A Tender (and White) Tennessee Christmas

Posted: July 15, 2011 in Love and Marriage
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Last Christmas, much like last year’s anniversary, was far too big to be limited to just the twelve days celebration and Christmas Day itself.  This was the Christmas of restoration, and we had lots of plans.  Christmas break from school fell in a good way last year and gave us a few days off before the actual holiday, which was really nice.  Some years, the last day of school is nearly Christmas Eve, so it’s difficult to get any last minute shopping in, or do much entertaining or going to Christmas parties.

We were planning two trips over Christmas break, one to the East, and the other West.  To the East was Tennessee, and since we got out of school on December 20th, we decided to leave a little early and get there before Christmas.  This cut into the twelve days in that we left on the 23rd, which is our 11th day of Christmas, but I already had her twelfth day gift bought, so I just brought it along in the car.  We made the 22nd our unofficial Christmas Eve because I wanted to exchange some gifts with just the two of us before we went to Tennessee.

When we had kids at home, I never wanted to travel over Christmas.  In my family growing up, we always had Christmas at home, so after we opened our presents, we had lots of time to play with them.  I wanted our kids to have the same experience, so we mostly let relatives come see us, instead of going to visit them.  Last year, as empty nesters, we could do whatever we wanted, so we just made plans according to our own schedule.  If that meant our Christmas morning was December 23, then so be it.

Even though we would be exchanging gifts with my wife’s family on the actual Christmas Day, I wanted to have a small Christmas with just the two of us first.  There were certain gifts that were very meaningful to us, but that others wouldn’t understand, so I wanted us to open them privately.  I also knew that it can get pretty chaotic in Tennessee with large families and lots of kids.  A quiet, romantic morning before all the hustle and bustle was what I was going for, and it was very special.

Christmas Eve was a day of shopping, cooking, and catching up.  It was busy, but not overwhelming.  We cooked the dinner at my in-laws’ house that evening to give them a break, since we knew they would be cooking up a storm all the next morning.  There were a few gifts exchanged that night, but it was mostly agreed that we would wait until the next morning.

Our white Tennessee Christmas morning

When we got up on the 25th, we found that it had started snowing during the night and given us a surprise white Christmas.  There were still some gentle flakes falling outside, and it was just enough to turn everything white without making travel difficult or becoming a hassle.  It was just one more little thing that made it extra special, like God was giving us a little gift to show us that He was thinking of us.

We pretty much feasted all day and played games late into the night, and my wife finally fell asleep sitting up in her chair while we listened to everyone telling stories and such.  It was very different from the way we usually spent Christmas, and very memorable.  It was really great to go there and just be taken care of, so we could just relax and take it all in.  We still had to drive back home on the 26th, then head right back out on the 27th for yet another Christmas and an important stop on the restoration tour


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