Brad and I decided two things this week. One, we do not like the snow and two, it doesn’t feel like Christmas without snow. Contradicts itself, right? Let me explain.
We grew up in the Midwest where it is cold and snowy in the winter. Nine out of ten times, there is going to be snow leading up to Christmas and sometimes on the actual day. The first snowfall is magical. It’s so quiet. The trees are covered in a white blanket, the snowflakes are fluffy, and the fallen snow sparkles on the ground. Being at home, wrapped up in a blanket with a warm beverage in your hand, knowing you have nowhere to go is nice.
Christmas shopping or listening to Christmas music while putting up Christmas decorations when the sun is shining brightly, it’s seventy degrees out, and flip-flops are worn just feels kind of silly. If you grew up with snow, you can relate to what I am saying.
One of the reasons why we chose not to be in the Midwest for winter was not only because of the frigid cold but because the snow quickly looses its appeal. A thirty minute commute can turn into two hours. Roads and sidewalks get slippery and icy. Wind chills make it so cold you can barely breathe, and the snow is no longer a pretty white blanket but a muddy, brown, sloshy mess. Makes you want to rush up to the Midwest, right? 😉
People who don’t know this reality see snow as it is on a Hallmark card—everyone laughing, building snowmen, looking cozy in fluffy jackets and mittens, going on sleigh rides or ice skating on a pond. Yes, those things do happen, but it’s not the norm (besides wearing fluffy jackets and mittens to keep warm). Hopefully, you can understand why Christmas without snow just doesn’t feel like Christmas to us, but also why we moved and choose not to be in the Mid-west for the winter. It’s a tricky catch-22, really.
Needless to say, it was seventy degrees and humid the whole week of Christmas. We wore flip-flops and short-sleeved shirts. Truth be told, we know it was unusually warm in the Midwest, reaching the 60s! Since then, it has gotten to be more like real winter. Sorry Midwesterners.
Christmas was filled with lots of FaceTime (thank goodness for technology!!) and opening presents. This was the first year that I didn’t get to see my family around the holidays. We have adapted throughout the years, celebrating Christmas a week early, a week late, or even a whole month early. This year we sent gifts via the mail and FaceTimed when they were opened.
Brad’s parents drove down to see us along with his brother and fiancée flying in from out of town. Just like my family, we adapted to work schedules throughout the years and we haven’t celebrated Christmas with them on the actual day of Christmas in about ten years. We played games, put together about 100 pieces of a 1,000 piece puzzle. (For those who don’t know, I really dislike puzzles.) I take that back. I can do a twenty piece puzzle, no problem. We visited alligators at the Savannah Wildlife Refuge and toured downtown Savannah.
When you get older, Christmas changes. People live in different towns or time zones and there is no more waking up and opening gifts all together on Christmas morning. Families learn to adjust to the changes of adulthood. The thing is, that’s good. It may come as a shock to parents, but kids grow up. They cannot help it anymore than parents can. Along the way of growing up, kids become adults. Sometimes the adult kid finds someone else to enjoy the holidays with, waking up on Christmas morning to open gifts and start new traditions. Or sometimes it’s about sleeping in late, watching movies all day, or going to the beach. The thing is, either way is fine. There is no right or wrong way to celebrate the holidays. Maybe it’s not about getting together but knowing that loved ones are thinking of you as you are thinking of them and holding previous holiday memories in your heart. Near or far, family is still family and maybe we do not need to get together to know that.
On that note, New Year’s Eve is around the corner and resolutions are being thought about. We will see what new adventures await us next week, but I believe I see a beach, friends, and a plantation tour in our future.