The Day After Christmas

Christmas Eve

On Christmas Eve every year, I go to my church and help keep the candles set out all over the courtyard lit. In the past few months, it seems like all the people that I connect with who are my age have stopped coming to youth group and I haven’t had many people to talk and laugh with. Christmas Eve wasn’t much better than every other Sunday night in that category. Instead of staying until 1 in the morning, after the late night service, I went home at 9:30 with my family after the service they attended. We went home and watched Die Hard (the best Christmas movie) and a Christmas Story. So that was different from the last few years.

Christmas

I woke up at 3:30 in the morning, anticipating presents.

What am I? Seven-years-old again?

I got everything I had asked for (a watch, a new desk chair, things of that variety) and I got to make cinnamon rolls. It is pretty tough to open that can of Pillsbury dough and put it on a pan. This year, my step-dad’s brother and his daughter, as well as my step-dad’s mom, came over to our house and we ate tamales, a Christmas tradition in every family as far as I’m aware.There was no structure to it. Once night time rolled around, the rest of my household decided they wanted to go to the movies and I went to my friend’s house where we played games and exchanged gifts and ate more tamales. So that was different.

The Day After Christmas

I woke up at noon. Can you blame me?

My mom was cooking breakfast. Everyone else got up late, too. I made smoothies, which are pretty much my favorite thing ever.

My friend texted me and said he wanted to watch some episodes of a TV series he got on DVD for Christmas.

I didn’t spend the day with my own presents for a second.

I got to spend the first part of the day with my family and the second part of my day with my friend. So that was different.

This was my last Christmas as someone who lives with my mom and dad. It was my last Christmas as someone who isn’t a legal adult. My last Christmas in high school.

On Christmas Eve, as someone who goes to church, it is easy to keep in mind the spirit of Christmas and giving. On Christmas, it is easy to get wrapped up in gifts as you unwrap and  think about how thankful you are that most everybody has a day off. The day after Christmas is always different.

Some years I’ve gone shopping and other years I’ve had some obligation and other years I’ve spent the whole day with my brand new items. This year, I did my best to focus on the company of others. My aunt who is pregnant with the first child in the family since me is in town and my mom needed some help cleaning that I could do. It was no burden. She ended up letting me spend 5 hours at a friend’s house because of it.

All these things were just so nice and so casual and it was such a great break from the usual griping and fighting that usually happens in the household, even on Christmas. For some reason it was really difficult to get into the Christmas spirit beforehand and it wasn’t even until 3:30 on Christmas morning that I realized it was actually time for Santa and gifts and cookies.

The day after Christmas opened my eyes to the fact that every day is the day after something. The day after getting an A on a math test. The day after getting to take your cat on a walk (yes, my cat got a harness for Christmas).

Christmas is a big day. The day after can’t be nearly as big by comparison. Today I started thinking about each day as a big one. And I’m grateful that world didn’t end when the Mayan calendar did. The day after Christmas was just as great as the day of. So that was different.

That, my friends, is how I define perfect.

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