Last Christmas, I made my husband a promise. We would go to Oregon to spend the Christmas holiday with his family. It was a promise I was determined to keep.
As Christmas drew nearer this year, and the economy started to slump, I grew more and more stressed about how we’d make it to Oregon. In the end, I have to admit. The promise was kept, and a credit card is getting horribly abused.
However, as I told Craig last night: time spent with family is priceless. You simply can’t put a pricetag on this time spent. Flights. Rental car. Hotel. Christmas gifts. Gas. Food. In the end, its all just numbers on a piece of paper. Its the moments in time that you can never recreate that mean something.
Living in Tennessee, with my family in Texas and his in Oregon, we obviously are one of those families that have to struggle with, “Who do we go see this year?” We try to split it every other year, but sometimes life does change those plans. And even as I say, “its all just numbers on a piece of paper” I do admit that those numbers have dictated that we do see my side of the family more often that we see his side. ($200 round trip driving 13 hours to Texas is easier on the pocket book than $600 at best for 8 hours flight time to Oregon.) So, any time we spend in Oregon I take very seriously. I want to make sure we see everyone we can, but at the same time spend the most of our quality time with those closest to us.
Yes, here it is Christmas and I do indeed miss my family. But, I can call them any time and my Mom is GREAT about taking pictures and filling me in on the things I’ve missed by living (or just being) far away. A big part of my heart will be in Texas on Christmas Eve night when my family gathers for church and on Christmas Day when they open gifts.
However, even with that said, I couldn’t be more happy or grateful to be right where I am with my husband and his family — who have most definitely become my family as well.
So, come Christmas day, I know I will be surrounded by a lot of love, seasoned with good food, laughter, and I am sure many stories being shared by all.
For me, every Christmas is a day I wish I could just place in slow motion and make last. Hold the day close and savor every second. Because it’s definitely not about the presents under the tree. It’s about the feelings in your heart. It’s about the intangible. The things you can’t put a price tag on. The things that once they’re gone, they only exist in pictures and in memory… never to be relived the same way again.
Merry Christmas to all… I hope and pray everyone finds themselves surrounded by love and laughter on this day. Whoever you may be. Whatever you may believe and celebrate. We all deserve and need this day every year to remember what truly matters most.
** For more photos from my Christmas trip to Oregon, visit my Flickr site. **