Home for the Holidays

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never too old to lick the beater

Because the title of this post probably inspired visions of heartwarming rhetoric, I probably owe you some of that interspersed with its real purpose, which is merely a lighthearted glimpse into my personal life and the awkward moments that we love to capture when my family is home for the holidays.

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what a perfect shot of my brother.

I stayed in Nashville to work the week after finals, as I did last year, and halfway through the week I realized that I had just squandered valuable college Christmastime happiness.  So I was super excited to come home Saturday night, getting in just minutes after my brother did, and we excitedly told tales of work and finals and life as we chomped on junk food and snapped awkward pictures of each other.


me! being domestic! and making pumpkin bread!

Christmas Eve came in with the hustle and bustle and excitement of baking, baking, and more baking in the warmth of a wood stove-heated kitchen with a pot of potpourri on the eye.  We turned out one tasty treat after another: chocolate-covered pretzels, messy squares, sausage balls, pumpkin bread, the tradish Calvin family bean dip, and all sorts of mysterious aluminum foil-covered casseroles to be uncovered on the morrow for Christmas dinner.


the cherished family favorite, made by yours truly at age 8

When my sister and her husband burst through the door at about 9:00 Christmas Eve wanting to join in the fun of awkward pictures, all was complete.  My whole family was together again in the home we’ve always known, around the live Christmas tree that we all still insist on each year, and laughing at the ugly ornaments we made as children.

True to tradition, we each picked out one gift to open for Christmas Eve and retold embarrassing stories of my sister invariably choosing a “boring” one and crying year after year.  We played Farkle together, noting how the print on the wrapper has worn off because we’ve played it so many times, and adding a few more awkward and ridiculous rules to our collection.  Example: if you farkle in one roll, this is called a “supernova”, and it requires that you throw the lid on the container from six inches away. If you make the shot, you get 1000 points and a free root beer.  Not that we ever stock root beer, and not that it would matter if we did, because it’s impossible to do.  No one has ever gotten the lid on the container.

surprised by the camera

me, looking like a cross between gollum and a small catfish

When I was younger, I always thought that there was something special and magical about Christmas Eve.  I thought maybe something wonderful would happen, like a unicorn prancing up on my front porch and my parents letting me keep it.  (I eventually got a horse, which died the week before Christmas, years later.)  When I got older, I thought maybe Prince Charming would come waltzing into my life.  (Ironically, the first time I ever broke up with someone was the day before Christmas Eve, years later.)

In spite of these mishaps, I never seem to stop hoping for something exciting and out of the ordinary.  This year, I couldn’t help hoping I’d get a job offer.  Funny, how my view of “magic” has changed over the years.  The magical Christmas job offer didn’t come (at least, not on Christmas Eve…I’m still biting my nails), but I’ve come to find that perhaps magic is found simply in the joy of Christmas: in the baking, in the laughter, in the awkward pictures and in the incredible 3000-point roll I scored in Farkle.  Perhaps the magic of Christmas is found in the ordinary things that make up the bigger picture of the abundant life that Christ came to offer.  And it’s because Christ was born that our celebration isn’t over on December 26th; each day is an opportunity to wake up and smile and love life.  Whether I ever get a unicorn, or Prince Charming, or the internship I want, the beautiful magic of Christmas is a reality that is present in our lives every day, transforming us.  It lasts long after the Christmas tree, long after the New Years resolution, even long after our lifetimes.  The magic and the hope of Christmas last for an eternity.


Mother and Daddy

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One of the many awkward pics of my brother and me

The sister and bro-in-law!

The sister and bro-in-law!

Published in: on December 26, 2012 at 10:35 pm  Leave a Comment  
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