Christmas is a time of year that as a child I always looked forward too. I would write my letter to Santa and on Christmas Eve I could hardly wait to go to sleep and then as bed time came, I was far too excited to actually sleep. Once I did, as soon as I woke up I rushed to wake up my mother and my grandparents (the 3 people that I have never spent a Christmas without). As the baby of the family and as a spoiled only child (especially since my single mother tried to make up for the fact that my dad wasn't in the picture much) I had the most presents under the tree. And not just the most... a ridiculous amount of grand presents. Back then I thought that was how every child's Christmas morning was. It wasn't until I became older... embarrassingly enough I'm talking like junior year of high school older... that I realized not everyone received so much on Christmas, in fact many of my friends only got one gift, if any.
Now that I'm older and a senior in college, Christmas has come to mean something different to me. On Christmas Eve this year, my mom asked me if it felt like Christmas Eve and I said it didn't. It was rainy and gloomy, I worked that day, and I was still finishing up Christmas shopping... so it just wasn't very joyful.
This Christmas was still a good one though. It was the first Christmas we've had my 6 year old cousin around since her parents got divorced. Naturally with her being the youngest she got the most gifts... she even got a brand new iPad. But watching my grandparents and my mom open their gifts was also awesome. There was a lot of laughter, and even some tears.
After everyone had gone home my grandma came into my room and told me that this Christmas was one for the books, and that she would keep it in her heart... especially since she thinks they don't have very many Christmases left.... which was the saddest and most depressing thing ever, because I am extremely close with both my grandparents and I hold them very dear to me. Naturally, I teared up and I just couldn't stop a few tears from falling off the rim of my eye lids, even though I felt stupid.
I just can't imagine life without them and I don't want to.
It just made me realize the importance of family. When I was in high school I was close with my family but I still focused on my friendships more. Fighting with my family and I couldn't wait to get away and have fun with my friends... how awful I feel about those times now because I'm not really friends with any of those people anymore and yet my family remains.
My family has stood by me through all of my failures and my darkest times. They're stuck around when I've been awful to them. They put up with my bad moods and offer me love, support, and encouragement through everything. Most of my friends however, have not.
Friends get busy, change life courses, and drift apart.... I've made many new friends in my life and my "group" of friends has changed more times than I can count.
But my family has remained a constant. They have never let me down or disappointed me. Which makes me realize I need to be more appreciative. More patient and understanding with them. I need to tell them... and more importantly show them, that I love them and help them understand just how much they mean to me and how much I appreciate them. This will be one of my "New Years Resolutions". Because frankly, my family deserves a lot better from me.