I am totally that annoying person who knows every line to almost every Christmas movie and song. I listen to Christmas music pretty much year round. And **gasp** I put up my tree before Thanksgiving.
Before you stop reading and kick me out of the club, let me explain myself. Even though I really shouldn’t have to, but here goes:
I am a product of divorced parents. They split when I was only two, so I have no memories of a home life that included both of them. I spent my childhood splitting each and every week between two houses with two sets of people, two sets of rules, two sets of politics, and two sets of beliefs. To say the least, I spent much of my younger years confused and out of place. I still struggle today with feelings of belonging.
Go ahead, cue the Tiny Tim music. But for me, life felt chaotic. I was balancing two homes, a school life, and a daycare family. I often went to daycare before and after school. For me, the holidays were the eye of the storm. It was in the holidays that I found peace.
Of course, as a kid, you don’t understand or see everything that goes on behind the scenes during the holiday season. But through my eyes, Christmas seemed to be this magical glue that brought everyone together. I loved being surrounded by family who I often only saw during Christmas and Thanksgiving. It was the only time of the year where I felt “lucky” to have two houses. It meant I had two Christmases with 2 sets of holiday traditions, two sets of presents, twice the decorating fun, and twice the parties. I truly felt like the center of their world.
Those feelings have carried on with me to adulthood. My husband and I work hard to make that same kind of magic for our kids. Not because we have to, but because we want to. We encourage them to believe and embrace wonder. We even let that elf control our lives for about a month.
For those of you who hold tight to the “Christmas rules,” good on you.