Friends and family gathering together should be what the holidays are about. Celebrating Christmas and the miracle it signifies. Ringing in the New Year with people you love.
This year, many parties with friends helped to make the mood festive despite the snow keeping some away.
My family's Christmas was bittersweet. The table wasn't as full as it usually is. My grandma isn't up to flying, so she wasn't able to join us. My aunt also wasn't feeling up to the trip this year. And for the first time ever, one of my siblings was missing from the Christmas merriment.
We talked to my brother several times on the phone. He seemed sad. A little lonely. It must have been hard for him to spend Christmas with another family. No matter how wonderful they are, it's not the same as being with your own family on Christmas.
My mom and I talked about how lucky we are that we are all close, and this year was the first one of us was not home. Two of us married families that just aren't as close as ours. The third is about to marry one that is.
It's tough for my mom. I tried to help her realize that my brother's fiance's family is just as close as ours. And they'll miss their daughter next year, when they spend Christmas with us.