But I'm happy to report that we are completely done with our Christmas shopping (and came in *under* budget--YAY Dave Ramsey)! So, now we can relax and enjoy the holiday festivities until the Big Day arrives.
We went on a holiday lights tour and had a blast!
This will be my first Christmas without PaPa, and I must admit, I'm having trouble getting into the jolliness of the season. See, not only is PaPa gone but things are changing because of it. Our annual family Christmas Day gathering will be no more. Thanksgiving and Easter will be at someone else's house, if they continue at all. All these traditions which so defined my childhood, my life, are slipping away. I've always partially defined myself by the big ole, loving Southern family I come from. Without spending time with them at every holiday, a big part of me is changing, forever altered. I know I'll still see them, but it will be different. I'm usually one who can roll with change pretty well, but I'm having trouble adjusting to this particular one.
Add about a hundred more people, and that's my family...
I hope and pray that the generation before me (my mom's generation) will keep the family gatherings and traditions alive. I'm thankful to my Aunt Tammy and my I-don't-even-know-what-level cousin Marion for offering their homes to ensure the family celebrates Christmas Eve together as we always have. They're stepping up, and I'm beyond grateful that not everything died alongside PaPa. He would be proud of his baby girl for keeping the family together at Christmas. So, a big PaPa thumbs-up to Tammy! <3
Isn't my aunt purty? And my PaPa...oh my PaPa...
Deek and I set aside a budget for Christmas adventures, and we've been enjoying that random sprinkling of fun inside the holiday bustle. We've been keeping up regular traditions and adding news ones as we find them. This is wonderful time of year for traditions, and we're big on that! :)
We miss Portland, so we're trying to get a downtown experience in the South.
It's so not the same, but it'll do for now.
Deek and I got coffee and had a walking Christmas lights date!
Got to sit on the Big Man's lap and make my Christmas wish.
I asked him to keep my whole big family together for the holidays, and he said he'd do his best!
My hubster surprised me with a lunch date.
I LOVE spending time with this amazing man, y'all!
And we've been checking out Christmas lights at all the local "best spots."
We saw some that have been featured on TV!
Even Shakespeare got in on the lights action!
I don't know if I'll post again before Christmas, or even the week after Christmas since Deek has the whole week off (SQUEE), but I wish you and yours the happiest of holidays!! If you lost someone precious this year, I feel your pain and sorrow. I really and truly do. But gather those you still have into your arms and squeeze them extra tight. Because when you strip away the tinsel, lights, and gifts, Christmas is about family and love. So love on that family of yours with all your might.
And I'll be over here loving on mine. My parents, my Mema, my immediate family, my big ole extended family, and my beloved, beloved Deek! Despite the pain of losing PaPa, I know I'm epically blessed to have my family and Deek's family so full and present in our lives. And that joy will glow inside me--past the pain, past the hustle and bustle--forever!
This man, y'all. This amazing, astounding, out-of-this-world man!
No matter what's going on, we always find a way to laugh.
I love you, my Deek. Now and #always!
Until next time...Happiest of Holidays from our family to yours!