I was talking to my mom on the phone earlier, and I found out that she's planning on flying up to Minnesota to stay with my brother for Christmas. My brother is a PhD student and has taken on a part-time job which has him working almost every day during December. There was no way he could've flown down to Texas to stay with my mom this year. And since Roy and I already knew we weren't going to be able to travel for Christmas this year, we all might have ended up having separate Christmases (which, so far, has been unheard of for our family). So I am beyond thrilled that my mom is flying to see him.
As I wrote before, this will be the first Christmas I won't be seeing my family. It has been the 3 of us for so many years. Even when my brother was married, he would spend Christmas Eve at home with us, and his (now) ex-wife would spend Christmas Eve at her parents' house. (They lived in the same town, so it wasn't a huge deal.) The 3 of us would open our presents, eat a ton of food, and just talk. Sometimes it'd been a whole year since we'd seen each other, so it was awesome to reconnect.
One of our best Christmases was in 2004. That was the year it snowed like crazy - in south Texas, of all places! (The last time it really snowed in south Texas was 20 years before, when I was 5.) The snow began late Christmas Eve afternoon. We were at my brother's ex-in-law's house hanging out, and we decided to leave because the roads were getting really icy. So we drove back to my mom's house, and later it started snowing! We got all bundled up and went outside to play in the snow. It was so much fun. No one was able to come over the next day because all the roads were closed, which was also different. (Normally, my dad and uncle come over on Christmas Day for lunch and presents.) We sat around all day and were just lazy. We really enjoyed the foot of snow that fell the night before. It was our first and only white Christmas.
Here are some pics from that year. It was truly a great Christmas. I am going to miss seeing my mom, brother, dad, and uncle very much this year, but I am also happy to have my first ever California Christmas.
My mom and I having a blast in the snow (with a bottle of MGD, because that's how we Texans roll!):
My brother, covered in snow:
Me, also covered in snow (and with much shorter hair, different glasses, and a really red nose):
My mom's house on Christmas Day:
One thing Texas has is really cool trees:
Here's to fond Christmas memories and to memories in general!