The last few weeks have been particularly gray and moody, a far cry from the usual warm weather and sunshine that can follow us into December in Florida. It reminds me of our Christmas in Chicago last year and the fall weather I have come to know from my visits to Illinois over the years. I have found the dim-lit days and breezy afternoons calming. Everything seems quieter when the weather turns gray.
Friday we decorated for Christmas. We do not partake in Black Friday shopping. I am sure it will surprise no one that I find the very idea overwhelming and a disgusting display of consumerism.
I really enjoyed decorating the tree this year. When Todd’s parents were here earlier this fall his mother left with us three boxes of ornaments she had stored for him over the years. Apparently Todd has quite the collection, most were Christmas gifts from his mother and aunts. It was fun going through and seeing all the different ornaments that had been gifted to him. There ornaments of famous baseball players, a nod to the years of baseball Todd played in school, as well as other sport related decorations. There were drummer boys and Snoopy ornaments. My contribution to the tree has sentimental value as well. I am lucky enough to have many of my Nana’s ornaments still in tact from the 50’s and 60’s (the two above were hers). These are my favorites, they are some of the only things of hers we have. I also have ornaments from the other grandmothers, my aunt and my mother. Not to mention a few that I picked up over the years that speak to my tastes, like tea pots and birds. A tradition that Todd and I started our first Christmas together was buying a new ornament for the tree each year, I think even then we knew we would end up together. Our first year he bought me an Illini ornament, the mascot of his alma matter. Our Second Christmas he bought me a ornamnet that displays a snowy scene of the Chicago skyline since it was my first time ever seeing snow and we were in the city. This year we have decided we will get an ornament having to do with our becoming engaged this year.
I am a deeply sentimental person, this also should come as no surprise. While I was looking at our tree Friday night, all lit up and beautiful, I was thinking about how lucky Todd and I are that every Christmas we have had together has been a “first”. I love firsts, I think they are special because they are what you remember. For example, Todd and I’s first house together.. We will live in other homes together, nicer homes, homes filled with laughter and children and wonderful memories but there is something special about that first place, you know? Our first Christmas was special because it was our first Christmas. Last Christmas was my first time ever seeing snow. This Christmas is our first Christmas in our home together as home owners. Next Christmas will be our first Christmas as a married couple. How lucky are we that we get year after year of firsts together. I do not take that for granted.
We had another first this weekend as well. While decorating we were discussing what to get the other one for Christmas this year (and my birthday which is now only days away). The truth is, I had nothing. I had a hard time coming up with anything I wanted and he was struggling as well. I mentioned a cup holder for my bicycle and maybe some new loose tea from the tea shop but that’s really it. He was not satisfied with my answer, nor was I with his.. “work socks and underwear”. I don’t think so buddy.
After changing the subject a few times and coming back to it we decided to buy new bedroom furniture together as a joint gift to ourselves. I was very excited. Of course I am a woman and I am excited about new furniture simply because it is new furniture but even more than that I was excited to be buying our first furniture set together as a couple. We are very happy with the furniture we currently have, but at some point we know we will upgrade and buy furniture together that we both want. This might sound silly but it felt very adult going into these furniture stores together and picking our master bedroom set. I just love knowing this is ours together, not mine that we now share or his that we now share, it is ours. We picked it out together, paid for it together. This is a first for me and for us in our relationship. There is something very comforting about finding the person who will be your first everything going forward in life.