It's strange to celebrate your first Christmas without your parents. Though mom passed just before Christmas last year, I think we were all still in a great deal of shock and trying to keep things normal for dad, that it didn't really sink in. This year, however, we all definitely felt the loss.
That's not to say we didn't have a nice Christmas - we definitely did. It's just that it was different.
After talking about where to have which holiday, we decided that Thanksgiving would be at the LaChapelle's and Christmas would be at our house. After all, this IS the Christmas house - the one in which we've celebrated every Christmas year for decades.
Traditions are wonderful - especially long celebrated holiday traditions, but sometimes it's nice to change things up just a bit. We set up two Christmas trees this year - one in the livingroom, and one in the den. Two totally different trees with different personalities and I loved them both! In years past, we've always celebrated Christmas morning and gift opening in the livingroom; this year, we changed it to the den. We lit the fireplace in there which hadn't been lit in at least 20 years. It was very warm and cozy, and though we all dearly missed mom and dad, we had a wonderful time being together.
Gifts were fun and thoughtful. Dinner, served buffet style, was both relaxed and delicious. Chatting, looking through pictures of Christmases past, sharing memories of mom and dad. It was a wonderful celebration.
I hope you enjoyed every moment of the holidays with your family!