Merry Christmas!


This is one of my favorite days of the year. This whole season has been full of joy, hope, and excitement, and I feel like I actually felt the “Christmas spirit” around me more than any previous Christmas season, which has only built anticipation further. Shannon and I have such wonderful memories of Christmas growing up-some sweet, some hilarious, and some embarrassing…I suppose that’s one of the wonderful parts of Christmas right?

For example, I have distinct memories playing the piano with our late uncle on Christmas Eve/Christmas. His favorite was Greensleeves, and when I was first learning, he would play the left hand, and I played the right hand. He passed away when I was younger, so this is a special memory I remember more vividly than others.

Shannon begged Santa for Moon shoes one year and got them…enough said!

And then there was the time when Santa brought Shannon some sort of toy set that included dozens of small pieces. In her child-like excitement, she immediately tore into it and began playing with it…and all of its small pieces. Our dad, in his very organized, neat [anal?] ways, encouraged Shannon to wait to play with it and to “Keep all the pieces together.” When we saw this home video a few years ago, suddenly Shannon’s uber organizational skills made perfect sense…

And, for some self-depricating humor, there was the Christmas (circa 1994) when our parents allowed us to open one gift on Christmas Eve. “Just one gift, so choose wisely,” I was warned. I was strongly discouraged from choosing package I selected, but I stubbornly stuck to it. I opened the package to find socks inside, and expressed my strong disappointment with a shout of “SOCKS!? What kind of gift is socks?!” and ran into my room to pout. I’ve never lived this moment down…but to redeem some dignity here, I promise I have learned the art of gratitude!

More recently, the five of us delivered a grocery cart full of groceries to a less fortunate family in downtown Santa Ana a few years ago. When we arrived at their apartment, we realized our lack of ability to communicate with them, which we were luckily able to laugh about. TJ came to the rescue and utilized his Spanish skills and engaged the family in some meaningful conversation. They were SO grateful, all the children and the parents, and it brought a richness and added layer of gratitude to that Christmas.

And now, there are the new Christmas traditions of Christmas Eve dinner at Shannon and TJ’s, homemade cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning, big vintage red wines at Christmas dinner, and a family sleepover Christmas night. One of the most beautiful things about holidays, specifically Christmas, is the traditions that remind us why we get together every year, and that remind us how valuable family is to all of us, and give us a reason and a way to show that.

On one final, Christmas note, we would like to say a big Merry Christmas to all of our readers and viewers. We are truly so grateful for you, and we would not be able to continue this fun itsy bitsy journey without our readers. So we hope that you all have a wonderful holiday season, that Santa is generous to you, that your family time is valuable and treasured, and that you have the time to reflect on all of the blessings we are surrounded by this holiday season, as well as all year round. Merry Christmas!!