One of my favorite Christmas stories is not my own, but one of my dear friend’s.
“Our family might have been a little more intense than normal because my father was a career Marine. He was dedicated to the Marine Corps in the true believer way that a career officer must be. An infantry officer, I remember him coaching our soccer teams and compelling all of us to run laps while singing cadence. No one ever showed up for soccer season out of shape when he was coaching.
We had fun with the intense culture a lot of the time. I can remember one childhood Christmas morning that my family rose early, opened presents, then looked outside to see new snow falling. It was beautiful and we decided we needed to go enjoy it. The whole family bundled up and we headed out to our residential street. By then the light snow was coming down more like violent hail and sleet. My little sisters rode their bicycles, and the rest of us started off on a jog.
The neighbors told us later they thought we were crazy – a ragtag group of six running along the neighborhood streets on Christmas morning, dodging hail, laughing, and breathing hard. I remember that day as uncomplicated happiness. We were cold and wet and happy to be together making a big mess of our running shoes. The feeling was visceral and childish – it was joy.”
What isn’t included in this excerpt from her book, is that they were calling cadence! 🙂 and that story just cracks me up every time Kate shares it.
This afternoon, I think my husband and I likely looked a little crazy ourselves as we walked our dogs in the blustery Denver wind in Carbear and Snowman onesies.
As for me, this year is a different one from most of my others. As an adult, I’ve always had to travel (in-laws, siblings, and parents living in other states), have been standing duty, in Iraq (Christmas 2005 and 2006), or otherwise just never been in my own home. This time, Pete, the pups, and I stayed put after lots and lots of travel this year, and even as recently as last week. We’re a bit tired, and in need of some R&R.
Today was wonderful, but in a way didn’t feel as Christmas’y because we didn’t travel (and because we miss our respective families of origin so much 🙁 ). Ironic, I guess, since being home is supposed to be the most Christmas’y thing of all, but maybe this is our liminal space Christmas, and well, I, too, grew up in an intense household, and so I actually really did cherish this very Carebear’y, laid back, Christmas of 2016.
And hey, we’ve all got our traditions…This walking the dogs in onesies may be our new one. 😉
MERRY CHRISTMAS, everyone!