Then there was the year that I had the chicken pox on Christmas day. I'm walking around polka dotted in the living room and crying cusp we couldn't go see my grandma and grandpa. God bless his soul. The cheer and laughter that was shared among my family was so amazing. The look of happiness upon my mother's face as we all giggled and unwrapped gifts. My mom has always done Christmas to the hilt. She has always spoiled us all rotten. Christmas was to me as a child one of the most joyous occasions. It was one of the most special moments of seeing my mother so incredibly happy.
As I grew older and got married the first time, I remember the very first Christmas that Michael and I shared as a married couple. The love that was in our hearts and not much else. We had just gotten married come this Monday, December 14. The excitement that was on his face. The joy in my heart. We had his foster family around us to celebrate. Marsha (my kid's biological mom) was part of that joy. She was 4 years old. There was so much laughter in the air. We decorated trees and we laughed together. Michael told me that year that if he had known me before he would have changed everything about himself. We didn't know that in a month he would have no sight. We were dirt poor and so in love that it simply didn't matter. Isn't that a wonderful feeling?
After he was gone, I created a new tradition where I would go to my sisters and send them out for the night so that my niece and nephews could make a gingerbread house. We would laugh and giggle as the house would fall apart on some occasions. I remember watching as the gingerbread house started from one little house to a landscaped house later on in another year. I knew by this point that I would not be having in children so I chose to take whatever time I could with my nieces and nephews to fill that void in me.
Then there was that beautiful first Christmas with my husband, Ken. My family had always been dysfunctional. Actually sometimes I think we gave new meaning to that word. Here I was in a family that was so incredibly close to me. Let me tell you it scared me. I didn't understand this closeness. I always (even to this day) have to put space between us. I didn't grow up with this closeness in a family. Oh I dreamed about it but to see it up close for the first time. It was sooo eye opening and my heart felt as if it would burst at any time. That first year when Ken goofed up with my present..we bought the same presents for each other. Something that I knew he wanted. He thought my hints trying to figure out what he wanted was about what I wanted so he bought me the same thing. Honestly, at this point in our relationship, I didn't think that we were going anywhere together. I never dreamed there was a future. Ken was so young. I do mean young. He was 22 years old. I was 32 years old. I knew that he saw life through totally different eyes than I did. But he didn't. I just wasn't aware that he had such an old soul. That year he apologized because his cousin was giving his girlfriend an engagement ring. Ken wasn't giving me one. It was way too early and I never dreamed we would get married.
But the following year, Ken did get me an engagement ring for Christmas. We were so in love. I told him that we had to wait for a while until he grew up. Yes I did say that. I was so scared to marry him. I knew that I couldn't have kids. I didn't think that I should make him miss out on being a father. He told me that it didn't matter he didn't want kids. Problem was he was 23 years old. I don't know most men that don't some day want kids. I was suddenly part of the family for real. I can't explain it but it did feel like his family treated me differently since I was going to be in their family legally. I know they didn't mean to.
Then came the Christmas before we got married. We both knew it was the last one. We were getting married on Valentine's weekend. We were teased that it was the last time. We were so very much in love and we were fighting constantly. I was being plagued with these doubts about never having kids. The doubts were stupid but they were there. You see, I couldn't shake the notion that Ken would eventually leave me so that he could have kids. Or the thought that I didn't have the right to take that from him. I so desperately wanted children myself that it was inconceivable that I could do this to him. Thank Goodness we survived that.
The following Christmas was a totally different experience. We had Faith for two months by then. We were struggling financially but so very much in love. Ken decorated our house for the first time. We decorated the house very lightly. I kept saying that Faith wouldn't know. But that thought changed when Faith's face would light up with every twinkle of a light. But sadness was in the air. Ken's father had passed away on December 14 of that year. His mother wasn't his mother anymore. She never has fully come back to us. And Ken was suffering with thoughts that his dad should be there to help him raise his daughter.
The following Christmases have been totally amazing. There was Faith's next Christmas where she was walking.
The year that she knew what Christmas was.
The year that my grandma and her great grandma was able to be there. See the idiots in the back? My family won't let you take pictures of them. Sighs.
Which was the same year that my sister's bird came. Faith was fascinated with it. I was terrified for Faith.
Then as she started to grow up and understand all the great things about Christmas. We were broke that year. We had just remodeled our kitchen. See the awesome counters? We went to Home Emporium for them. They were 1/2 of the price of what Home Depot wanted. I am telling you if you are remodeling check to see if you have one local. Of course, our counter tops are granite. They came from the Tile Shop. Absolutely awesome having granite in our house. It cleans up so well and very sanitary.
They call it Green Diamond but it looks Black with gray in it. Its absolutely gorgeous. Funny store... we were so poor that I lived with a cardboard counter for almost 2 years waiting on us to have the money for the countertop.
We have been so blessed and then Jason came to the family. We went through a year of hell with foster care as we tried to get Jason into our family. Christmas as a complete family was incredible. When I say complete, its because all of a sudden we felt complete. We had our boy. Of course we never realized that until after we got him. We went to the train display with him. We had his first real Christmas with him. The first one that he remembered well.
And that brings us to Christmas Current... what wonderful gifts do we have in store. What memories do you have?
Side note: Why do men think they can get you an engagement ring for Christmas and nothing else? And why do they try to combine Mother's Day with your birthday?