This post is part of the series “Christmas at My House” – reflections on the wide diversity of Christmas experiences.
Christmas at my house is….comfort. And peace. And rest. And joy. And togetherness. And connection.
Christmas is the one time of year my whole family is fortunate enough to all come back together again. Time has spread us out across the U.S. and expanded our family to almost double its size. But at Christmas, we’re all together again under one roof.
My parents have always been generous people. They’ve opened our home over the years to others needing a place and family to spend the holiday’s with. I can remember growing up spending Christmas with several different families and individuals– some we were very close to and others who were only acquaintances. So traditions changed over the years from big Christmas’s to small ones, to opening all our gifts at once to spreading things out, to buying for everyone to buying for just one other person, to sending out the funniest Christmas card each year to no Christmas card, to spending Christmas on the 25th to moving it to the 26th.
Tradition was never much about holding onto rhythms and practices – it was about the people that were gathered around the table. It was about making sure this house was a home – a welcoming presence to anyone that walked through the door.
We sleep in.
We play games (both board and card).
We eat meals together.
We cook together.
We watch movies.
We take naps.
We sit by fires and read.
We laugh. And tell stories. And laugh some more.
Our Christmas holiday might look slightly different each year and lack the cohesiveness of tradition but it always surrounds togetherness. The opportunity to gather around a table to laugh and share updates, memories and stories. The opportunity to cozy up around the fireplace in the warm den fending off the wind and the snow, and hibernate together for a movie or football or board games.
I am so grateful to have a safe, happy and welcoming home to come back to each December. To have parents that encourage my growth, questioning, and explorative spirit. To have siblings to laugh and reminisce with as we continue to share life and grow closer with each passing year and each added spouse and each precious birth of a child. It is a beautiful place to come back to each year.
I love the traditions of being a Speck, and spending the holiday’s in Rockford – and those two things are enough glue for my Christmas.