Christmas was an unusual change in my family.
My parents were very skilled at being hospitable, humorous, warm, and accepting with guests. They frequently had company to the house for meals. Those were pleasant times because whatever they “put on” for a guest was not the norm in our home. My mother tends to be a bit formal, and i have found her homes rather cold.
Christmas was the exception.
Somehow our home was transformed for Christmas. There was the excited anticipation, there was music and joy and hope. I remember all of that as very pleasant memories. Other memories of my childhood, even when pleasant, are usually mixed with other, darker feelings. Christmas is an exception.
I'm so thankful for that. It leaves me free to enjoy Christmas as an adult. It still is hard to have no children. I don't care, at this point, that the children would not be ours, i simply want children in my life in some fashion. But none the less, i do enjoy Christmas, the lights and music and sense of hope.
As a single adult i did not do much for Christmas. I didn't bother to decorate for years (a former roommate ended up with my Christmas things). I did not go to visit family and as i had no one else with whom to share it, i generally would work for other folks who wanted the day off (no shut down of hospitals during holidays). Still, i reserved Christmas Eve to attend a late mass. That was important to me.
I'm thankful that Duane an i both enjoy this. We decorated our tree yesterday. It was already up with lights and star. (The Box story of why we do it this way. BTW, i'm so thankful for Duane's wonderful proposal. It is lovely to remember and share. I was at a family BD party last spring and one of the aunts asked about our engagement and i shared this story. Then she turned to SIL and asked about theirs. SIL turned really red and said, "Well, i was getting out of the shower. . . " I've told Duane several times that i'm so thankful that i don't have to start our story that way!)
I also had my two "girls" here to help me make pies and cookies. That was a lot of fun, tho it was costly, too.