Dear Thomas and Marie,
It is almost Christmas, and although this season is a lot of work, I would not trade it for anything in the world.
I love our traditions.
One year I had to get Marie out of the house because the fumes from our freshly painted basement was too much. I cranked up the heat in the car and took you for a drive around the neighborhood in your jammies to look at lights. The tradition stuck, and we now listen to Christmas music in our jammies as we drive around and look at lights.
I look forward to baking cookies with you and decorating them with Nana and Papa. This tradition was handed down to you since I used to bake cookies with Nana.
|December 2009. Look at those cheeks.|
|December 2011. This face!|
I love how we always get dressed in Christmasy clothes and write letters to Santa at Macy's. This tradition was created because you were both too scared to sit on Santa's lap. We eat in the mall food court before finishing up Christmas shopping for daddy.
|December 2012: This is one of my most favorite photos of them in the|
history of their photos. Which is a lot of photos.
Our new Christmas Eve tradition of putting on our new Christmas jammies, watching a Christmas movie while eating Christmas cookies and drinking hot chocolate is one of my favorites. It is cozy and relaxing and so different than any thing I ever experienced as a kid. I enjoy this maybe a pinch more than the highly coveted Christmas morning.
|Christmas Eve 2012. Hot Chocolate through a straw.|
And by hot, I really mean lukewarm chocolate milk.
I cherish these rituals that are perfect for our little family.
I try to memorize how your little bodies feel all snuggled up under the favorite brown, fleecy blanket while we watch Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.
I record your giggles as you sneak the chocolate chips meant for the Hello, Dolly bars because you didn't think I heard you.
In my mind, I etch the excited look on your faces as you find each house with lights the most amazing house in the whole entire world.
I realize how fleeting this time is, and one day you may not want to wear Christmas jammies and drink hot chocolate with me.
And one day, if you decide to have a family of your own, we may not even be able to see each other on Christmas. This, of course, will be sad for me, but I want you to remember this: I will be fine. I mean, you don't have to be jerks to me, but just know that I understand as life evolves, so do traditions.
Our traditions are based on being together because we love to be together. Not guilt. Not out of obligation. Nothing sucks the joy out of Christmas than feeling stifled to keep a tradition that no longer fits. I mean, how ridiculous would it be if we still were writing letters to Santa when you're 25, right?
Being a part of your lives will always be important to me, and because of that, I promise that I will not get hung up on the tradition that it becomes more important than the people who are celebrating.
Also, I am writing this as you are both only 4 and 7 years old, but I know how frustrating it can be to incorporate new and old traditions together. Feel free to show me this because I know that I will want to buy you Christmas jammies (and calling them jammies) forever.
Love your favorite Christmas elf,