It's always hard for me to believe when Christmas is over--especially this year, when I know it will be my last Christmas visiting Arkansas for some time. In my nearly thirty years I have only missed Christmas in Arkansas once, and that was the year that I was too pregnant to travel, so Kevin and I spent the holidays in Edmonton.
Although I won't be pregnant next Christmas (hopefully, although I'm already feeling like I've been pregnant forever!), we will have an eight month old and an almost-three year old, and Kevin and I don't feel that we can really make that trip during the holiday crush, I mean, rush. This Christmas the trip almost killed us.
And so next year, we'll celebrate Christmas in snowy Edmonton--a novelty for me, really, since Arkansas only gets "brown" Christmases. In fact this year, we had 60-degree temperatures a few days after Christmas (not that I'm complaining). Kevin also feels that we should start some of our own family traditions. Well, he had me at "start new traditions"! I'm already busy as an elf planning all the things I want us to do as a family next holiday season: an Advent calendar, a gingerbread house, ice skating and cocoa, a fancy Christmas feast on my own china--maybe even a Christmas goose!
However, I'm also taking my time to savour every moment of this particular Christmas at home in Arkansas and all of the long-standing rituals it entails: Christmas Eve church service, Christmas Eve dinner at Aunt Matilda's, presents and coffee cake on Christmas morning, Christmas Day lunch at mom's house, and lots of cousins, cousins, cousins. I sure will miss all this next year, but perhaps some of them--both the people and the traditions--can be convinced to make the trip to Edmonton ...