Family over the holidays…

Family over the holidays…

Growing up, Christmases always started out with our traditions. Having to wait in our bedrooms and get camera ready while daddy set up for taking pictures with Christmas music playing in the background.

It’s all happy memories.

But once all the gift giving was over, daddy went back to bed. I get that “Santa” was probably tired but as I got older I observed that daddy was homesick. Once he made the round of Merry Christmas phone calls, he would get quiet and sad.

***

For most of our Christmases when I was growing up, it was just the four of us, me, mom, daddy and my brother. We didn’t live in the same town or state or even a drivable distance to have family over for the holidays. I always credit the success of adapting to being a military wife with how I grew up.

***

For the very few Christmases that it was just Papa Bear, Baby Bear and Me, it was enough. I was not sad and one of those childhood promises I made to myself when I grew up and had a family was that I would not be sad and I would not go back to bed on Christmas Day.

***

My first married Christmas away from home was spent in Okinawa, Japan. It just so happens that my brother was also there on 6-month deployment. It was both of our first Christmases away from home but we were together. I was not sad, but I can only imagine how mom and dad felt.

***

Early on in my marriage I observed the same Christmas Day sadness in my husband. He grew up in a family over for the holidays house like my dad did while I was always comfortable with just us.

***

I don’t know how many Christmases now I’ve spent away from home with my husbands family in Louisiana. The only thrill in it for me is how happy it made my husband. While I longed to be back at home with just us, it was a trade off to not have him sad on Christmas Day. It was a sacrifice to never have Santa to come to our house or ever make our own Christmas traditions.

***

This year, after 21 years of marriage, we are going to my parents for the holidays and my brother and his wife will be there. I can only imagine how happy my daddy is. Family over for the holidays in a way it’s never been since he left home at the age of 20.

***

When I mentioned the holidays to my husband, I gave him the travel plans without any inclusion of the three of us going to Louisiana. I made a suggestion that he could fly there on the 26th after spending Christmas with us. I didn’t think he’d go. But he is, and he’s leaving on Christmas Day because there was a $300 price difference in tickets.

***

I’m thankful for the childhood observations that prepared me to be understanding of my husbands need to go where he has family over for the holidays.

I’m happy for his happiness, but I’d be lying if I said it didn’t make me a little sad.


This is a Stream of Consciousness Friday post. It's the Week 3, of the old school blogging, prompt for the Finish the Sentence Friday writing community where I'm co-hosting with Kristi Campbell of Finding Ninee. This week we set a timer and write for 5 minutes or more in my case, on the prompt "Family over the holidays"

Say Goodbye for Now

Say Goodbye for Now

Gifts from my childhood...

Gifts from my childhood...

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