Also can't believe how much it cost to book our flights home for Christmas..... ouch. It's worth it though! I am so excited for the first holiday season with my husband. We got to enjoy Thanksgiving together last year out in Washington, but we were apart for Christmas and T.J. had to work that day. This year we are taking some leave and heading back to South Carolina for the first time since we tied the knot! I am so excited that both sets of parents are in the same town, it makes it much easier on those of us traveling from far and wide.
I am also really excited to send out our first Christmas card as a married couple. My plan is to convince T.J. to take a photo with me this weekend in one of our favorite places nearby. We shall see how that goes...
My parents send out a card every year and most years they would send a letter along with it detailing the adventures of our family. I love reading old Christmas letters that mention violin practice, ballet classes, school plays, special family vacations. I love reminiscing about the growing up years in a cul-de-sac, followed by a journey across the pond, then on to university. They're a time capsule of our family history, you can see us growing and changing through the pictures and in the words recorded by my parents. Each year sister and I are a little taller, the cardigan with the teddy bear buttons (above) is no more, the violin was set down for a guitar, there are dad-jokes about the internet and Y2K, new characters (a new puppy) and places enter in and out of the letters.
A couple Christmases ago my mom compiled all our old letters and Christmas cards, plus our favorite holiday recipes, into a binder for me and my sister. I love to read back through them all and remember our lives back when. Not much has changed from 1995 it seems, I still love to write stories on the laptop at home ;)
I want to start that tradition for my new family as well. A record we sign, seal, and deliver to family and friends each year. Marking off celebrations, anniversaries, moving around the country, babies, the end of residency, new homes, settling down, growing up, adventuring together. It's so wonderful to dream about what our Christmas letters will detail over the years to come.