When I think back to my favorite Christmas memories, they were all when I was a child. I remember waking up at the crack of dawn with my sisters and tearing into our gifts on Christmas morning. We would play with our toys most of the morning and then usually nap sometime in the afternoon – I don’t think we changed out of our pajamas for most of the day. My memories don’t include stress and chaos – partially due to the fact that I was only a child I’m sure. I think that the peacefulness of Christmas back then has faded to just a memory for me. In my adult life, I usually dread the holidays. My parents are divorced now and I’m married, so the festivities are centered around “yours, mine, ours, his, hers, step-his, step-hers, grandma mine, step great grandma hers” etc. You get the picture. Unfortunately, it’s the norm for many families these days and we do the best to make the most of it. Because of the craziness, Kylie has never had a memory of Christmas like my childhood ones. She has never had the chance to wake up on Christmas morning, tear into presents, and sit in her PJs all day playing with her toys. Instead, it’s been more like: open presents from Santa, rush to get dressed, head to Grandma’s house, open presents & eat brunch, rush to Papa’s house, open presents and eat lunch, rush to Nana’s house, open presents and eat dinner… and that’s just Christmas day! The days prior are just as chaotic and busy. Make no mistake – I love our families dearly. I just want to make sure that I’m not stealing “Christmas” from Kylie by robbing her of what were my fondest memories. This year, we did things much differently. We focused more on what Christmas is about – Kylie KNOWS the story of Christmas. We dressed up and attended my very first Christmas Eve service at church and we had a little birthday celebration for Jesus at home afterward. We woke up Christmas morning, ate some breakfast, and opened presents together from Santa and loved ones back home. We stayed in our PJs ALL DAY and played with nearly every new toy. It was a bittersweet holiday. I missed my family terribly and I’m missing you so much it hurts, but for the first time I feel that I was able to give Kylie a gift I was proud of: Christmas memories. Merry Christmas!