of the table and see the beautiful daughter-in-law and a handsome husband, my son and see the love and happiness radiates from them. I looked next to my husband, who is always uncomfortable on vacation and he was laughing and having a good time. I put down my knife and fork and sat back in my chair and was overwhelmed by the love I felt for these four people. They were my everything and I felt incredibly lucky that we could all be around the table together Christmas.

When we wandered back to the apartment and sat filled our bellies on the couch, I thought about all the packing I had to get done in order to be able to drive away from the faces of a few months. For the first time, it will be easier for me to leave my little chickens because they are happy adults with lives of their own. I sat on the couch and thought how life changes and evolves, and if you’re lucky you figure out how to also develop. Once you figure out the recipe, life is good.

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