Christmas Eve

In Martie’s thirty-eight years, we have spent two Christmas Eves away from each other.  Only two.  The first time was the year that I lived in Colorado.  I was working two jobs and lived a million miles away and there was neither money nor time for plane tickets or family visits.  I had a lot of friends to spend the holiday with but it just wasn’t the same. I know Martie didn’t like it.  She was quite vocal about it. 

The next time we spent Christmas Eve apart was the first year that Coach and Martie were dating. Coach’s family does their big Christmas shebang on Christmas Eve and as his official girlfriend, Martie was invited.  While they were at the family event, the weather took a turn for the worse and Martie had to spend the night at his parents’ house.  There was no driving home.  Martie called to tell us, frantic.  She wanted to be with her family and sleep in our room, staying up all night talking about boys and family and what we wanted to be when we grew up and wondering if Coach was ever going to propose. 

Poor Coach.  He had no idea what he was getting into with her or this family.  Early the next morning, as the sun was just peeking out of the clouds, he and Martie rolled up in his giant man-truck.  The roads were slippery and icy yet he braved the weather to get her home.  She sprinted from the car, slid her way all the way up the driveway and rushed into the house, hair askew and clothes wrinkled from sleeping in them.  She was slightly wild-eyed and shaky.  Coach’s eyebrows were all up in his hairline.  He said, “I thought we were going to have to call the Rescue Squad to get her here in the middle of the night, she was so upset.  I’ve never seen anything like it.”

He learned the rules fairly quickly after that.  Martie and I spend Christmas Eve together.  We take literally three to four hours to unwrap every gift on Christmas Day.  We leave everything spread out across the entire living room so we can play with it all day.  We don’t cook a big meal.  Instead, we make finger foods and snack until we go to bed.  If we get out of pajamas it’s only because guests are coming over but sometimes not even then.  And we always go shopping the day after Christmas. 

I guess Coach is accepting.  He married this family after all even after learning all of our traditions and idiosyncrasies. 

What are your family traditions? 

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