On: My Favorite Holiday
Christmas is less than a week away (eek!) so it seems like a good time to write about my favorite holiday… Thanksgiving! Tricked ya, you thought I would say Christmas, right? Well, I feel kind of like a cheater saying Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, since my family also celebrates Christmas on Thanksgiving (double switch up!). Well, my dad’s side of the family anyway.
It all started before I was born (or after I was born and I just don’t remember). My grandparents always went to Arizona for the winter and weren’t around for Christmas, so it was decided that we would celebrate Christmas with that side of the family on Thanksgiving. But we didn’t celebrate Christmas (open presents) until the dishes were all done from Thanksgiving dinner!
But it’s not my favorite holiday because we get presents (okay, it might have been the reason for a few years when I was a kid, but I got more presents on Christmas than Thanksgiving, so that wouldn’t even explain it), it’s my favorite holiday because it’s usually the only time my family on that side is all together, and is the only time during the year that I see some of them at all. My aunt, uncle, and cousin fly in to Wichita, KS from Michigan, and my aunt, uncle, and cousins from Kansas City drive down.
Side note: does anyone else think we need a word for this family unit? I hate saying “I’m going to visit my aunt, uncle, and cousin(s)” which makes me feel like I’m overdoing it, but if I just say “I’m visiting my aunt” I feel like I’m leaving the rest of them out. And is it bad that I say aunt first? It feels weird to say “uncle, aunt, and cousins.” Or am I just overthinking the whole thing? Probably. Wouldn’t be the first time.
At this point, the gift giving aspect is just kind of funny. I’m in my thirties with two kids and I’m still one of the “kids” who gets presents on Thanksgiving (or Thanksmas, as we like to call it). It has changed from toys and games to “loaded socks” which we all got from one family this year (fun socks with a $20 bill in them to spend on black Friday). Though I do love seeing my kids receive gifts and get so excited over them, they won’t understand that it’s weird to get gifts on Thanksgiving until they start school! But they also LOVE spending time with the family, to say that the family adores them would be an understatement.
When I was younger, we did get together with the family on my mom’s side for Christmas, which I loved, but we generally saw that side of the family more often, so it wasn’t quite as big of a deal. And as the years went on we had big Christmases less often. There’s usually more competition with the other side of the family about who you’ll spend Christmas with, which is why it’s great to celebrate on Thanksgiving with one side and avoid that drama all together!
Though things have kind of switched and I see my mom’s side of the family less often. Most of them have their own families now, so we’ll probably never have Christmas with all of them again. It’s definitely a treat when we are able to get together with them, usually a couple times per year, to see their kids and catch up. It’s always a great time, and very rowdy!
All that said, I do love how we celebrate Christmas now. It’s so low key, we just head over to my parent’s house whenever we’re up and around in the morning, eat our traditional breakfast of pull apart bread (aka, monkey bread), bacon, and eggs, and then leisurely make our way into the living room to open presents. I’m sure it won’t be long until the girls won’t let us eat breakfast before opening presents! Then we just hang out and enjoy each other’s company, eat lunch, and basically snack all day. The group has grown to include more people for lunch and presents, Tyler’s sister and her kids, Tyler’s mom now that she’s back in town, and my dad’s parents because they no longer go to Arizona for the winter. Even though the group is getting bigger, it’s still a pretty relaxed day, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.