At my weekly appointment, my therapist asked what were our Christmas traditions. So I told her. Just like our first Thanksgiving together, for our first Christmas, I had to wait to be with Erika. She spent Christmas in Albany, NY at her sister’s house, with her family. We’d only been together a little more than a month, so she kept on with that tradition. When she got back, we celebrated together. I still remember it fondly. This was when Erika was first re-learning how to ice skate so she could play hockey. She didn’t have any hockey equipment, so I gave Erika her first hockey stick. Even better, I wrapped it, which was of course ridiculous, because it’s impossible to hide what a hockey stick gift is when it’s wrapped. She loved it and used it when we played. She even showed it off after a few beverages at one of her house parties.
After that, we started merging our family traditions. I had often gone to see my family in northern MA on Christmas Eve, and Erika started coming with me. It looks like that next year in 2014, was the “Zdeno Chara” year, getting her a new hoodie and a little figurine.
For Christmas Eve with my family, there were always four kids there, my daughter and three of my nephews. They got presents from each of the aunts and uncles and grandparents, but the adults found it harder each year to find a good gift for each other. So we decided to try a Yankee Swap. I have fun with them but Erika HATED it. The part that she hated was the option to take a gift away from someone else. To be honest, it did put her in a tough spot as it was generally all my family and her. If the roles were reversed, I wouldn’t take away someone’s gift either. So she stopped participating individually and she and I played it together.
There isn’t too much else that really stands out about the Christmas Eve traditions, so I can just share pictures of her from each year.
So that was our Christmas Eve traditions. More later on the Christmas Day and after traditions.
Missing you, Squeaks.