Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas!

Every year, the days before Christmas feel more and more rushed. More stressed.

Responsibilities and real life don't seem to want to slow down, even as the end of December approaches. There are still bills, and dishes, and laundry. (Always laundry!)

...And that's why it's always very, very special when my husband and I are actually able to take a break from it all, pack up bags of presents, and come visit my parents for the holidays.

My parents' Christmas tree!
...With some of my Dad's paintings on the mantel,
and some of the (many!) presents visible.

Now, I don't see my parents nearly as much as I would like. That's what happens, I suppose, when you live many states away.

And that's why I treasure this time so much.

An elegant teacup paired with Sesame Street characters--
the latter of which I remember from when I was growing up.

I love my family. 

I love their laughter, their creativity, their quirky senses of humor.

Shell wreath ornament that my parents got on one of their trips to Florida.

I love their intelligence... such intense intelligence, where my Dad and my husband can talk for hours about post-graduate level Category Theory, my sister and I share what we've learned about kakapos (flightless ground parrots in New Zealand), and we all discuss Latin and Moby Dick and Finnegan's Wake around the breakfast table.

My mother is amazing, amazing at writing letters.

I love their playfulness... And the fact that stuffed animals are still considered viable Christmas presents for all of us (even though we're all adults).

...Because he makes me smile.

And I love just how much we all love each other.

Families are so precious, but so often relationships can be strained. I am unspeakably grateful that even though we are all different, with our different personalities and quirks, we all love each other and get along. We laugh and we sing and we enjoy each other's company.

...And after stressful weeks of being sick and feeling overwhelmed, I realize that being able to actually be with my family this year is the greatest Christmas gift of all.

I hope that, whatever your situation is this Christmas, that your day be filled with light and warmth, contentment and laughter, and all things that make your heart sing--whatever those things might be. Thank you so much for joining me on my sentimental journey today... My heart is overflowing, and I am abundantly grateful. 

Merry Christmas to you all!

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