This Christmas was completely out of the ordinary. Alex and I had been planning on going to New Jersey to spend this year with his family, but after a few things falling through, we decided to stay home. Although I can’t say I’m even remotely sad to spend the holidays here with my tribe, I empathize with my husband’s disappointment (he kept it hidden, but I know it was there). Let’s face it, holidays just aren’t the same without YOUR family. You grow up spending each Christmas the same as the last, surrounded by the folk you love and the traditions you’ve created together, and even with the greatest family-in-law on Earth, nothing ever feels quite like home. Being inside of an unfamiliar house isn’t the same. It feels as if you’re walking around some alternate universe you don’t belong to- you watch what you say and how you act. You could love this new family with all you’ve got, but the warmth of your own- especially on the holidays- just isn’t comparable. One tradition that Alex’s relatives have always done, which I thought was completely unorthodox the first time I had spent Christmas with my newest family, is Christmas Eve beer pong. Who the heck does that? I remember telling Alex, “Wow! Your family is super cool!” Coming from pretty conservative roots, that was something I couldn’t even fathom doing with my own.
We adopted some new traditions. Thanks, Cosmas crew!
On the outside of this card, it says: Aunt Ashley and Uncle Alex, then you open it up to: “I love Alex. Love, Peyton. Merry Christmas!” What the heck is it with that man and children? I WAS HERE FIRST, YA KNOW!?
Remember the magic that surrounded Christmas when you were a child? I get to relive those times through these two. Their happiness is everything. The belly laughs and pure joy that comes from the children is what makes Christmas so special.
My nieces, my heart. They wanted those stupid Hatchimal toys SO bad. The looks on their faces when they pulled them out of the bag was priceless. Alex and I got the biggest neck hugs all night long.
Spoiler alert: they take HOURS to hatch. What young child has that kind of patience? Surely not Peyton. After about ten minutes of rubbing the egg she turned to me and said, “Aunt Ashley, can I please just break it?” With the entire family replying “NO” in perfect unity, I took her into another room and helped her rip it open because, well, I’m the cool aunt. Forget about the rules! I told her to tell everyone that it had hatched on its own and after the first person questioned how she got it out so fast, she replies “Aunt Ashley helped me break it!” Dammit, kid. In time, I will teach her all of the bad things that my brother will yell at me for. It’s what I do. Hip Aunt for life.
Even Grandma was taking shots! It was a Christmas filled with new traditions, family members, and pajamas and as unconventional as it was, this year was my favorite.
MERRY CHRISTMAS, YA FILTHY ANIMALS!
Some feels for ya: