December this year has sort of sucked. Where it's usually full of Christmasy stuff and that excited feeling you get when you start counting down to getting to go home...this year there was none of that. It hasn't even really felt like Christmas. The only reason I miss college is for its winter breaks....it would've really been nice to have a week off or so to get to go home, but alas, no such luck in the real world.
Lucky for me, I live near my pretty awesome Aunt and Uncle and got to spend Christmas Eve with them, which totally brought some Christmas spirit out if not for a day. If I wasn't going to spend Christmas, or any other day for that matter, with my family, my Aunt Leslee and Uncle Dave and their kids are the ones I'd want to spend it with. We started the day with some extreme sledding, unfortunately no one got hurt so I'm not sure how extreme it was, sledding was followed by a delicious meal of steak and hot chocolate, complete with paper plates so we wouldn't have to do dishes. If you've never had one of my Uncle Dave's steaks, then your missing out. Pure heaven. Our late lunch was followed by some movie watching and then the part of the night I enjoyed most. Every year they go and put luminaries on my Grandma T. and Uncle Ted's graves at the Salem Cemetary. Apparently it's a tradition for everyone who has relatives buried there. It looks really cool and it was great getting to visit Grandma and Uncle Teds graves. After that we came back and we had a great discussion regarding the real meaning of Christmas, which really hit home this year, and we ended with opening some presents. I carried on the Tolman family tradition of Dollar Store Gifts and got some great ones for their family and they were so awesome and got me some presents as well. It totally made my month. I'm so lucky, I not only have an awesome immediate family but my extended family is by far the best as well.
Not doing the normal Christmas thing this year and not getting focused on buying presents and the commercial aspect of it has really given me a chance to remember what it's all about. I realize that Christmas is something different for everybody, depending on what they believe and whether they are religious or not, but for me it became especially apparent this year that it's a time to be grateful for the birth of our Savior who's given us so so very much. I'm continually amazed at the perfect love he has for me despite all of my imperfections.
So while Christmas this year was far from the traditional one i'm use to, as I had to work today and I spent the rest of the night eating take-out chinese and watching movies, it doesn't matter to me so much, its still Christmas. Merry Christmas everyone!! And get ready for the new year!