It's Christmas Eve. The tree is lit.
The cats are cozy.
The shopping is done. The groceries are bought, the stew is in the crock pot and the snow is coming down in big fat flakes. True, the table isn't cleared and the floor isn't swept so the holiday isn't totally picture-perfect, but it's close.
This is the first time I haven't spent Christmas with parents or with sisters. I almost said this is the first time I haven't spent Christmas with family, but I am with family. I'm with Nico. This is the first time we've spent the actual holiday together, so we've been trying to hash out our traditions and figure out what Christmas has meant to each of us in the past and how we want to celebrate it as a family in the future.
For me, this is a quiet Christmas. No nieces and nephews, no brothers-in-law or cousins, no cooking or gossiping with the other women in my family. I miss the noise and the bustle.
But there are good things, too. Wonderful things. Being with Nico, waking up with him on Christmas morning. Planning out the Christmas menu myself (lamb! dressing! asparagus!). Today while we were shopping in down town Olympia there was a group of carolers wandering around. And then there's the snow. We've had to slow down because of it and plan things out a little more, which can be a hard thing to do over the holidays.
The quiet is nice, but I miss having kids around.