Christmas Eve 2010
Christmas this year in the Altom home is following a little closer to fiction than I'd like. Similar to the characters of last story in my Buckhorn Ranch series, A Baby in His Stocking, our holiday will be much different than it has ever been before.
Hannah is still dating her New Jersey hockey player. We talked about maybe spending the holiday on the beach in Gulf Shores, taking Antonio with us, but as he's been away from his family for months, playing with a Minnesota team, he's of course spending the holidays in New Jersey. Here's where things get dicey. He invited Hannah to spend the holiday with him. Now that Hannah's not going to be here for Christmas, my parents have decided they're not coming, either. Suddenly, our typical houseful of fun has dwindled to Hubby, me and our sons.
Not gonna lie, I'm freaked out. With a family this small, each member counts. Having just lost my last grandparent literally like a week ago, the child in me feels like this is a time when we all ought to come closer, but instead, it feels as if everything's falling apart. I'll be the first to admit I'm a drama queen, but when it comes to Christmas traditions, I hold on tight. Now, I'm a little scared--like there's nothing left to hold on to.
On the flip side, all of my men are excited by this change-up in plans. A new video game has them all held captive. Skyrim--a sequel to Oblivion for you non-gamers--is a HUGE deal in the gaming world. I have a copy for my PS3, but I've had deadline after deadline and it's sitting in a drawer unopened. My guys have this new and--in their eyes--improved Christmas all planned out. Open gifts as fast as humanly possible, cook feast, play Skyrim with said feast on laps while casting spells and slaying dragons. No cleaning, no leisurely sitting around the fire cherishing each gift, no laughing at the dining room table, no cleaning or dressing up or using manners--just a full-fledged Man Fest they're promising me is going to be a great time.
Part of me is psyched about not cleaning, but another part is apprehensive, like if I let something as sacred as Christmas traditions slide, our family has a problem. Every book I write is focused on the sanctity of family, but the one topic I've never dealt with is what happens to my fictional families once the kids grow up and start their own traditions. Dealing with the transition from high school to college was tough enough, but this new kink in my world is a beast. One I'm in no way ready to slay.
I know Hannah will be with a huge, wonderful family having a ball. Not sure what my parents will be doing. I, however, will be surrounded by three of the best looking guys in the state, feasting on ham with all the trimmings, downing "magic" eggnog and embarking on a fantastic quest for gold and power. All of which, now that I think about it, doesn't sound half bad!!
How about you? Switching up your holiday traditions?