The holidays are just around the corner. As soon as October starts to wind down every year I start anticipating the holiday season. I am expecting this year's holiday season to be very different for our family. For one, we will be living 3,000 miles away. We will be getting to know new friends, and it will be the first holiday season without my mom. The funny thing is I remember last year at Christmas my mom said "well this is probably my last Christmas" and I remember thinking 'hmm, she says this every year but I think she might be right this year'. Well unfortunately she was right and the last 5 1/2 months without her have been really difficult but I have a feeling that the holidays will be even more difficult.
For many years I have always been big on entertaining, especially around this time of year. Nothing made me happier than hosting a house full of people. I loved the planning, cooking, and preparing. It made me feel like my Grandma. She was always the one who cooked all day and she did it because she truly enjoyed it. My mom did it too but it was different, she did it because she had to. She was married into this family and it was expected of her when it was her turn. It stressed her out, and she didn't have the same relaxed, easy feeling that my Grandma did.
Nobody has ever expected me to do it. I just did it because it made me happy. Now that is not to say that I haven't had my share of stressful breakdowns in the middle of planning, preparing and cooking, but for the most part I always have enjoyed it. I did it because it gave me such pleasure to feed people and make them happy. I loved to make the old family recipes and I loved finding the new recipes and mixing them in too.
A few years ago things started changing. I had pulled back socially from so many. Our big Christmas Eve dinners had dwindled down to just a few friends. The way we had done things before had become so costly and I had just become a different person. I was sad, angry and depressed. I hated that things had changed, I just didn't know how to make things better.
We are moving to Virginia in 19 days. It will be 9 days before Thanksgiving. I am so looking forward to this fresh start and this opportunity to make things good again for our holiday season. I have already promised my girlfriend Debi that I will cook Thanksgiving dinner. I am hoping that her family and at least one other family will join us for Christmas Eve (it's by far my favorite holiday and a huge Italian tradition to celebrate on Christmas Eve). It is so strange to think that we will not be here this year. To think that my mom won't be here. To imagine what it is going to be like to shop, plan and prepare in a completely new state, on the other side of the country, without a chance of us spending the holiday season with our friends and family here in California. It makes me a little sad for sure. I am sure there will be moments that will be difficult. I am also sure that we will be starting new traditions and that soon we will get used to our new surroundings and we will be fine. I haven't sent out Christmas cards for the last 2 years because I just felt that I didn't have much to say and I just wasn't in the right frame of mind. This year I can't wait to take a family picture of us in our new home state. I am already picturing what it will look like and planning what we will wear. I can't wait!
I just said to Chris yesterday, "if someone would have said to me a year ago, 'one year from now you will be getting ready to move to Virginia' I would have thought they were crazy, what we are about to do is so far from anything I ever pictured. It is so far from my comfort zone. The funny thing is at the same time it feels so right... Those 19 days better hurry up because I am so ready!!