Three years ago was the first Christmas Shaun and I spent in our house and we decided to host both of our families for dinner. Before the party, as a Christmas gift, Shaun’s parents helped us buy new floors for our two spare bedrooms, which were completely bare, having been stripped of the nasty carpet left by the previous owners but unable to be redone due to lack of funds. The floors were finished some time before Christmas, our offices were set up and the house, while not exactly complete, had no glaring omissions. I spent a good long time cleaning beforehand, and my mom brought buffet tables from her work so we’d have a place for everyone to sit. Shaun made prime rib and prawns and a good time was had by all.
The next year, we were housing my long-time friend/pen-pal and her husband who had just moved to Washington state. They found an apartment in Seattle just before Christmas, but they had no family or friends here and I wanted to host Christmas one more time at the house because I thought it would be most comfortable for them to have dinner at a familiar place. So I cleaned for a couple of days, and mom brought buffet tables, and Shaun made prime rib and prawns. A good time was had by all. Our Christmas gift was money to spend on our delayed honeymoon to Disneyworld, where we arrived one year ago today.
This year, I thought somebody else might want to host Christmas. But Shaun was the first to volunteer, happy to cook up a feast for all. I cleaned for two days straight, mom brough buffet tables, Shaun cooked. Good times. And this year our Christmas gift, from both parents, was money towards a new fridge which we needed because ours was on its last legs.
So we’ve inadvertently created a couple of Christmas traditions here. We have the families over, we cook roast, and we receive life help as gifts. There’s another tradition, which is that of absolutely no pictures. Seems like it might be nice to capture some of those warm fuzzy holiday memories, but no one brings a camera. I fully intended to use mine this year but forgot amid the hustle.
I was super nervous the first Christmas we hosted because we’d not really had the families together in that capacity or close quarters before. And as much as Shaun and I are different people, so are our families. I was, as the pessimist in me likes to do, picturing the worst. A friend of mine (another only child) recently told me that she thought it was weird when I got married because she didn’t see either of us (her or myself) as the marrying type. I kind of understand what she meant. The idea of letting people in, of purposely allowing the chaos and unpredictability of others to invade what was once an orderly and reliable existence… well let’s just say that type of thing can take up a lot of my resources.
But it’s worth it. And a great time was had by all.