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The Christmas season has come & gone in unceremonious fashion. It’s already the year 2023. Every year we all say the same exact thing: Halloween is a blur, Thanksgiving is pretty much passed over as an eating ‘cheat day’, & [whichever holiday you celebrate in December] whizzes past in a flash before we’re all counting down to the new year. For me, Christmas is a mixed bag of emotions. It’s my most favorite festive holiday, not just for my own personal reasons, but also because it was my dad’s favorite holiday as well.

Christmastime always has me reminiscing about my dad, & these past few years, as well as up till now, I have felt a thin veil of bittersweetness fog over the entire holiday. Ever since my dad passed, I’ve tried to make Christmas extra special to honor him & his loving Christmas traditions. My mom tries to as well, but I have noticed that in recent years her heart isn’t just as into it anymore. My dad’s Christmas traditions aren’t as celebrated by my mother as it is by me, except for the main tradition…or should I call it a rule?…that all children must come home for Christmas, even if it’s only for Christmas Day.

I, however, love to carry on my father’s traditions of decorating the house & putting up a huge Christmas tree stuffed full of brightly colored ornaments. Just like my dad, I love hosting our annual Christmas Eve party full of family & friends, & I especially love the gift giving part. If I had unlimited funds, I’d gift all of my friends & family at least a dozen presents during the Christmas season! We both love being surrounded by our closest family & friends during this time, celebrating, eating, drinking, & just overall being merry.

Recently, in the back of my mind, I was feeling a little more nostalgic & bittersweet. I tend to revert back to one singular thought that always lingers in the back corner of my mind: I wish my dad could be here to be in & share this moment with his granddaughter, my little bean. I think about this A LOT; probably at least 5 times a day. Envy builds up inside of me, thinking about how my sister’s children got to spend at least a couple of Christmases with my dad (who is their step-grandfather, just to clarify) before he passed. I then have to tamp down & squash that mindset because it can become an extremely toxic rabbit hole to fall down in very quickly. I try to make Christmas memorable for everyone, not just for my little bean (who is still quite young to remember much of anything, but still I try).

This Christmas was one for the books, & I wish we could have celebrated longer. My sister for once did not get drunk & start arguments with anyone. For the first time since I’ve met him, my sister’s new husband wasn’t stuck on the same seat the entire time, watching the golf channel or ESPN. He actually participated in family activities & played games. My nephew & niece are both teenagers now; well, my niece is still technically a pre-teen, but I’m considering her a full fledged teen based on her personality & interests. They were really fun to hang out with, even though they were both GLUED to their smartphones, & they really got a good chance to bond with their little cousin, even though they’re 10+ years older than she is.

I was so proud of my little bean when she truly started bonding with her older cousins. In the past she would get nervous & scared interacting with them, especially if one of her parents are not right next to her. My little bean would actually cry whenever she saw her male cousin, but now she likes to play with him, although she does need to see someone she’s more familiar with in close proximity to where they are playing, or else she will feel anxious again. This past Christmastime was a great time for my little bean to open up & blossom. She built stronger connections with a lot of the family members she only sees a few short times a year.

Overall, I was so happy we really got to bond as a family this year. I thought this winter holiday was going to be a real downer after our entire household all got nasty colds in the beginning of December. In fact, I actually got the worst of it, which is typical of me. I actually got the full-on flu, complete with the chills, vomiting, 100 degree fever, not being able to eat, etcetera. It started with my mom getting a cold first, then passing it on to Jian, who then passed it on to myself & our little bean…which I am extremely thankful that the little bean only had minor cold symptoms. Jian only had a fever for one day, then he quickly recovered. I on the other hand, had symptoms so bad, I was pretty much bed-ridden (or shall I say, couch ridden) for 3-days straight. I was worried that I would not recover in time to celebrate with our friends & family, but I pulled through.

This Christmas was quite memorable. I still had thoughts of missing my dad, wishing he could be here with us. He would have loved seeing all of us, three generations, getting along & celebrating together. I also wished that my eldest brother could have come home to be with us, but ever since he semi-retired & moved over to Las Vegas, it’s been a lot harder for him to travel over to see us here in California. Although we missed spending another Christmas with each other, I am extremely happy that I will get to see my brother again soon. His eldest daughter will be getting married in March, & our little trio (plus all the grandparents) will be making the trek out to Las Vegas to celebrate the joyous occasion. It’ll be great to see my eldest niece walk down the aisle in a wedding gown, when I remember seeing her just learning to walk & growing out of her diapers. Time flies incredibly fast. Even my own kid is going to be growing out of her diapers this year & learning how to use the “big girl potty”. I just cannot believe it. At all. Well, while I process this unbelievable fact, I will sign off on this Blogmas recap. Until next time, cheers!

Today’s song of the day:

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