Uncle Stephen and Aunt Lori toasting Stephen and Melissa;s engagement on Christmas Eve.

Uncle Stephen and Aunt Lori toasting Stephen and Melissa’s engagement on Christmas Eve. Congrats!

I always look forward to Christmastime. In our family, it means lots of family time and lots of tradition. After visiting my grandparents in the Poconos, the next day was one of my favorites of the year: Christmas Eve.

In our family, Christmas Eve is in some ways bigger than Christmas itself. Every year, my siblings and I start the day by baking dozens of Christmas cookies and then spend the afternoon decorating them with tubs of icing, jimmies, and chocolate chips. Afterwards, we headed down the street to my aunt and uncle’s house for their annual Christmas Eve party.

While normally just a chance to hang out with my cousins and family before we all head off to Mass, this year was a little bit different. After a little while, my cousin, Stephen, walked in with his girlfriend, Melissa, and announced that he had proposed, and Melissa had said yes! After dating for eight years, we were definitely excited that they’re finally engaged!

My brother typically comes up with creative ways to wake us up at 7am on Christmas morning…most notably plugging his electric guitar into an amp and playing in the hallway until we got up. But this year, I was thankful he waited until 7:30 and merely jumped on my bed until I yelled at him. We then went downstairs to open gifts and my mom started cooking for when my aunt, uncle, cousins, and grandfather would arrive.

My dad received a new Temple Made sweatshirt, my sister knitted me a circle scarf, Jeremy got new games for the XBox, and we all got peanut butter shipped in from PB & Jellies in Colorado Springs! And my presents, Instagram coasters, were definitely a hit!

After lots of NBA basketball, tons of Christmas cookies, and many laughs later, another great Christmas had ended. Can’t wait to reunite with the whole family this weekend at my cousin, Mary’s, wedding on New Year’s Eve! Lots of big plans this week!


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