I used to not be a big fan of 'Christmas Time'. I think I was a grumpy old man in my youth. I didn't like seeing all the lights on the trees lining the busy streets of Toronto, I hated hearing Christmas Carols on the radio, I hated the extra millions of people in the malls (ok, that's legit. no one likes that.) I was an all out little Asian Ebenezer Scrooge. I don't know why. Christmas was always nice, but not a very big deal at our house growing up. We got math books from my dad while we were in grade school. Then when we got older, if you asked for something at the right time when shopping with our mother, you would get it. But if you didn't ask for anything, you didn't really get anything. Not a big deal cause if my parents didn't really ask for anything, then they kinda wouldn't get anything either. We'd go to church for Christmas, which is only right cause that's the reason for the season! But it would always be a joint service for the Korean and English congregations, which meant you had to come early (read:on time) to church to find a seat, and then you would have to listen to a super-long sermon because it would be in Korean with someone translating it in English. The worst sermon was by this one pastor who was American, but he lived in Korea for a couple years, so he not only did the sermon in English, but in Korean too. I could feel my dad's eyes of judgment on me and my siblings the whole time. "That guy is not Korean and he speaks your language way better than you do..." Really, Christmas time- not that great for me. But my mom did always make an amazingly lavishly, delicious feast for us and all of our friends. That was probably the best part of Christmas.
Anyhoo, my perspective on the Christmas Season all took a drastic turn for the better when I met Chris Watson. First of all, the whole Thanksgiving turns into Christmas Season is amazing! Though Chris did not invent this phenomenon, my being Canadian and celebrating Thanksgiving in October in the days of yore was very different. So now I celebrate Thanksgiving with a ton of people every year and eat a ton of amazing food too. I am planning on being in a turkey-induced coma for the next three days which is why I am blogging at 12:30am. (I am awake and alert and non of the kids are. Perfect).
My first Chris-Watson-Christmas was amazing. Actually, no, my first American Christmas was amazing. My first official Chris-Watson-Christmas was in Korea, and technically it was just December, and Chris was about to go back to America for good, so we were 'celebrating' Christmas together at a Starbucks on base just a day or two before he was about to leave. That Christmas kinda really sucked. But my first real American Christmas was in Oregon the year after. I was there with Chris, and Robert and Lindsay, who had just gotten engaged on that trip. So awesome. But we had awesome food, and awesome presents, and I 'opened' my first ever stocking from 'Santa'. I felt like I was five years old. It was so great!
I think that since then holidays have been so fun and exciting! (How lucky am I to have a husband who has breathed joy into every part of my life?) We just put up our Christmas tree yesterday, we are going to our first of three serious Thanksgiving feasts tomorrow night, and I had my first guilt-free egg nog latte two days ago. (Apparently you are not supposed to have those when you are pregnant and seeing as how I have been pregnant for two Christmases in a row, I have not been able to enjoy this amazing once-a-year Starbucks offering. I had one last year, and didn't finish it cause I was riddled with guilt.)
Last year was Lily and Sungu's first Christmas, and this year it's Topher and Gabe's. Being innundated by food and family is probably what makes this the most wonderful time of the year. It also helps to be out of my angst-ridden teen years when I was too cool for the holidays, and all that extra joy that was floating around.
Hope you all have an amazing Thanksgiving with all those who are near and dear to you.