I'm having a very different holiday season than I have had in previous years.
First, since I am living in the home I grew up in until I get married in April, this is the first time I have experienced the build up to Christmas in this home since 1993. While I always visited frequently after I had moved out, I forgot what it's like to be here just about every day, how my mother makes her home as festive and beautiful as any out there. This is a peaceful abode of holiday beauty during the month of December, and it has only become better with age. I took this for granted for so many years while I was growing up, and I feel fortunate to experience this all over again at a time when I can appreciate how wonderful it is.
While I am reminded of many past Christmas seasons this year, I also can't help but look towards the future. This is my last Christmas as a single man. When I became engaged last February, there seemed to be so much time before the end of this year, and even more time before our wedding in April 2005.
In less than four months I will have a wife, a ring on my finger, and a lifetime of possibilities. We celebrated Christmas tonight with her family, and I realized the whole time that I feel a level of comfort that I didn't realize could exist; I never imagined holiday celebrations with another family that could be as enjoyable as those I have had with my own. Until this year, that is. I now realize that I have two families, and while I could never let the love and admiration for the one I have known all my life diminish, I see now that I have been given the opportunity to create the same type of memories with another. And, of course, the families aren't mutually exclusive. It's even more of a blessing when both can interact with each other.
I am feeling fortunate at this early hour on Christmas Day 2004. I've been given a great deal of gifts this past year, gifts that you can't wrap and put under a tree or tie a bow on. This is still a special day, but I feel as if I've had a year's worth of special days. And I can only imagine what this next year will bring, and what the rest of my life will be like.
I don't know why I am being so reflective at Christmas when the normal time to be this way is at the New Year.
Merry Christmas to all, it is indeed a good night.