This year was the first Christmas of its kind. Normally on Christmas Eve, my family goes to my dad’s parents’ house for dinner and gift opening. Then on Christmas, my mom’s parents come to our house for Christmas lunch and games. It’s been this way almost every year of my life, with little variation. This year, however, we did things differently. On Christmas Eve, my dad took my brother Matthew, my sister Abby, my friend Peter, and me out to an NHL sized rink for public skating. Then, my family ate dinner at our house and played a round of Apples to Apples (which I won) before heading off to our own separate rooms. On Christmas, we opened presents and stockings as usual. We ate Swedish pancakes as usual. But then, we went to the track near our house and enjoyed being outdoors. We ate Christmas dinner instead of Christmas lunch. We played three rounds of Uno Attack (though my dad sat out the last one). And we went to bed. It was a different kind of Christmas, but I surprisingly enjoyed it.
Every year I take a picture of all the presents I got. I never do anything with it- post it, send it, etc. But I add it to my photo library to look back on and remember what I received. This year, I didn’t feel like taking one. But I do want to record- in a vague, general way- what I received because I’m incredibly lucky and thankful. I exchanged gifts with three of my closest friends: Alanna, Korina, and Gracie. And I got the most delicious snickerdoodle cookies from another close friend, Ally (I gave her a cute set of cat bandaids from Urban Outfitters). The board of my school service club had a little Secret Santa gift exchange and holiday party. Matthew bought me a cute book of daily quotes that I wanted and Abby made me a cotton ball mouse (she also put a penny in my stocking). John didn’t get anyone presents this year, which was peculiar. My parents bought me roller blades, which is so so so exciting, and lots of socks. Lots of socks. They also got me three books I’d been wanting, and my mom even went to Barnes & Noble and picked them out herself to ensure that their condition was up to my meticulous standards. I got a Lightning car magnet, which I’ve wanted all year, and a new calendar that features a different global city each month.
The two days before Christmas Eve: Monday, I had an appointment, then spent time with two friends, exchanging gifts, drinking chai teas, and window shopping. I worked out with my personal trainer, and he gave me two chocolate covered pretzels which were a delicious combination of salty and sweet. Tuesday, I took my sister to get a haircut, worked out at Korina’s club while she had a tennis lesson, had a skating lesson, and went to the Lightning game against the Penguins (they won!).
The day after Christmas, I drove myself and Abby down to my grandparents’ apartment, where we spent the night. The next morning, we saw Into the Woods at a really nice theater that had reclining leather seats and footrests. I drove us home after lunch. Then Korina and I went to the Lightning game, which they won. We went back to her house and ate thai fried rice from one of my favorite local restaurants and watched This Is 40 (we wanted to watch The Interview, but it wouldn’t play).
I realized today that I only have one more Christmas as a child. That’s crazy to think about. The Christmas season this year for me was kind of packed into four or five days, but despite the change and chaos of December, I enjoyed the time I had. I appreciate the decorations, the time I spent with friends and family, the “wintry” activities I participated in, and the gifts. I enjoyed giving just as much as receiving, and I am looking forward to seeing what the new year will bring.