Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A Different Kind of Christmas

For the first time in my life I am not spending Christmas with my parents. I'm not going to Minneapolis at all for the holidays. There were many reasons I made this decision. I will tell you the biggest reason. In years past, Dean's dad flew to Florida for Christmas, so I didn't feel so bad that while Dean didn't get more than a couple days off around the holidays (he never built up the seniority to take the time required to make a trip North worthwhile), I was a grad student and could take off for at least a week without batting an eye. This year I would have had to leave Dean by himself for Christmas. He swore to me that it was okay and that I should go to Minneapolis to be with family. He quit his job in Florida and took a lesser job here so that I could have this opportunity. It hasn't been easy here for us these past three months. But the whole time, Dean has been amazing and reminded me that we are in this together. And he's absolutely right, we are. Which is why I won't leave him for Christmas.

Sure, it's just a day. But every year on that day, I go to visit family and friends and think about that fact that after being together nearly nine years, Dean and I have spent exactly one Christmas together. It was our second Christmas, when Dean came with me to my grandparents' house. I can't imagine how foreign it must have felt for him to spend Christmas with people other than his own family. I still haven't even spent Christmas with his family. So this year, I'm excited to spend it with him. I'm not sure how it is going to go, we don't have a tree*, we're not going to exchange gifts**, and there probably won't be much open if we want to get out of the house. I'm not sure if I'm going to cook a fancy meal or if we'll do Chinese takeout and a movie with the Jews. But I know I'm not going to sweat it. There WILL be eggnog and it WILL contain brandy. Maybe we'll make our own crazy Christmas tradition, or maybe I'll book my tickets to Minneapolis 364 days early. But I owe this Christmas to Deano and I can't imagine anywhere else I'd rather be.

* We have attempted to have a Christmas tree only once. Our first year as cat owners, when we had only Nellie, I bought a 3 foot tall fake tree. Nellie not only managed to knock it over, but while we were sleeping dragged it into the hallway, dropped it outside our bedroom door and began howling, much like she does when she "hunts" the stuffed socks Dean's mom makes for her. I can only imagine things going downhill from there.

** We decided on this when we realized there was absolutely nothing either of us wanted or needed. Dean is notoriously difficult to shop for, and I gladly sacrificed a gift from him to me in exchange for not having to think of something nice to get him. Don't feel bad, trust me, it's much better this way.


spants said...

Egg nog is all you need for a proper Christmas, anyway. You guys will have fun.

Jackie said...

you two are so cute. Jamie and I are really looking forward to a Christmas with just us (and Donovan too of course) this year! Starting your own traditions is the best!

Oh and new drink discovered tonight: Eggnog and Cream de Caco! YUMMY!!

(ps, I have a Christmas card here for you, but no address. If you like, could you send me your address so I cna mail it off to you?)

gabrielle said...

It sounds like a blissfully hushed holiday.

We too are treasuring our time together this year and keeping things simple (except of course for Emma’s gifts). She gave us a preliminary fright with her list: #1 gift cards 10. Thankfully, it’s 10 as in priority, not quantity.

BTW, you could do worse than Christmas with the Jews. Just remember to bring your dreidel.

We will miss you and are happy that you and Dean will be spending this time together.

fermicat said...

Hmmm, our family makes egg nog with bourbon.

When I lived in Massachusetts, one Christmas I didn't come home and really missed the family scene. I hope you and Dean can avoid feeling like you've missed out on something. Let us know what you end up doing!

PDM and I are having a low-key, quiet Christmas this year. I have to work on Christmas Eve, and with Big Daddy gone I don't feel any obligation to attend a big family to-do. We've invited my Mom over for a Christmas lunch. Other than that, we have no plans at all.

Minnesotablue said...

I am sitting at my computor looking at the picture of you and Dean when you were both here for Christmas. Naturally we will miss you much but you and dean belong together and there will be many other Christmases that we will be spending together. Love you Gram

magnetbabe said...

We also enjoy egg nog lattes and egg nog ice cream. We'll have to stock up before the stores close.

That sounds fabulous. Dean actually hadn't tried egg nog until this year so we started with the very traditional. But Cream de Cacao does sound good! I sent you an email earlier today with my address.

I'll miss you too. Especially the cooking! I seemed to have scaled down for everyone but Emma this year too. Shopping for kids is so fun, and it'll be hard to buy for her in a year or two.

Sorry to hear that Big Daddy's loss has dulled the Christmas spirit in you. But lunch with your mom sounds lovely and low key. I'll definitely post whwat we end up doing, even if it's embarrassingly dull!

Thanks as always for your kind words and understanding. I know I keep saying it, but SOMEDAY we'll both be there for Christmas and there won't be the stress there is now. Make sure you have a glass of wine for me!