home and family

home:
the place in which one’s domestic affections are centered.

family:
a. a basic social unit consisting of parents and their children, considered as a group, whether dwelling together or not.
b.a social unit consisting of one or more adults together with the children they care for.

For those of you who know me well know that I may not have exactly the same definitions of home and family as those from dictionary.com above. Instead, I have a pretty extensive definition of both of those and it fits me quite well, considering I am a transplant, a social person, and very much a traveler.

Anyway, the reason I bring this up is because this Christmas is going to be the first time where Kyle, I and the kids are spending our Christmas morning together, with no extended family, in Minnesota. I have mixed feelings about this, even though in the end, Kyle and I made the decision together. I know this is something that would have been done years ago if either family lived in the same state as us (because we would easily then be able to drive to our extended families houses to spend Christmas evening with a wonderfully large group of family) but since that is not the case, this is a first.

Actually, the first (and only other time until this year) that I spent Christmas away from extended family was when I was on global semester my senior year in college. That year, I was with a ‘different’ family of mine in China. It was amazing how festive it was being in a non-religious/Buddhist country. Even in China we found ways to celebrate and share the Christmas spirit with each other, and even our traditional families that were so far away.

So this Christmas I am so excited to watch River (and Autumn too, but she won’t care either way:) wake up in our house and bound downstairs to our Christmas tree to find that Santa has come with presents. I am excited to go to Christmas mass at our church the night before, and to see our little Northfield home during Christmas time.

But I am going to be honest and say that I love having tons of people around me for the holidays. Like, tons. For example, this thanksgiving we flew to Colorado and went back and forth between 2 families that had extra people at the table (not just immediate family) with lots of kids (so much so, at my parents dinner it was complete chaos the entire time!) and lots, and lots, of laughs. And of course, lots of drinks and food too. Gotta have that.

So if I had it my way, I’d have Christmas at our house with everyone there. Plus some friends too. Probably I’d have at least 15-20 people at my house Christmas morning if I could, but most especially during Christmas dinner. That would make me beyond, beyond happy. I am a social girl if you couldn’t tell, especially during the holiday’s.

So to me, family is not just blood (well obviously since I am such an advocate for adoption) but to me, family are those people who take care of you, who love you, and who are there for you when you need it. People who at times, put your needs above theirs, and who makes your heart happy when you are with them. I am blessed to have a large family, both traditional and not, who have made my life better.

And home, to me,  is truly where your heart is (cheesy, I know). My heart travels, so I have many homes, many happy places, because of the many wonderful people who are a part of those places. In the end, home is just an extension of family, the two go together just like Santa and Mrs. C.

So although I am a little bummed that I am not going to be surrounded this year by a million people on Christmas morning, I can’t wait to spend it with 3 of my most favorite people in the world. But, for the evening, I may try to con my way into another families Christmas dinner, we will see. 🙂

So, the holidays and all it’s wonder, craziness, and “family fun time” is upon us. Have fun with all your loved ones everyone, and thank you so much to mine!

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