Merry Christmas Eve Eve, y’all! I remember when I was little I would wish people a merry Christmas Eve Eve on December 23. You see, in our house, Christmas Eve was almost more exciting than Christmas Day, and the anticipation of December 24 was almost too much to bear.
The day of Christmas Eve would seem to take FOREVER….just waiting for the evening’s festivities to begin. Trying to stay out of our mom’s way, we would busy ourselves with attempting to wrap gifts for each other and our parents. Then, by late afternoon, just as the sun was beginning to go down, my dad would put on the Andy Williams Christmas album, and we could put on our special Christmas clothes (containing equal parts of velvet, scratchy wool, lace) and await for our beloved grandparents to pull into the driveway. Their arrival meant only one thing – PRESENTS!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh, and the eve of the birth of Christ. But mostly for us…it meant presents. Plain and simple.
Both of our grandmas and our grandpa would burst into the door, their arms overflowing with wrapped gifts. We were instantly swallowed up in smothering hugs and kisses by each, nearly suffocating in a fog of perfume, aftershave, and make-up. We have a small family with no first cousins, so we always got our grandparents to ourselves. We truly were the apple of their eyes, and we knew it. My three siblings and I knew how loved we were (and continue to be by our dear grandpa) by our grandparents, and memories of them still make me ache with longing and fondness. As we’ve grown older and our grandmothers have passed away, our Christmas Eve traditions have changed, and I love them just the same.
I won’t be celebrating Christmas with my family this year which makes me sad. But I am comforted knowing that I will be with my new family – the family that is me and my new husband, and our growing baby (read: fetus, alien, Cinco, Baby Booger Bean/Beanette). The gravity of this change is not lost on me. I am inspired and excited to embark on creating our own family traditions with our new family the same way my parents did 36 years ago when they celebrated Christmas as a new family with their first child, my brother Bryan.
On a different note, we are 18 weeks along in our pregnancy and I’m beginning to show! I have never felt more proud of anything than this bump of mine. The other night, I felt the baby move for the first time as the little nugget did some sort of back flip or toe-touch in the womb. I yelped and laughed out loud and prayed for another movement. It was divine. But the true Christmas miracle this holiday season was the moment I slipped on my first pair of maternity pants. LORD HAVE MERCY! Hallelujah! I recommend to every one of you, pregnant or not, male or female, to go out right now and buy this pair of maternity pants. Or this pair. Or these leggings. They are sleek and totally comfortable – like dressy sweatpants. Joey Tribiani knew exactly what he was doing when he wore Phoebe’s maternity pants to Thanksgiving dinner. Believe me.