No word on her own emotions.
In all my thirty-three years, I’ve never not woken up in my parent’s home. I’ve never not had my momma’s homemade waffles for Christmas breakfast. I’ve never not, in the whole of my lifetime, spent this holiest of holidays away from the people who brought me life.
The Gorilla and I have always said that we would start to have Christmas at home when our babies were old enough to understand. Early in November I started to convince myself that we could squeak by with one more December 25 in Oklahoma, that my preschool-attending toddler wouldn’t know any better. My husband started reminding me that I’ve declared each of the last few holidays in my hometown to be the last.
But each fall I get nostalgic, and don’t want to be the one standing over the waffle maker, and I picture the vintage Coca-Cola Santa that my mom keeps on the mantle, and I book tickets back to the middle of the country.
Not this year, though. We looked at our holiday schedule and it didn’t make sense to be anywhere except California on Christmas morning, and so I suppose I’ll have to grow up and face the stocking stuffers.
We’ve put up a tree every year since we’ve been married, no matter that it was store-bought and pre-lit because the real tree would be freshly picked, occasionally flocked, and decked to the twelve-foot ceiling by my mother, whose annual Christmas decorations puts anyone to shame. There’s garland over every doorway and down the brass banister.
Now I’m going to have to create the magic myself and fake it in more ways than one. I browsed the big box stores this weekend looking for inspiration. I got a little excited at the thought of my own kids being attached to the same decorations used year after year. This made me want to choose carefully. It also made me want to buy a cinnamon candle (and ignore the fact that my mom’s house smells like cinnamon because she actually burns cinnamon sticks and candy on the stove. That’s advanced Christmas-ing folks, check back with me in a few years).
Last week we flew to the east coast to spend Thanksgiving with The Gorilla’s family. On Saturday night in the airport we ate Five Guys burgers and named all of the things we had loved about the trip.
Pigtail’s best part of Thanksgiving? The Play doh.
Grandma brought her a play doh set that did indeed occupy her for great lengths of time while the rest of us ate and got beaten in ping pong tournaments. And we’re talking pretty normal Play Doh here. Ten hours worth of flying, two train rides, two bus rides, and twenty pounds of turkey later, all my daughter talks about is the Play Doh.
This sets the bar pretty low for my first-ever Christmas season. A good thing to remember...or not.