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The holidays are looking different this year. Pink Susie and her husband snuck off on a getaway, Christmas is on a Sunday so we’ll be spending a good portion of it in church, and holiday bonuses and raises will be announced AFTER the holiday season.

To many of you, the list I just gave you may sound a little…depressing. However, in my view, I’ve had the best pre-Christmas in a long time. I’m sure you want to know what’s so awesome about it, so without further ado, what 2blu thinks is awesome about her off-beat Christmas:

  • My dad and youngest brother are here for the holiday. Usually when I would see my dad, it would be in connection with something else–a revival at my uncle’s church, a speaking engagement to speak about one of his books, a visit to see some old friends. I couldn’t tell you the last time I saw my dad when he was purely in town to see me and wasn’t just making time in between obligations (well, that’s not true; it was 2008 when I  graduated, sorta; also, for a day or two in 2003, but that didn’t go well). So it was with great surprise I realized he was coming to Florida for a week for Christmas just to see me. We’ve had a few misadventures along the way, but it’s been a long time since I laughed this hard or had this much fun with my dad. Yay!
  • I got Mr. P. an awesome Christmas gift. It’s something he always says he needs, but I knew he wouldn’t buy for himself before I got it for him for Christmas. I hope he likes it!
  • I sent my mom her Christmas gift and she got it before Christmas. She still hasn’t opened it yet, but I hope she likes it. I tried to put together a themed gift, so it’s anyone’s guess if she picks up on it.
  • The fact that reviews, raises, and bonuses are so late means I didn’t go crazy on gifts and such, relying on my bonus to bail me out. Now, when I do get the bonus, the holidays will be over and I can get myself something I want as an (slightly) early birthday present to myself, instead of feeling guilty if I don’t place a few more gifts under a few more trees (and grow broke in the process). Plus, if they adjust my salary for my position, I may get back pay, since I’ve been in the position since October. It’s not likely, but it would be nice. If not, I could get a raise going forward, and that works, too.
  • My aunt finally got to take time off and have a vacation. Yay, Pink Susie!!
  • My mother’s surgery went well, and she’s feeling well enough to help cook (read: micromanage) Christmas dinner at home. My other little brother (Codename: Fat), his friend/brother and his wife, and my Uncle KDS (I’ll tell you what that means post-Christmas :D) pitched in, submitting to being bossed a bit to make the Christmas meal yummy (and my mom happy). Wish I could be there).
  • Christmas is on a Sunday, and I get to spend it with my extended family–my church family. If we are still going to operate on the premise that this commercially run, consumer/materialistically driven time of year has anything to do with the coming of the Savior, it’s only fitting it should fall on Christmas. I celebrate Christ’s birth all the time, and what it means in my life, but if the lining up of days causes a few more people to reflect on that AND go somewhere where they have the opportunity to hear the gospel, well, that’s the greatest gift anyone can receive.

Merry Christmas everyone! I’ll be back with a Christmas recap later. In the meantime, what did you get for Christmas? How are you celebrating? Are you celebrating? What are some of your family traditions?