To be completely honest, I'd been dreading being back home for five solid days over the holidays. I just knew I'd be climbing the walls within the first few hours. But much to my surprise, I found myself feeling wistful as I merged north onto I-24 today.
This Christmas, I discovered a new found appreciation for my family. They're definitely not perfect, but they're incredible in their own way and...they're mine.
My dad's family is goofy, yet amazing. Several years ago, we decided we needed to spice up our bland Christmas dinner and that's when the Dirtiest
Santa tradition began. In a slight twist, the object of our
game is to pick out the absolute worst gift you can find to exchange. This year was unparalleled...we belly laughed as my outdoorsy dad opened a glittery Precious Moments figurine and my cousin got a year's supply of cough drops.
But the funniest moment of the night was when my great uncle Alan grouped us together for a family photo and shouted, "On the count of three say...SEX!" (Needless to say, the resulting picture was priceless.)
On Saturday, as my mom's family gathered for the annual Evans clan Christmas dinner, a group of us arrived early to help cook, set tables, etc. In the boisterous spirit of my family, we cut up while we worked. At one point, I looked around at the three generations of women hooting in shared laughter and my heart swelled. In that moment, it hit me how fortunate I am to have been raised in their incredible shadows. And how amazing it feels to now be privy to their inside jokes and stories.
Maybe it has to do with getting older and gaining maturity, but in the last year, it's really hit home how important my family is to me. They've been there through my hard times and have made me laugh along the way. They are who I call when I'm sad and lost...or when I'm bursting with exciting news. Their open arms have provided more support and assurance than I'll ever be able to repay.
Plus they're downright hysterical
and have taught me the meaning of a good time. For example, several of my aunts decided to go for Mexican before attending the Christmas Eve church service. Three pitchers of margaritas later, they were feeling great...and were primed to ham up some Christmas carols. I shook with silent laughter as they (loudly) spiced up the songs in the middle of the church service. Joy to the World (WOO!!), the Lord has Come (WOO WOO!!)
Later that night, we gathered back at my aunt's house and amused ourselves by taking hysterical, deformed pictures with a program on my cousin's new iMac. Here are some of the gems:
We're threatening to feature one of them as next year's Christmas card. We just have to figure out how to pull it off without causing my grandmother to have a minor seizure.
So...I hope you had as fabulous of a holiday as I did. And that your family is half as special (in more ways than one) as mine...
But somehow, looking at these pictures, I highly doubt it.