When I say this is my first Christmas with my husband, I’m not just being cute because we only got married in October. This is the first time I’ve spent Christmas with the man who is my husband.
Something about being with Matt on Christmas makes me realized we’re finally starting our own family. It didn’t hit me, until, oddly enough, I realized I felt a tiny bit guilty that we were leaving the cats alone over the holidays.
Yes, I know they’re cats and they could care less, and anyway, they don’t even know it’s Christmas. I don’t even celebrate Christmas, not being a Christian and all, but there’s enough of a traditionalist in me to look to some of the mainstays of Christmas. Family. Since I’m not going “home” for Christmas family means Matt, and yes, the cats. I’m not saying they’re stand in children or anything crazy-cat-lady like that, but the cats are part of our family.
Still, it was only a really small pang of guilt. In all other ways it’s a good feeling. Matt and I were dating for a few years before we officially decided to get married (though we’d been assuming it as an eventuality for a while) and we were engaged for another year and a half. So it’s nice to have the whole family thing be official, finally.
This is the first time I’m not going home to Oregon, and I’m surprised that it doesn’t feel strange. I miss being with my parents on Christmas, but we’ve never done much for the holidays. I know they’d like to have us there, but I think Mom was a little relieved about not needing to do anything at all special. Instead, this year we’re visiting Matt’s sister (my sister-in-law!), nieces (my new nieces!), mom (my new mother-in-law!) and brother-in-law (my new… brother-in-law-in-law?). My mom is making beef stew and my parents are staying home and watching movies.
Matt’s nieces are six and four, and to me the magic of Christmas diminished somewhat when I was nine and stopped believing in Santa Claus. Maybe it’s just not a real Christmas without little kids jumping up and down to be allowed to check if the cookies and milk are gone and open their gifts from Santa.
Jen (Matt’s sister) told the girls they had to wait until the sun went up to wake everyone up, but I gotta tell you, when we stumbled upstairs to dig into the stockings at 6 this morning, the sun was most definitely not up.
No one minded (though Matt fell asleep for a bit) and we all enjoyed watching the girls tear paper off massive numbers of toys.
I planned to end with some deep commentary about the true meaning of Christmas, but I think that term is a crock and I’d rather go and be part of the family. Happy holidays to everyone.