More food, more music.

 I grew up poor. Not in poverty, but there was rarely money for extras. 

Christmas for me meant that my mom would be overworked for the weeks leading up to the day. I would barely get to see but come Christmas day she was mine for the whole day. There weren't always presents, but there was always a stocking. An orange in the toe, candy in the heel, and who knows what else in the middle. 

To this day stockings are my favourite part of the morning. Nothing expensive comes in the stocking. That isn't the point. We take our time with them, everything is individually wrapped and usually, the gifts within are silly, or edible. The excess of Christmas has always made me uncomfortable. I prefer to focus on the feeling of Christmas. 

For the most part, people are more kind, they have more patience, and they smile more. The level of excitement in the air makes everything a little bit more fun, and the promise of the holiday offsets the stress a little bit. When I was younger my aunt and uncle always threw a big Christmas Eve party. There would be endless food and laughs. Anyone could show up. and everyone was welcome. You never knew who you would be sitting next to or what conversation you would be pulled into. They don't throw it anymore, I think everyone just got too busy. But, the lessons I learned there are still with me when we have people over. 

1. Have more food than you think you need, both in variety and in volume. 

2. Music in the background is super important. Even when the conversations are too loud, there will be quiet. Music keeps the good times rolling. 

3. Invite everyone, you never know who would be home alone otherwise.

4. Family isn't in the blood, it's in the action.

I challenge you this holiday season to smile more, so what if the line is long, or the person in front of you grumpy. Let them be the idiot. Don't worry, the staff where ever you are will be mocking them for far longer than you even remember them.

Try to make more memories than presents you buy.


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