Monday, August 25, 2014

30 Things Series #23: My Favorite Holiday

It occurred to me the other day that I'm getting close to the end of the 30 Things My Son Should Know About Me series. I'm not sure how I feel about that. I think I'll save those feelings, unsure though they may be, for a final post at the end. Until then, I give you my favorite holiday and why.

Before you were born and for as far back as I can remember, Thanksgiving was always my favorite holiday. There were no expectations, no obligations, just time with family. Coming from a broken family (no, not every divorced family is "broken," but mine was and still is, pathetically), I never got any time with all my family together, so when even a good portion of my family was near me, I was in heaven.

When I was a kid, I spent Christmas with my mom and whichever part of her family she decided to see that year (always a good time, as well, of course) and Thankgiving was spent with my dad's family. Note, I did not say 'with my dad and his side of the family,' because like we talked about in a previous post, after he got remarried, we never really saw much of him. My brother and I did continue to spend Thanksgiving with our Bray side of the family, though. Grandma Bray, being one of my all-time favorite people ever, was a highlight for me. Any time I get to spend a day in her presence was a good time indeed. I remember my grandpa cutting the turkey. That's a memory my younger cousins missed out on, since he passed away before most of them were born or aware. I got to hang out with my aunts and uncles, my cousins, my beloved grandparents and just be. Sure, there was delicious food (always a bonus!), but I didn't need any reason to love being with my family, laughing and loving. That was my idea of a good day.

I still love Thanksgiving, of course, but it's different now. Not only do I live in another state, so I'm not able to be with my family as often, I also have you and you, my best love, have changed my perspective on, well, most everything, including the holidays. Christmas is now my favorite holiday, because of you. Christmas was always a close second for me, but now, through your eyes, I see it in the most magnificent of ways.

You love Christmas even more than I recall loving it as a child. You love Christmas books, decorations, food, the tree, the anticipation and surprises, and yes, the gifts. Unlike most kids your age (a whopping three years old), you remember every gift and who gave it to you - even months and years later. You're so thoughtful and kind. You make Christmas the most wonderful time of the year, cliche though that may be. Though, like I said, you love the gifts (who doesn't?), you don't make Christmas all about what you get out of it. I've never met a kid like you, certainly not a toddler like you. Maybe that's why I want to give you SO much.

I loathe shopping, in most cases, but shopping for you, especially Christmas shopping for you, makes me positively giddy. I mentally file away all the times during the year that you take an interest in something, that you say you want something, that your eyes light up when you see something cool. I turn those into your gifts. And we drag out those gifts in the best of ways. We open our Christmas Eve eve gifts to each other (consisting of matching Christmas jammies for all three of us, hot cocoa, a holiday movie or two, some popcorn, and a board game) on the 23rd (obviously), the stockings on Christmas Eve, and presents on Christmas morning. Decorations go up right after Thanksgiving, so we get to celebrate for a good, long while and it thrills me to see it thrill you. You, of course, are part of that decorating process. I love a beautiful tree, but it's never been as beautiful as it has since you started participating in buying new ornaments and placing them just right according to your discerning eye. I'm not sure which one of us gets more excited when seeing the goods go up in the stores.

Yes, Christmas has morphed into my favorite holiday. Turns out, though, it's for the same reason that Thanksgiving always was - family. It's just that the family has changed a bit and I wouldn't have it any other way. Here's to many years of merry Christmases with you, sweet, wonderful boy.

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