It's 5:55 a.m. here in Abilene, Texas. I'm sill awake. I was at 2:30. Then again at 4:30 and ever since. Chalk it up to childhood excitment over Christmas morning, I suppose. There are a few things that I know for sure this time of day. One is that there is a Christmas wonderland waiting downstair for us to see as soon as my 5 year old brother-in-law, Austin, wakes up. Somewhere in the midst of that wonderland is my stocking. My Stocking. The one my mom knit for me so many, many years ago that had to be Fed-Exed out here in time for Christmas day. It is long (and therefore requires lots of stuff to stuff in it!) and striped and has my name unmistakebly knit across the top. The stocking is my favorite part of Christmas morning. It was always waiting, propped up underneath the tree, overflowing with goodies. And although I'm not in my usual spot, I'm pretty sure Santa knew where to find it.
Another thing I know for sure that is that it is incredibly windy here in west Texas! The wind has been howling, and I mean Howling, around the house ever since we went to bed. It's a new Christmas Eve noise for me and one that will soon become a familiar night noise anyhow. The tried and true Christmas Eve noise for me was that of the radio station that plays Christmas music all night long. Every year, Allie and I would sleep in the same room on Christmas Eve and fall asleep to that sound. The first thing she said when I called her earlier tonight was that she had the radio on and tuned in. So, different rooms, different states, but the same tradition.
I also know that there are two boxes downstairs, lovingly and beautifully wrapped by my mom, my Marmee. And there is a card with her lovely handwriting across the front addressed to her daughter and, now, her son. She's never had a son on Christmas before, but has loved preparing for that. She has already claimed us for next Chritmas.
I know that while I miss my family terribly and will keenly miss their presence tomorrow morning, I will love and celebrate and laugh with my Texas family. I am nothing if not traditional and it has been a grand adventure (and a bit tearfilled) to discover and create new traditions for Christmas.
Merry Christmas. I hope you, dear reader, got some sleep last night....