christmas family portrait, circa 1991
christmas eve has long been my absolute favorite day of the holiday season. the anticipation for christmas was always HUGE when i was little. and now, while i do not race to the christmas tree for presents and to see whether or not our cookies were eaten by santa, the night before christmas is still magical.
when i was little, my older sister would read christmas stories to me while we tried so terribly hard to fall asleep. as we got older, i’m certain i was more excited and less able to fall asleep than her, but she still pretended she was just as anxious as i was. so thank you brittany.
i don’t remember exactly what was tradition and what happened one time, but i distinctly remember leaving not only cookies for santa but also reindeer food consisting of a trail mix like substance. and it made my entire morning to wake up and see the reindeer food eaten and reindeer foot prints on our front porch.
but now, as i’m getting older and a wee bit wiser, i’ve realized it’s not really just the specific date that i cherish. i cherish being with family and spending time together. when you’re young, you take for granted the fact that you get to spend every night with your parents and every day with your siblings. you take for granted the trips you take to grandma and grandpa’s house. and you take for granted the fun you have with your aunts, uncles, and crazy cousins.
but now, now that i see my coworkers and my friends umpteen times more often than i see my family, my anticipation builds every year not for presents, santa, or reindeer, but for time spent with the people i love the most.
and this year, i am surrounded by more family than i have been in years, with the exception of my older brother. ben i hope you have a happy holiday. we appreciate everything that you do for our country and we miss you terribly, especially today.
merry christmas eve to everyone. i wish you all happiness, love, and good times with good people.
if you’re lucky enough to be with family over the holidays, you’re lucky enough