This morning, I spent some time reading blog posts from past Christmases. Since this particular blog only began in 2014, I have just a few to look back on: 2014, 2015, 2016. Each Christmas looks the same in photos, and you’ll even notice a few reoccurring themes: my mom’s perfectly styled bar cart, our family Christmas Eve dinner, brunch on Christmas day. My parents have owned that house for almost five years. By now, it is filled with Christmas memories.
Pictures never tell the full story, though. Some of those Christmases, I felt lonely, wishing I had someone special to share the season with. Some of those Christmases, I felt jealous of other people’s celebrations (Instagram has a way of making your life seem small). Some of those Christmases, I felt merry.
Christmas 2017 was perhaps the best one yet. My boyfriend spent it with my family in Hinsdale, something I always hoped for while growing up, but I was never quite sure if/how/when that would happen. My mom lit candles and cooked a marvelous meal, my dad and brothers and Andrew howled over sports, and I sat back and tried my best to not think about work. On Christmas Eve, it snowed. The next day was white and cold and peaceful.
There were, of course, a few holiday hiccups. Expectations run high a few times a year: birthdays, New Year’s Eve, Valentine’s Day, Christmas. It’s so easy to expect the perfect day — I do it all the time. But the reality is that people are imperfect and there is no such thing as a perfect day or a perfect Christmas. It is a lesson I have to learn over and over again.
I am very thankful for the weekend and for the people I got to spend it with. Mostly, I’m thankful that Jesus was born, crucified, ressurrected. Life on earth may never be perfect, but I know a place that will be.