So to continue with this month of love, I want to tell you a bit about my Christmas. I should tell you, I'm also that neighbor with the Christmas lights up year round. So there's that.
But this Christmas was a love story. A love story about my husband and a love story about my family.
Adrian and I have now spent three married Christmases together. As I've written about before, I absolutely love Christmas, but each year it presents this dilemma. To stay or to go. Adrian never has more than a day off from work and my family lives half way across the country. For the past few years, I've spent the weeks and months leading up to Christmas carefully considering how to spend those blessed two weeks of vacation. Wanting to be here with Adrian and enjoying our first Christmases together. While still wanting to return to Maine to hold on to the traditions that have made Christmas such a wonderful time for me in the past.
The first two Christmases I chose to stay here in Chicago for Christmas Eve with Adrian and returned to Maine for Christmas day with my family. Each year, I felt like I was missing a bit of both worlds.
I've made no attempts to hide that these past two years have been difficult years. I recently joked with a friend that at some point here I intend to write a book on my experiences. And the more I think about it, the less I think I was joking. Until my book hits shelves, suffice it to say that Adrian has been an incredibly supportive, considerate and absolutely adoring husband. I feel more sure today of my decision to marry Adrian than I did when I said I do.
Adrian's capacity for knowing what I need before I know I need it never fails to absolutely floor me. This year, back in October before I even began my annual fret of what to do, Adrian told me one day, "Why don't you go home for Christmas this year?" And with those little words, I booked my flight.
In my two years of Christmases away, I sometimes wondered if my nostalgia for Christmas past was simply a trick of my memory. Another product of my profound ability to gloss over the past, remembering only the lovelies and forgetting the not-as-lovelies.
But Christmas of 2012 was precisely as my eight year old heart remembered.
From the traditions of going to Mass as a family (Thank you Aunt Marta!) to eating dinner in our new pajamas to filling up on crepes and pies on Christmas morning to always forgetting previously-purchased gifts, my family has this incredible knack for making the holidays just feel cozy.
When I arrived on Christmas Eve, Maine lay snowless. For a little moment, my younger me felt that twinge of disappointment. A snowless Christmas in Maine just didn't seem right. Ah, but this too conspired in the creation of the quintessential Maine Christmas.
I woke on Christmas morning to a steady falling of the most perfectly fluffy snow flakes. With few cars on the road, the snow remained glisteningly and gloriously white. Falling at those perfect speeds recreated only in Christmas movies. I spent a few minutes by the window, filming that perfect snow. When I sent the video in a text to Adrian, he asked for more.
My Christmas in Maine reminded me of everything I had loved about Christmas as a child. I loved every little moment and cannot wait for the year that I share all that tradition and love and joy with Adrian, in Maine.