{30 to 30} Host Christmas

Holy crap, it’s been more than a month since Chritmas and I’ve been meaning to write this post. Before I turn 30 this October, I wanted to host Christmas. And so I did for this last one.

Since Man-Beast and I have moved to our neck of the woods (aka, mystery city), we haven’t spent a Christmas here. We’ve always gone back to Arizona to see our families. This past Christmas, though, we didn’t want to travel. We also wanted a white Christmas. So we invited my parents out and it was a memorable, and revealing, time.

Baby Panther sniffs out her gift from Grammy

Baby Panther sniffs out her gift from Grammy

Let me start by giving context. I have a sister with emotional and drug problems. She and her two kids live with my parents. My parents spend all of their post-retirement energy taking care of all three of them. Getting my mom to call me every once in a while for some catching up is hard to do. I’m usually the one to call her.

I do get jealous when other women my age talk about this great best friend/mother-daughter relationship they have with their moms. I just don’t have that. And, yes, I do feel like my sister is taking that away from me.

Ah, restentment. I will tackle you on my {40 to 40} list!

So, anyway, getting my parents to take a few days off and to get them to come up here was really meaningful to me.

She likes her new gift

Her Christmas gift, I believe, is now legal in this state

When my parents arrived the night before Christmas Eve, it was snowing. My mom was so excited. She hugged me twice and kept saying, “It’s snowing! It’s gorgeous! We’re going to have a white Christmas!”

Much better scenery than Arizona.

We all had a great time for the next three days. We ate lunch at a local German restaurant. We went downtown to a fancy hotel to see a gingerbread competition. We watched ice skaters in the downtown outdoor rink. We ate more snacks and treats than we needed to. We drank hot Gluhwein, hot buttered rum, Irish coffees, brandy, all of it.

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Inside the fancy, downtown hotel

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Gargoyles!

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I took a pic of an old photo inside the fancy, downtown hotel. The flash probably doesn’t help to maintain such an old pic. I might be hearing from them. But I love the umbrellas in the top, left of the pic. It’s a very Pinterest-y idea!

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Grumpy face!

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I found Batman in one of the gingerbread houses!

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Main lobby of the fancy, downtown hotel

We also had a white Christmas. The first one in my life. That counts as the next item I can cross off my {30 to 30} list. So this post actually has two items, for those who are keeping count.

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{30 to 30} White Christmas. Check!

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Man-Beast snowboarding down our street

We had great conversations. We talked about my sister and how we all felt about the whole situation. We all don’t agree on how to handle it, but we shared our ideas. We talked about my dad’s line of work (it’s a secret, I can’t tell you what he used to do. But he did tell us some stories, and … whoa.)

Over dinner one of the nights, we talked about out top five places in the US where we would want to live. It was interesting that we all had a few of the same places.

(Mine, in no particular order, are Seattle, San Diego, Tennessee, Boulder, DC.)

I think my parents were finally able to relax, without having to take care of anyone. We all really did have a good visit.

Baby Panther warms her tush on my dad's discarded heating pad

Baby Panther warms her tush on my dad’s discarded heating pad

I cried after we dropped them off at the airport. As Man-Beast said on the ride home, it’s much harder to have people leave you than for you to leave them. When we leave them in Arizona and fly back here, we busy ourselves with the airport, luggage, the flight, etc. But when they leave us, we go back to a home that feels emptier.

But my parents called when they got in, to tell us they made it home safe. They also thanked us profusely for a wonderful time. I made sure to tell them that we really appreciated them coming up.

For a week after Christmas, I was getting busy with this beaut! My nana's sewing machine that my mom gave to me.

For a week after Christmas, I was getting busy with this beaut! My nana’s sewing machine that my mom gave to me.

Then about a week later, my mom called again. This time it was just to chat and catch up.

It really warmed my heart.

Maybe since she just saw me, she was thinking more about me? Therefore she thought about calling just for the sake of catching up? Maybe the act of actually seeing someone in person makes you think of them more? Whatever her reason, I was really touched that my mom called me. And so soon after just visiting.

It’s not like she never calls me. She is so busy with my sister, the kids, my other sister, my dad. There’s more than enough people in Arizona who she looks after. She does call me every month or few weeks. She’s just a busy gal.

But she and I had a really good chat on the phone. Nothing in particular, it was just the act of it that I loved.

I think since I turned 18, or became an adult, I’ve wanted more of a adult relationship with my parents. I would like to be able to have honest conversations with them, where both sides are actively listening. And that’s what I got when I had my parents up for Christmas. It’s what I was hoping for, when I invited them up. And it’s what happened.

The call from my mom a week later was real evidence that we can take what we had at Christmas, and make it into a longer-lasting thing.

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About julieschicklit

My book blog is dedicated to finding books, stories & ideas that redefine women's literature to be something smarter & funnier. More RAWResome lit for ladies. I am remaining some-what anonymous because I have a day job. My Man-Beast and I are soon going to live abroad in China, so that's why I'm a reblog-aholic.

10 comments

  1. Lovely. So glad you had such an enjoyable time with your parents, it sounds like it was really nice.

    (and that sewing machine IS a beauty!)

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