It's happening again.
I shouldn't be startled by it. It happens every year.
We're on the homestretch to Christmas Eve. The big countdown has begun. We're talkin' 3 days now. THREE. So yes, at 5 AM, my eyes start popping open. And I lie there and think of all the little last minute things I need to do. The shows and movies I still need to watch. What I need to take to my Mom's for Christmas Eve and morning (silly, I know, since I live two minutes away, and anything I forget I can quickly run back home for). I think about the food and the drinks.
I wonder how things will be different. I hope against hope that things will be the same.
We had our first taste of "new" family traditions on Sunday at Aunt Marion & Uncle Eric's, and I think we got along pretty well. It made my heart happy that we were able to get together, as we always have, and still celebrate, despite the aching loss we faced only a few short months ago. We're all still coping. We're all still grieving. But we were able to join together in the Christmas spirit; eat, drink and be merry.
Now, the Young side of the family forges ahead with our Christmas Eve traditions, even though we know it won't be the same, either. So along with my excitement and anticipation, the worry mingles. How will it be different? Will we be able to have as much fun as we have in the past? After going through the first Christmas dinner on Mom's side of the family, I now know it's possible. Maybe not the same, but being with family is so important. We'll get through it together.
Oh, and the other thing that I worry about this time of year? Yep. Getting sick. This year, it's especially important to stay healthy since my dad has had pneumonia several times recently, and if any of us bring him so much as a little germ, we will be banished from the house.
So I'm downing Echinecea and Vitamin C, praying for good health, sucking on mints and hoping this tickle in my throat is just a figment of my imagination.
In other news... We went belly dancing! You'll have to take my word for it, since I have no pictures, because the instructor was a little paranoid about being in them, and also...well, I was just shaking my booty too much to be bothered getting my camera out! We sweated. A lot. And we laughed. A lot. Good times!!