Aside from four quick years of college, I’ve lived in Chicago my entire life. That is until a month ago when I sold my chic Crate and Barrel furniture, sublet my cozy, vintage apartment, quit my solid corporate job as a Marketing Manager, and moved to Keystone, CO to embrace my inner mountain woman. Until this year, I’ve spent every Christmas cozied up around my parents’ fireplace, sipping hot cocoa while surrounded by my brothers, my parents, my grandparents, and whatever cousins happened to be in town that year. Until this year, the importance of family and friends, while never lost on me, was masked by the scent of evergreen wafting through the house, the twinkle of Christmas lights on the neighbors’ bushes, the crackling of a roaring fire, and the tinkle of laughter.
As I’ve grown, the meaning of Christmas has evolved from revolving around Santa and his sack of gifts, to having the ugliest “ugly Christmas sweater” at that weekend’s soiree, to finally understanding the importance of a few precious days spent with friends and family. Over the years, I’ve grown to realize that the holidays are a time to relish in the memories of Christmases past and embrace the Christmas present.
As a new resident of Summit County, my first “Orphan Christmas” was spent doing just that. A morphing of new and old, and the realization that being an “orphan” at Christmastime doesn’t have to mean that I am family-less or tradition-less. In fact I’ve come to realize it is just the opposite, friends and family are what you make of them and traditions can (and should be) shared with those who walk into your life.
Thanks Summit County, for introducing me to YOUR traditions and thank you to all of the wonderful people who helped make this holiday season, one for the books.