Merry Christmas To You

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and hello readers! If you celebrate Christmas, I hope you all had an amazing and wonderful Christmas. Whether you spent time with friends, family, pets, or even alone, I just hope you had a wonderful time relaxing and being surrounded by people who love you. If you don't celebrate, I hope you enjoyed a relaxing day, or I hope you had a wonderful holiday season. I wanted to blog about my Christmas for this year. I can honestly say it was definitely different compared to many years, but it was honestly one of my favorite Christmases. This is coming from someone that gets depressed during the Christmas time, so you know this is going to be a good one.

The other day, the radio in the car was playing Nat King Cole's "The Christmas Song". I've heard this song many times in the past, but for some reason, this year, it got me emotional? I have no idea why, but it makes me happy hearing it. It played again on the radio at home, and it started playing exactly when my brother and sister in law came over. I know that sounds a little random, but just something I wanted to share before I got started.

So, many people love Christmas. They love the holiday, the winter season, buying or receiving gifts, all of that. I am the complete, total opposite. I love buying gifts for people, don't get me wrong on that. I love spending time and getting something someone in my family has always wanted, or getting a stranger in need a nice gift. Just...having a way to spread the Christmas joy to people makes me happy. However, thinking about Christmas makes me very sad. I've had many ups and downs when it comes to the holiday.

It started in 2013. I know, I won't get into the details because I think I've discussed the story many times to the point where you're all sick of it. My sadness with Christmas came back last year though. For me, 2016 was the first Christmas I celebrated since the breakup with my last boyfriend. It's tough having to celebrate and not opening presents, spending time together, and being happy like we did for two Christmases. I still miss him every day, and it still hurts not being able to celebrate the holiday with him. A lot was happening in 2016 as well. My family and I were all in a really nasty situation. I only spent time opening presents with my mom and stepdad.

As you can probably guess, my family and I don't get along very well. My family runs on guilt, hate, and anger towards one another, and it's honestly sad. What's worse is we're a small family, so the tension is hard to avoid. Near the end of October, my mom had no intentions of even celebrating Christmas. It was just going to be a small thing and barely buy gifts. My brother rarely spoke with us, my grandmother is gossiping about someone in the family constantly, and sadly, my uncle's wife isn't a good person to be around. So how can I celebrate Christmas with my family if my family is barely a family?

Well, it kind of changed once my nephew was born. I touched on his birth story in my "Life Unexpected" blog post if you want to check it out. He's a preemie baby, born at 29 weeks, but if it wasn't for him, I think this year's Christmas would have never happened. With my nephew being born, it really brought my brother closer to my family again, and it makes me happy. Growing up, my brother and I were very close. He was like my best friend. Of course we argued a lot (because when do siblings not fight), and we're only a year apart in age, but we were close. Once we graduated high school, we weren't close anymore. He got new friends, dated his now wife, moved out, and we got older. The only time I think I ever spoke to my brother was if I really found something funny I thought he'd like or if I had to ask him a question regarding his birthday or Christmas.

Also, I should probably point out, every time my brother visited or hung out with me (which was rare), our interactions were based on memes or Youtube videos. I kid you not, we would speak to each other in a language that consisted of quoting a meme or a funny Youtube video or just sitting and watching Youtube videos. I hated it. It made me so mad that this was the only way we could communicate to each other. Not ask about our lives or anything, just through funny videos. So, going back to this year's Christmas, since the birth of my nephew, a lot changed with my family dynamic.

My sister in law and brother text me all the time now, they call my mom and send photos every other day, and my brother and I are slowly going back to talking like we did when we were younger. So my mom's plan of having a small, barely doing anything for Christmas changed drastically. First off, she and I went to the first service of this church we've been going to since we moved. I gotta say, I really enjoyed the service. It was very cute! At our old church, there was a live nativity, but once church started, we just sang a lot of Christian Christmas music and that was it.

At this church, they told the story of Jesus' birth through a play and with talking puppets. I know I'm 26 and shouldn't find it cool, but sue me, I found it cool. You could see how much hard work they put in the play, and I honestly felt so welcomed at the church. Also whoever made the sugar cookie I ate that looked like a Christmas tree, I seriously need to find them and steal their recipe because that was the best sugar cookie I ever had. Anyways, for Christmas Eve, my mom's plans changed drastically. She honestly went all out on the Christmas dinner. She cooked a ham for the very first time on her own (not gonna lie, it was really good), we had all the snacks, sides, and drinks ready, and all the gifts were wrapped. 

Once my brother and sister in law arrived, we were ready to eat! Honestly, it didn't matter about the presents, what really made Christmas for me this year the best was being around my family and all of us having a great time. I didn't think about the past or how I missed my ex; I was in the moment. I had a great Christmas meal, we got to talk about baby Dante, talk about silly stuff, open presents, and even play some 1-2-Switch on the Nintendo Switch (not gonna lie, I totally kicked all my family members' butts in "Dance Off" and I was pretty good at "Telephone"). We interacted like a family, play together, laugh together, and be happy, and that's honestly what made this year's Christmas the best one yet.

If you take anything out of this blog, just know that it's never too late for family to change and be a positive part of your life. Of course this may not happen for everyone, but blood related family isn't the only family. Your friends, their family, your pets, stuffed animals, they're your family. I hope that as we slowly enter into 2018, may you be surrounded by good, positive people in your life, because you honestly deserve it. As always, thank you for reading, leave a comment about how you celebrated the holidays, like, share, and subscribe. I'll probably write one or two more blogs before the new year, so look forward to that!

*Photo by Chad Madden on Unsplash