Planning For A Bittersweet Holiday

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I know it’s not even Halloween yet, but I’ve been semi-planning for the holidays. I can’t help it. Thanksgiving is the Super Bowl for foodies. I’ve filled a Pinterest board with possible recipes and activities. I don’t start planning for Christmas until we’re in a food coma from turkey and stuffing.

This holiday season will be very different than our previous ones. Two of our close friends are moving to another state in late December. Since they’ve moved to the DC area, we’ve had them over for Thanksgiving dinner. One of them is a college friend and we’ve managed to spend many Thanksgiving dinners together. He was there during my sad attempt at cooking Cornish game hens in my college apartment years ago. Thanksgiving dinner will be bittersweet this year. We’ve told the kids that our friends are moving away, but I don’t think they realize the enormity of the move.

My husband and I are used to spending the Christmas holidays with just each other. Our theatre jobs made it difficult to purchase plane tickets to visit our family. Since Jaxson was born, my sister has been a constant for the kids during Christmas. This year is the first year in 5 years that she won’t be spending Christmas with us. I can’t fault her for wishing to spend Christmas with my parents.

Neither my sister or I have been able to convince my parents to come visit DC in the December. They dislike snow and are terrified of being stuck in a snowstorm. I don’t blame them. DC’s track record for snow the past few years have been, well, snowpocalyptic.

Even though we won’t be in the same state for Christmas, we can always video chat. Every year, we wait to open the pile of gifts my parents send us. Once everyone in Louisiana is awake, I crack open the laptop so we can open our gifts over Skype. I am forever grateful for technology.

The best part about giving someone a gift is seeing their faces as they open it. Even though it’s just the four of us this year, I’m excited to make some new memories together.

This post was inspired by The 13th Gift by Joanne Huist Smith, memoir about how  random acts of kindness transformed her family’s bereavement and grief during the holidays. Join From Left to Write on October 28th as we discuss The 13th Gift. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.


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