Merry Christmas and welcome! We have been looking forward to having you with us. Let me take your coat. My husband is in the kitchen with our son, please come join us, we’re putting the final touches on the ham. Don’t mind the dogs, they will calm down after they are done thoroughly sniffing you. Shih-tzus never have a bad day, but no matter what they tell you, they are not starving!
My husband has a new edition to the Christmas train, he’ll be more than happy to show you the whole collection before dinner (and give you more train information than you’ve ever wanted). Where are my manners, would you like something to drink? I’m just so excited you’re here. We have tea, soda, beer, and wine. Hot chocolate, too, if you would prefer. I spent all morning baking cookies, help yourself. Yes, the gingerbread is soft, I don’t like crunchy cookies. It’s not Christmas unless I hear Mariah Carey telling us what she wants for the holiday, but feel free to change the CD if you’d like.
I may have gone a little overboard on the gifts, and I’m not sorry. We’ll open them after we eat. Oh, my sister and her family are here! It’s about to get loud, but not as loud as it will be when my mom, oh, look, here she is, too! It’s so nice to have the family together. I wish you could have met my dad but he’s our angel now. Yeah, we are a family of hugs and kisses so get used to that.
Dinner is ready, let’s eat! My husband may tease me about the amount of food I’ve made, but he’ll be the one who eats most of it. Dig in, make sure to get some of the mashed sweet potatoes with the regular kind, I like to mix them together. This ham is cooked perfectly! I know it’s confusing to keep all the people straight when we start telling stories, but there won’t be a quiz after. And yes, I did get kicked out of Hobby Lobby once because of Christmas…
Help me clear the table and we’ll all go into the living room and open presents. I hope you like what we got you. Oh no, you didn’t need to bring presents, your presence is a present, ha! Be sure to save your paper, too, for the wrapping paper fight after. We need someone to take my son down, he’s won three years in a row. Don’t let that cheeky smile fool you, he’s ruthless.
Let’s see where A Christmas Story is on its 24-hour rotation. We watch it at least once, I swear, we could probably recite the whole movie word-for-word. The niece and nephew want to bring out the board games. I must warn you, we can get pretty cut-throat when it comes to playing Spoons and no matter how much he begs, do not play Uno with my sister’s husband. He cheats. We take our games very seriously; I hope you’re up to speed on your smack talk.
Ah, it’s late and the day is nearly over. Come with me, my child, out here in the snow. There is something I want to share with you. This private moment is the part of Christmas I like best. The gifts have been opened, the stomachs are full, and the memories have been made. Months of anticipation and planning have come to fruition, all that’s left is wine and wrapping paper. Look up. Now it’s just us and the stars. I like to look into the sky and think of all the places I’ve spent Christmas. There have been a lot, my dad was in the military, we moved constantly.
I have to tell you, getting to where I am today has not been an easy journey. There have been so many people determined to see me fail, and at times I did. I’ll be honest, there are times I just wanted to check out. But the hope of tomorrow has always kept me grounded. Tonight, I like to think about all the good things that have happened. This year I am thankful for you, my precious child.
So look up. Feel the cold wind on your face, the warmth of my arms around you. The Christmas lights from our neighbor’s house have colored the snow. Music and laughter can be heard in the distance and from inside. Everyone who matters to me is happily under my roof, that includes you. Tonight, there is nothing but laughter and love. Tonight there is peace. This is the magic of Christmas to me.
Ok, I can see your shivering, let’s get you inside. More hugs and kisses as the family leaves. One more glass of wine and then it’s bedtime for me. I’ve made up the guest room down the hall, there are fresh towels in the bathroom. Close your bedroom door or you’ll be sleeping with dogs before you know it. It’s first come, first serve on the leftovers in the morning. Please make yourself at home. I’m so glad you are with us. With a hug and a kiss on the cheek, I wish you good night.