I got married ten days before Christmas. Everything was cold and warm, at the same time. It was as perfect as we’d pictured. Candles amongst flowers, holly berries tucked into corsages. That week felt like a dream. In the days following, we tried our best to figure out how to handle holiday traditions that we had brought into our marriage. Whose houses do we visit, and when? When do we open presents, and how many? It was a whirlwind few weeks, and we made it through, but it wasn’t easy. It was fresh, and it was loud.
I remember sitting in my in-laws’ living room on Christmas Day, watching twenty people open presents at the same time. There was screaming, laughing, paper flying. Nobody could see the floor. Nobody knew what anyone had received or given. Nobody stood a chance at being heard. I watched in horror, with a little fascination on the side. I’d grown up with a quiet and tidy, one-person-at-a-time-and-please-don’t-rip-the-paper tradition. I didn’t know how to wrap my brain parts around what I was experiencing.
As the years have passed, we’ve sort of hit our holiday stride. We’ve set up boundaries and torn down walls. I’d call it an awkward, bumpy rhythm, but it’s a rhythm nonetheless. And it’s ours. It beats to the song of the Kincaid Parade, and I’ve grown imperfectly comfortable with it.
I’ll be sharing more tomorrow night, and I’d love to have you.