Just in time for the holidays, my little blogging hiatus is officially over. My papers are in and I can finally, finally, finally start to relax. This is the biggest Christmas gift I could have ever given myself and, hopefully, exciting career opportunities will present themselves in the new year because of all this work.
Now enough about that... Christmas Eve is my very favorite day of the year. Every year, on this night, I wrap myself up in the love and the generosity, the magic and the possibility of it all.
This year is harder for me than previous years, however, because this is the first year ever I have been away from my family for the holiday. It is also the first year ever I have had to work - the dreaded graveyard shift - on both Christmas and Christmas Eve.
However, I am now convinced that everyone should be forced to be away from their family due to work once. Just once. (Never the graveyard shift, though. That's just cruel.) This way, you never forget how much you appreciate being with them - even if (perhaps) you once started this blog during a snowed in holiday so as not to hang yourself with Christmas tinsel from days of family overload.
I think this just might be a rite of passage the universe is throwing at me and, believe it or not, I'm embracing it.
It helps that I am surrounded by people I love, my second family - Jenner, his parents and his brother/dog, Russy. It also helps that my family just called for facetime on my phone so that I could say hello and watch my mother reenact "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer" for the family talent show. She added her own take on the classic while pretending to stumble to the ground with a martini in hand. My nephews had reindeer antlers on and my sister and her husband sang the song. I laughed because it was so, so funny and I cried because I miss them so, so much. Luckily, I am flying home on the morning of the 26th and hope everyone will agree to put on a repeat performance.
What I know for sure is that if you are lucky enough to have people who love you from the bottom of their hearts and that you miss with every fiber of your being, you are among the luckiest people in the world.
What else do I know? You should never gift me underwear under any circumstance. Gather 'round folks, I've got a Christmas Eve story to tell...
Once upon a time, I think I was around seven, my family got together for our annual Christmas Eve celebration. In addition to my Mom, Dad and sister, my grandparents and a few of my cousins were there. One cousin, in particular, was present. My teenage cousin, Rick. Can you picture it? Great. Well, when it was my turn to open one of my presents from my grandma, you can probably guess that I was pretty stinkin' excited. With everyone looking at me, I tore into the wrapping paper, opened up the box and discovered..., wait for it, wait for it..., underwear staring back at me.
Do you want to know what I did next, dear reader? Well, I ran into the dining room and cried for fifteen minutes, that's what. Right about now, you may be thinking what an ungrateful, spoiled brat I was. However, the reason I was crying wasn't because I was disappointed - it was because I was mortified. I couldn't believe that everyone - and especially my older BOY cousin - had seen my underwear.
Not to worry, everyone talked me down, but no one ever forgot. To this day, over 20 years later, everyone laughs while I open presents and says, "Maybe it's underwear!"
I hope this holiday you find yourself surrounded by the ones you love with no wrapped underwear under the tree.