I had a meltdown this past weekend about Christmas and it really wasn't cute. I was standing in our bedroom talking about how much I love watching It's a Wonderful Life every single Christmas Eve and Patrick was quick to remind me that we likely won't have time to do so this year. He also reminded me he's never seen the movie because he asked if it was a silent film... !!!!!! My eyebrows almost flew off my face. I can't really talk because I make a lot of similarly alarming comments, like the other day when I recognized an actor on TV that was in The Blind Side (my favorite Sandra Bullock flick) so I pointed it out to Patrick and he was all, ummm this is ESPN that's the Alabama football coach. (How was I supposed to know that they casted real football coaches for that?) But still! It hit me like a ton of bricks that this Christmas is going to be so different, away from my parents and fam and my mom's seven decorated trees. So I quietly tiptoed to the bathroom (the Manhattan getaway room) where I proceeded to have a complete, nonsensical meltdown similar to that of a five-year-old.
I am actually really excited to spend my first Christmas with Patrick and his side of the family (they're the best) so I don't know what my problem is. I think it has something to do with my attachment to traditions and the discomfort of so much change all at once. It's funny how such silly little things make Christmas feel authentic. Growing up, Santa never wrapped our gifts, and he always left our stockings on the end of our bed. It was so exciting to move my feet and hear the crinkle-crackle from the stocking, knowing he had stopped by my room. (I wasn't allowed to leave my bed Christmas morning until I was told, so the stocking was a great distraction. Smart thinking, Santa.) I was also pouting the other day, thinking of the German Christmas dishes my mom pulls out each year and how I won't get to drink egg nog in my favorite red mug. And then I spent yesterday morning trying to recreate my sister-in-law's famous peanut butter fudge we enjoy each year, stirring away like a mad woman, only to end up with a second rate batch. Nothing feels the same! Christmas won't feel real because it's all new! What is wrong with me? I find myself thinking a lot about all of this and why we seek consistency and place so much significance on silly memories like movies and mugs and how Santa does his thing. I'm aware that the root of wanting everything to be the same has a lot to do with not wanting to let go of my childhood -- and I'm no spring chicken so I need to get over that issue pronto. But more than anything, it has a lot to do with this being my first Christmas morning away from my mom in 29 years ... which makes my chin quiver :(
I have a feeling these next few Christmases will all be a little different and will depend on a number of things, but we'll eventually fall into our own rhythm and rituals of how we choose to celebrate. So in an attempt to buck up and collect myself, I'm trying to look forward and think of little traditions I can start now with Patrick. One little thing is adding ornaments each year to our little collection, like the one pictured above I recently snagged at the Union Square holiday market. I'm also on a baking kick and made delicious banana bread (finally something came out right!) that I should consider doing each year. Patrick and I are celebrating on our own later this week so we're planning a fun-filled day of activities for our first Christmas as husband and wife. I can't wait. I'm hopeful that we can find little things to incorporate into all of our future celebrations, and that we can look back and remember doing them way back when - ya know, that time we lived in NYC in the coziest little home with the tiniest potted-plant tree :)
Have you gone through this holiday transition? Am I totally nuts for being so emotional about it? Any tips?
In related news, how is Christmas only 10 days away?! Xo.