Blogger Flashback: Christmas Through the Years 2017

First of all, Merry Christmas! If you took the time to stop over here today then I want you to know how much I truly appreciate it. When I was filling out my content calendar for December, I couldn't decide what to post on Christmas Day. I wanted to post something that everyone could read and enjoy, regardless of whether or not they actually celebrate Christmas.

When I did my reader survey a week or so ago, someone suggested that I do something along the lines of a Storytime video you would see on YouTube. While I don't have a particular story to share with you all, I thought it would be fun to do what I'm affectionately calling "Blogger Flashback". I think this is a series that I can continue to do for all sorts of holidays and events so I'm real excited about it. Anyways, this is obviously the Christmas edition so grab your peppermint hot chocolate, sit back, relax, and enjoy.

My Christmas has changed a lot over the past couple of years. When I was younger, Christmas consisted of waking up early to do gifts with my mom and dad before heading to my grandparent's house where we would spend the next day or so celebrating the holiday. Then, we would meet up with my mom's side of the family to celebrate my grandfather's birthday and do Christmas with that side of the family on the 26th or so depending on the day of the week Christmas fell on and the weather. 

After my parent's divorce, I struggled choosing who to spend time with. My parents were great about letting me do whatever I wanted when it came to this, however, so Christmas became a time for me to bend over backward to please everyone so that I didn't hurt anyone's feelings. Think long days spent in the car traveling all over the tri-state area with two dogs in tow. 

When I first moved to New York, I couldn't make it back for Christmas. That was the first time I had ever been away from home for a major holiday. Spending Christmas alone, just the dogs and me, because I didn't know anyone yet was definitely an adjustment but it allowed me to really soak up what Christmas is truly about and cherish the time we do have with loved ones even more. 

Fast forward to now when Justin and I are engaged, this is the first Christmas I have visited one of my parents ON Christmas since 2013. Crazy, right? In 2015, I went to Alaska for the first time to spend Christmas with Justin's family. My eyes were opened up to a whole new side of Christmas and it truly filled my heart with joy to be welcomed into another family's celebration. 

Take some time today to really just sit and be present. I am planning on being away from my phone as little as possible, which is hard since Justin isn't here, but I don't know when the next Christmas is that we'll be able to visit. Merry Christmas, everyone! 

 My cousin Donna and I participate in our family's version of Project Runway.

My cousin Donna and I participate in our family's version of Project Runway.

 Gatsby and I try to pose for a Christmas card.

Gatsby and I try to pose for a Christmas card.

 Justin's first Christmas in West Virginia (I think it was actually Thanksgiving though). 

Justin's first Christmas in West Virginia (I think it was actually Thanksgiving though). 

 My first Christmas in Alaska, spent petting reindeer. I've peeked in life. 

My first Christmas in Alaska, spent petting reindeer. I've peeked in life. 

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