A few people have asked so I'm just going to make it easier by talking about it here. Yes, I had a good Christmas, but in a lot of ways it was strange and didn't really feel like Christmas. My mom got married in October (see earlier post) so instead of our "usual" family traditions, we went to his family's house for Christmas Day. His parents made their traditional Christmas dinner and they all exchanged gifts - they had even bought gifts for me even though I barely know them! They are all wonderful people - very welcoming and intentional about making me feel included (I was even asked to do the prayer before dinner) and yet I still felt like an outsider. Of course I did - I was an outsider, completely unknown to these people until a couple of months ago! And while I was grateful that they though to include me in their gift giving, the gifts I received were generic gifts anyone could buy anyone (for example, a candle). I know they were being nice, and I will use the gifts they gave me, but I couldn't help feeling a little down. If these people really knew me at all, they could have spared the shopping and wrapping - I'd prefer a donation to a charity rather than getting more "knick knacks" and "stuff" that needs a place in my house.
There were other things that made this Christmas odd for me - the biggest being that we didn't go to church. In my family the tradition has always been to go to midnight mass but my brother's car died (REALLY dead) and by the time he made it to the house (when my mom's husband drove to pick him up) and we had our Christmas dinner, we were too tired to stay up that late. Which also meant we didn't get to open one gift before going to bed. And Rob's family isn't really religious so there was no church Christmas Day either - where was the meaning of Christmas? In the Yankee Candle and other brand name gifts?? I hate to sound ungrateful but I can't wait for Angela to get home so I can truly celebrate the holiday.