"You can't go wrong with sentimental. Pictures, a scrapbook, something like that."
"Um, is six months too soon for a scrapbook?"
"Nope. He'll love it."
"Mmm, is it going to scare him away if I literally hand him a book of our relationship and he gets me movie tickets?"
"Chelsea, stop talking and make a scrapbook."
So I did. And it is to this day one of my most treasured belongings, because we have the earliest moments of our relationship recorded, and I have the sweet memory of being terrified to give it to him on December 23rd, when we celebrated Christmas together.
Five Christmases ago, I was absolutely in love, but there was no ring on my finger. There were no plans, only dreams. I made up a scavenger hunt and we spent December 23rd driving around our hometown, taking pictures and exchanging gifts and kisses.
Four Christmases ago, December 23rd brought me the best surprise of my life in the form of Christopher down on one knee and a promise of forever. Each time I opened a gift on Christmas morning, seeing the shiny diamond on my ring finger overwhelmed me with happiness and thankfulness.
Three Christmases ago, I was a little preoccupied, because I was getting married four days later. We had decreed it would be a day of no wedding talk so that everyone could really enjoy Christmas, but my mom and I exchanged glances all day.."Oh, you KNOW what's coming."
Two Christmases ago, I had one of the best days of my life. For the first time, I woke up on Christmas morning in the same bed as the love of my life. Opening presents and snuggling with our tiny little fox before visiting my family with my new little family...my heart had never been so full.
Last Christmas, my heart was even more full than it was the year before. Every Christmas song I heard, every peppermint mocha I drank, every time I plugged our tree in, I was overwhelmed with thankfulness that this was my life. The good and the bad, the sweet and the hard, it was all mine. And as I celebrated that year, in a tiny apartment in the sky, with my best friend and our tiny little fox, I was so full of joy. "Um, I think that I might love you" five Christmases before brought me such an incredibly full life.
This Christmas, I'm overwhelmed by how much can change in a year. That the boy I made a scrapbook for on our first Christmas together has moved from boyfriend to fiancé to husband to baby daddy. Christmas feels so full this year. The music, the decorations, the presents under the tree, the movies...it all feels so full. Not because it's the most put together Christmas we've ever had--because it's not...baby has made me sick and miss out on some of the normal Christmas cheer--but because I've never felt such real love as I have this December. The thought that this will be the last Christmas just the two of us has made me cherish every moment, even the hard ones.
This year, we're not only counting down to the most magical week of the year, we're also counting down the days until our little guy decides to join us. This year-the most unexpected, insanely shocking year-has brought me to a place of being more full of love for our life than I knew was possible.
When I was wrapping gifts our first Christmas together, I was so nervous and excited to give them to Chris. On my drive home that night, I was so happy. I actually remember thinking, "It just doesn't get any better that this."
This year, wrapping presents (from bed, because my overly giant belly doesn't really allow me to sprawl out on the floor anymore), I thought of that night six years ago. I wish I could go back in time and share with my seventeen-year-old self a glimpse of all that's coming. And I'd tell her, Oh, but it does. It gets so much better.
Because it just doesn't get any better than this.
How many Christmases have you been with your significant other?