Friday, December 16, 2011

On The Third Day of Christmas...

Welcome back for Day Three of the Twelve Days of Christmas,
brought to you by myself and Kelli and More Bang For Your Bucks!

Christmas has changed for us over the last several years.
When I lived at home with my parents, things were "normal".
When Ron came on the scene, I think we nearly did him in with our version of a "normal" Christmas.
In my family, Christmas was all about family -
the extended family.
I remember driving all over town with my Dad,
delivering gifts to my Mom's family, including her aunts and uncles.
We'd brave the sometimes treacherous winter conditions on the roads 
and we'd visit awhile at each stop.
{I grew up in there was always plenty of snow to go around!}
At some point, my sister and I would have to take a nap
because we'd be singing with the church choir at midnight mass.
Mom was always busy with Christmas preparations in the house.
We'd bundle up and head out late at night to attend midnight mass.
Afterwards, we'd go to my Mom's parents' home and visit with family.
There would always be plenty of food and drink there!
Then we'd head out across town to my aunt and uncle's and visit with their family
and even more family out there.
Eventually we'd make our way home and we'd open our Christmas gifts...
but not until after we'd said prayers around the advent wreath 
and put the baby Jesus into the nativity.
You did get that this was all taking place after midnight mass, right??

Well, I eventually moved out...of the country.
I moved to Texas.
Got married a couple years later.
And traditions changed.
No longer were we doing the whole litany of Christmas events 
that were a huge part of my childhood.
Most Christmases, we'd  head north to my family's for the holidays.
I loved those Christmases.

Then we found out we were pregnant!
And then he was stillborn.
And then his December due date came and went.

Then we had a Christmas where my sister and sister in law
were both having Christmas with their first babies...boys.
And we were childless.
And feeling so ripped apart.

Having no living children,
Ron and I decided we couldn't deal with Christmas with either side of the family.
We went to Las Vegas.
We drove.  Our car broke down.  But we made it.
Let me tell you...that was an awesome Christmas.
We went to church.
We had champagne brunch at the Excalibur buffet.
We'd loaded up our gifts and we exchanged them in Vegas.
I swear I would do this again.
{minus the car breaking down in the middle of nowhere, Texas}

Then we had Moira.
Things changed again.
New traditions!
Moira's First Christmas - 2004
I may or may not have gone a little overboard on gift-buying.
We did travel to Canada for Christmas that year.
Moira putting the baby Jesus into my parents' nativity after church.
Fast forward to 2006....
it was Peyton's first Christmas.
Such a beautiful, sweet, but sickly child.

Visiting Santa at Memorial City Mall in Houston, TX {best Santa EVER}
Another trip to Canada.
Moira putting the baby Jesus in the nativity after church.
Peyton with her Daddy by the nativity.
Poor kid had to be all bundled up for the cold weather!
We made a quick stop by Ron's alma mater for this pic!

Once again, life happened.

We moved from Texas to South Carolina in 2008 and did no holiday traveling that year.
My parents came to us.

Ron and Moira at Isle of Palms - at the Atlantic Ocean on Christmas Day

Peyton at the Atlantic Ocean on Christmas Day
Moira and my Dad
My mom became ill - breast cancer.
In 2009, Ron's mom came here to visit for a bit then we went to Canada for Christmas,
even though it was becoming increasingly difficult to travel with Peyton.
Our drive was horrible - terrible snowstorms and treacherous driving.
It was worth it.  It was my Mom's last Christmas.

Stuck in traffic somewhere in Virginia, I took this picture.  Beautiful!
Moira making snow angels
Moira and my Dad making a snowman
My parents with Peyton and Moira
2010 was a horrible year for Peyton, healthwise.
We were totally unable to travel with her.
We really still can't.  It's just too difficult now.
We'd need to rent a U-Haul just to be able to bring all her stuff now!
In 2010 we stayed in South Carolina.
Ron's mom came to visit.
So did his sister and her family - for the first time!  They left just before Christmas,
but his mom stayed for Christmas day.

My new tradition - worship choir!
Moira all dressed up for church
A smiley Peyton with her Daddy
And look at that - it even SNOWED here!!!
So it's now 2011.
Another year.
Unable to travel.
But my Dad was just here for a couple weeks and we had a great visit.
Ron's mom will be here next week for a week.
I'm still in worship choir and we'll be singing at 6 services over two days!
I'm not sure if it'll "snow" or if we'll get to the ocean on Christmas day!
But for now, it seems that South Carolina Christmases
are what it's all about for our family!

It really doesn't matter where it is, I suppose.
What matters is why we celebrate Christmas,
and that Ron, Moira, Peyton and I are all together as a family.

What are your holiday traditions??


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