"You'll be here for Christmas. I won't have it any other way."
My mom said that to me once, probably when I was being salty and saying I would never come home for Christmas again, being an adult and all.
Her response not only resonated with me, but it instilled the value of being with family for the holidays.
Guess it didn't matter to her where I was in the world, what I was doing, or who I was dating (ha.ha.ha.). It just meant that at Christmas, without question, I would be returning home.
Oh the strength of family!
This year at the Krull Kastle was a quiet one. No sleighs approached our port cochere, no visitors came calling, no carol singers graced our front porch, and no guests took delight in our traditional wanton feast on Christmas Eve.
It was quiet, for sure, but it worked out pretty well.
Mom didn't have to clean the house (like in all her spare time?) and for once, we got each other's company all to ourselves, something we'd all been missing (even if we weren't eager to admit it).
Christmas, to me, has always been about family. Sure, I love gingerly opening up a cat-wrapped present to find something thoughtful from one of my family members. I always look forward to seeing the expressions on my family's face when they open something I gave them, and my camera is always ready whenever Fudge decides to play with all the ribbon and bows. But the most memorable part of Christmas, always, is being surrounded by those I love most.
Sure, sometimes we banter, and we've definitely fought over who's turn it is to make a "special" hot chocolate, but in the end, we always end up laughing about it, forgiving each other and settling down on the couch together.
I think the Grinch sums up the gift of Christmas best: what if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas...perhaps...means a little bit more?
While it was quieter in our house this year, it was most fitting and cozy, and I was home with the family, which was the best present of all.
I certainly wouldn't have it any other way.