Christmas in February

2015-02-06 22.14.14 (4)My “holidays” rarely look like anyone else’s. I don’t live close to anyone I’m related to, and my family is small to begin with. My children are both in the hospitality industry and holidays mean more work for them and no time to take off.

Usually, I work my day job on holidays too because many of my coworkers do have family to spend them with. My “holidays” are when I can gather both of my children and their spouses in one place at one time with me and my husband for a day or two, such as this past week.

My daughter and her husband are here for a week. My son, who lives about three hours away arranged a two-day visit, although sadly his wife couldn’t join us because of her work schedule.

My Christmas has nothing to do with gifts bought and sent. It has to do with gathering the people I love most in the world in one place at one time and interacting with them. The joy of Christmas? This year I celebrated in February. But it could just as easily have been April or August.

When my son-in-law left to visit his parents, it was just the four of us again, like it was for so many years. None of us could remember the last time that happened, but it was kind of nice to just be around people you’ve known for thirty or so years. We know each other’s foibles. We tease and laugh with each other. We get each other’s sense of humor and we support each other. We are intimately familiar with each other’s history.

One night we played Pictionary Junior and cracked up at our ridiculous drawings and how long it took us or how quickly we got the answer.20160204_163347

Yesterday my husband, son, daughter and I went bowling! Again, none of us could remember the last time we did that or even the last time any of us had bowled. Years, we decided, for all of us. And our scores reflect that. But we didn’t care.20160203_122750

It was like the family outings when the kids were little. No one cared how bad they were. We high-fived over a strike or a spare and laughed at how goofy we looked in the ridiculous bowling shoes.20160203_122808

I of course had to draw a correlation between how each of us bowled and how it defined our approach to life. My daughter kind of tosses the ball six feet into the lane where it meanders toward the pins and decides which of them it will knock over. A perfect example of her laid-back go-with-the-flow approach to life.20160203_123259 My son sets his ball down so precisely and smoothly it’s amazing and he packs enough power behind it to smack the pins hard. It made me think how, as a child, he’d just plunge into any experience with both feet. My husband (who won a bowling trophy at age 12 for his high score of 212) is very consistent. He starts off in the same place, throws the ball the same way. 20160203_122858Me? I’m all over the place, adjusting and maneuvering and trying to figure out what I’m doing wrong. Yep, just the same as my approach to life! I did finally break 100 on the third game, though.

My favorite people.

The holiday will soon be over, but I look forward to the next time all the people I love best in the world are gathered in one place at one time.

#family #holidays #bowling