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  • Writer's pictureLori Nanan

And so this is Christmas

This is our first year in our new home, our new city, our new state. Christmas has been weird since my dad passed in 2011. It hasn't always felt like a time of celebration, but something is different this year.

(Not our tree but close enough. I can't seem to get a good shot.)

Moving to Baltimore with my brother, for his health, for his safety was a no brainer for me. Thankfully I'm married to the world's most easy-going man and so, once the decision was made, the move happened fast.

Thanksgiving was quiet and lovely. We relaxed and had a great meal. But what about Christmas? How could we possibly make it merry and bright? We've decorated and gone wild on gifts for each other. We've made vague threats about what will happen if someone looks in their stocking. And we have plans.

My brother and I have an aunt and cousin who live in Baltimore and we've been invited to a lil Christmas Eve soirée, which should be lovely. I've gone overboard buying gifts for my cousin's daughter because I can't help myself. We will see the lights on 34th street and remember that we're lucky. We have no obligations we're not interested in upholding, the holiday is ours. We bought tacky lawn decorations and we love it. We're making our own traditions.

I am not perfect, I'm not wise, but I am experienced. And one thing I know is that obligation is the surest way to not enjoy something. Dread about who you "have" to spend time with can be re-evaluated. It may take time. It will take some (more) hard knocks and hard decisions. But, if you can-choose you. Choose people you can trust implicitly. Family can be made wherever you find it. The place you think you "have" to be may not be the best place for you.

And if you have no place to be, I see you. I've also been there, too. It gets better. Somehow. Seemingly impossible, it just does.

May the holidays be gentle and kind to you. ❤️

PS: And while we have lovely Christmas Eve plans, Christmas Day is wide open. Likely for Chinese food and movies we've seen 1,000 times. I'll take that over being with people who don't love me or the people closest to me for who we are any day.

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