Friday, December 12, 2014

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year......(is the song stuck in your head?)

I started writing this blog on November 30, to kick off the month of December. And here we are, halfway through the month! I sometimes get frustrated by how fast this month goes! Christmas is just such a fun time with all the parties, snail mail from you friends, and glimmering lights. I try so hard to savor every single day, and then it's gone like the blink of the eye!

I understand the holiday season is a source of stress and sadness for many. And that becomes very eye-opening for me, especially in my career.

Taking out the sadness attached to this time of year is often out of one's control. But I really do wish people would take the stress out of the season. Looking back on the seasons' past, people don't remember how pretty your Christmas card was, how many varieties of cookies were baked, how nicely the gifts were wrapped, or the presents. The memories are what truly stick. (I know I'm getting kind of sappy....) My fondest memories of Christmas include:
  • The year where we made this shrimp scampi dish with an obscene amount of garlic in it. I'll never forget our giant family (10 of us) scooting into the church at Christmas Eve mass smelling like one big roasted garlic clove.
  • Christmas celebrations with my Dad's side of the family, sitting around the large table snacking on flatbread my Grandma made, playing Trivial Pursuit and Balderdash (staples in family gatherings). Those are some of my last memories of my Grandpa.
  • As a teenager, putting on a snowmobile suit, and helping my Mom and Dad hang Christmas lights in -10 degree winter days. We'd nearly freeze our fingers off, but it was fun!
  • 5 years ago when Ryan and I went home for Christmas (last time we went home for the holiday), smirking all the way through security as we wore the dorkiest Christmas sweaters we could find at Goodwill.
  • Another memory from 5 years ago, was getting to see my Mom and Dad renew their wedding vows to celebrate their 40th anniversary on December 20.
  • Many-a-Black-Friday's since Ryan and I have been dating, where we wake up 3 am, get the most caffeine possible, and hit the insanity of shopping. Crazy. But fun.
  • My 1st Christmas away from home, trying to my make Grandma Valeria's "easy fudge" - I had not yet been educated on the "soft ball, hard ball phase" in candy making. Let's just say our little apartment at the time smelled like burnt chocolate for days.....
  • My 1st Christmas away from home period. It was very hard and I remember sobbing like a fool. Moments like that make you appreciate the time you get with your loved ones!
I could go on and on about all the memories of this magical season. When you really sit down and reflect on your favorite memories, I bet they have nothing to do with how pretty the presents were wrapped or what materials were in those presents! It was about the laughter, joy, or maybe even tears.

What are some of your most fond holiday memories?