Today I officially broke my recent Christmas tradition and spent time instead with both sides of Nicole’s family: Christmas Eve was spent with her mother’s side, and today with her father’s.
In years past, it became more of a tradition to be alone (save for Buster) and brood, getting more bitter and miserable, feeding the growing depression into which I was sinking. Though it may seem obvious to some, family (even a surrogate one) can make such a big difference… and I say so with genuine seriousness.
To be a part of a group, to share food and laughter and experience… it’s impossible to communicate the world of difference it makes to spend Christmas with family, even a large, chaotic Italian family. I’ve been teased both evenings for the fact that I speak very softly in comparison to everyone else, and people can’t hear me.
At one point this evening, Nicole’s grandfather (seated at the polar opposite from me at this very long dinner table of 13 or 14 people) made a point of hushing everyone cos he wanted to hear me speak. Not knowing what else to do or say, I stood up and toasted everyone else, once again thanking them and expressing my gratitude for allowing me to join them for the holiday.
And for the vast change I’ve noticed, for the actuality of a merry Christmas, I couldn’t ever say it enough.