Seven Christmases ago, I spent December 22 both making a scrapbook for a boy I had only dated for six months and worrying that a scrapbook was an inappropriate gift for that early in a relationship. We exchanged gifts on December 23rd, not knowing then that we were unofficially picking a day that would always be special to us. PS: The scrapbook was the perfect gift.
Six Christmases ago, we spent December 23rd driving around the town we had fallen in love in a year and a half ago. I made a scavenger hunt and gave him cheesy little gifts at each stop. We took pictures and ate ice cream and laughed and watched the sunset and it was perfect.
Five Christmases ago, December 23rd brought me the very best present in the form of a surprise proposal and a shiny diamond ring. With every gift I opened on Christmas morning, the ring caught my eye and reminded me just how perfect life was.
Four Christmases ago, I was just a little distracted because my wedding was four days after Christmas. After almost a year of wedding planning, my dad put a ban on wedding talk for one day only, but that didn't stop me and my mom from sneaking off to the kitchen to remind each other of last minute things.
Three Christmases ago, I woke up in the same bed as the love of my life, in our first apartment. It was one of the best days of my life, opening gifts and playing with our new puppy fox. My heart was so full and life was so good.
Two Christmases ago, we did all the fun Christmas things downtown had to offer and celebrated in our little apartment in the sky. Our tree was set up against the window and it looked like our Christmas lights blended right in with the city lights, and it was the perfect place to live.
Last Christmas, we were right on the cusp on everything changing. We were two weeks out from the baby that had taken us by surprise that year, and it made Christmas feel so full. Everything was uncertain - what would parenthood be like? Where would we be living next Christmas? But as we spent our last Christmas just the two of us, everything felt so precious. On Christmas morning, we exchanged gifts and talked about how next year, there would be three of us.
This Christmas, absolutely everything is different. It will be our first Christmas in our new city, our first Christmas with a house (that we decorated!), and our first Christmas with Jack. It has been wonderful.
Jack has brought a whole new meaning to Christmas. The joy and thankfulness and celebration I usually feel this time of year is doubled because of him. Buying him toys and watching Christmas movies with him and dancing around the room to Christmas music while he laughs has made this the best Christmas ever.
As I always do this time of year, I think about our first Christmas together and all the Christmases we've shared since then. And I look at my life now - my beautiful, messy, perfect, stressful, joyful life - and know that it all started because two teenagers fell in love in a little town by the beach.
How many Christmases have you been with your significant other?