All year long I manage to behave as a woman in her mid-twenties. But as soon as the snow falls, the Christmas decorations find their way out of the closets, and Christmas carols start taking over the airwaves, I find myself turning back into a six-year-old child who’s too excited to fall asleep on Christmas Eve.
I love Christmas. I love everything about it. Even the overcommercialization that drives so many people nuts this time of year gives me a warm fuzzy feeling.
Perhaps it is because I am the baby in the family, but I have still not outgrown the Christmas cartoons my brother and I used to watch every year when we were young. Nothing makes me happier than putting my pyjamas on, making myself a cup of hot chocolate, and putting on A Charlie Brown Christmas.
(My brother was kind enough to move all of our favourite shows, which were once on tape, onto a DVD for me. Best Christmas present ever.)
But this year will be a little different. I find myself in a position that I think many people in Golden are finding themselves in. This will be my first Christmas ever away from my parents.
My retired parents have bought real estate down south, and are now spending their winters in Arizona.
I am fortunate enough this year to get enough time off to get home to spend Christmas with my brother, his wife, and their three kids. It is a luxury that many people in this town may not have, to spend the holidays with one’s family, and I am grateful for it.
But the little kid inside me is still sad that she won’t be with her parents on Christmas morning. I am no longer part of the younger generation in the family. And therefore, Christmas is no longer about me, it is about the kids, the new generation.
And the scariest part is, my generation hasn’t learned how to cook yet.
All my favourite Christmas treats are being prepared, cooked and baked down in Arizona.
To be honest, I don’t think I am the one this transition is going to be hardest on. This may be my first Christmas without my parents, but it is also their first Christmas without me.
My mother, a born nurturer, will be away from both her children this year. And whether she admits it or not, I know it is hard on her.
So this year I am thankful for the family and friends I do get to spend time with, Skype, and most of all, I am thankful that my sister-in-law knows how to cook.