Let me start by saying: I love my husband more than I could possibly put to words. He is truly my better half and his love for me and our family inspires me every day.
With that said, it must be acknowledged that we come from drastically different cultural backgrounds, and that fact is never more apparent than around the holidays. All that sense of "Christmasness" that I get.... which involves decorations, carols, ridiculous amounts of delicious food, cards, potlucks, gift exchanges, classic movies, silly hats, eggnog, family.... you know what I mean? The "spirit" of Christmas, I guess you can call it. It's an extremely American phenomenon. My husband didn't grow up with any of the same traditions, and for a multitude of personal reasons finds very little cause to be festive around this time of year.
I still partake in Christmas festivities with my family and at work, but at home? Not so much. Sure, we turn on Christmas music now and then. We went shopping for gifts for his parents. Our only decorations are Christmas cards that friends have sent that I stuck up on the fridge. I watched Love, Actually mostly by myself this afternoon. But that whole vibe of peaceful sweet Christmas wonderfulness just isn't there.
Tonight? Tonight we went to my parent's house, ate, opened gifts, and I had a great time. We were home early, by 6pm. My husband retired to the computer, his parents dozed in front of the TV, that's all. Nothing special. And I was resigned to it.
But then Amaliya wouldn't sleep, due to a late nap and maybe some teething issues. I took her into the bedroom, closed the door, sat in the rocker with her, and read her the Polar Express (which she seemed to enjoy!) We laid down in bed together where I intended to nurse her to sleep, but she was too awake and too happy. Instead we sang every Christmas song I could think of - I sang, she cooed and grinned, snuggled up close and grabbed my face with both hands. It was, quite honestly, the highlight of my holiday season.
|Caroling in the darkness|
I'm excited for all that the future holds with my little family, but one of the greatest things I think will be developing our own traditions. I can't wait until next Christmas when she's old enough to care - both her dad and I agree that, whatever our personal hangups and incompatibilities, we have to do everything we can to make the holidays a special time for her growing up. Innocence is a wonderful thing, and there's nothing quite like that feeling of pure faith and belief in magic. I'll do anything to give her that experience.
In the meantime, I have my daughter to thank for making my Christmas one of the best ever.