This Christmas, we were full to the brim with more than just spirits and sweet treats; it was our first Christmas as a family of three and our hearts were bursting with gratitude. It feels like a new beginning.
The holiday season is always so busy, and this year was no different. The weekend before Christmas, we celebrated with Aldo’s Dad’s side of the family. His Dad, Aunt, Uncle, and cousins made the drive in from San Angelo and we laughed and caught up over 200 Chick-fil-A nuggets, Breadwinners’ strawberry cake, and a white elephant gift exchange. Traditional? Not entirely. But totally delicious. There was a feast of other snacks and treats and drinks, of course, and we played games well into the evening after some beer pong at Texas Live! in Arlington. Oh, you haven’t played that game since college? Me either! Our teams had to recruit help or the game would never have ended.
The next day we went over to Aldo’s sister’s house to celebrate with her wife’s family. Their Christmas Eve tradition (although this year it took place a day earlier) is a seafood boil with buckets of crab and shrimp. I can get on board with that one. Again, not traditional, but SO good! I think the best part of the night was learning how to properly use the zipper utensil, thanks to Mandy’s brother. I’ve been eating crab for way too many years to not know this. How did I not know this?! At least now I can be crackin’ with the best of ’em. We drank wine, beat the boys at Codenames, swapped stories about babies — you know, the usual.
On Christmas Eve, we went for a walk down Main Street in Grapevine and then spent the night at Aldo’s Mom’s house. We celebrated some more, laughed, played new games, drank more wine, and fell asleep in our matching PJs (Khaleesi included, obvi) — we were beat.
We woke up on Christmas morning to stockings and presents and bacon and mulled wine — just a few of our favorite things. Later that day we headed home for a prime rib dinner with my family. It was a welcomed change from turkey and Aldo tried yorkshire pudding for the first time. We ended the evening with an Anderson twist to the white elephant gift exchange: bottles (alcohol) only. Let’s be honest, we all have too many blankets anyway and not enough fancy champagne.
I LOVED Christmas growing up. It was exciting, built up, and magical. I never wanted to sleep in fear I’d miss seeing Santa, and I was up at the crack of dawn ready to jump into my presents. My Dad always read us The Night Before Christmas before tucking us into bed, and we left a plate of cookies and milk by the fireplace. Last year for Christmas I got Aldo that book so he could carry on the tradition to our kids… and ya know what? We forgot to read it to Noah this year! Talk about a huge #parentfail. But next year we will be in our new house (MAYBE, at the rate we’re going) and will settle into our family traditions (some old and some new) because that’s important to both of us.