2013 has been an amazing year filled with lots of firsts, especially in terms of getting married and sharing my life with my wife Ashley. As both she and I approached the holiday season, we knew it was going to be very different from our past celebrations because we were going to spend them with both sides of our families– and do so in a small window of time.
Like I mentioned before, we spent Thanksgiving up in Tahoe with Ashley’s family, but Christmas was an entirely different story. We made it a point to see everyone since both sides of our families truly value and take pride in celebrating with one another on Christmas. Plus, we wanted to see both sides of our families and share in the magic of Christmas with them.
So, we split up our holidays between L.A. and Lake Arrowhead (L.A. with Ashley’s family, Lake Arrowhead with mine). There were definitely points during the trips that Ashley and I felt overwhelmed. We left L.A. on Christmas Eve only to arrive at Lake Arrowhead around midnight. Running off of 5 hours of sleep, we were awoken to my four nephews jumping for joy that Santa came to visit, and that’s when the exhaustion of traveling and the stress of making sure everything went perfectly on our trip subsided. This is what it is all about – sharing the excitement of Christmas with one another, regardless of where we are or what we have to do to come together.
Seeing my nephews faces light up when they saw the entire living room piled with gifts was one of the many events of the holidays that grounded me again and made me feel grateful for what I have. I felt the same way after stepping off the truck at the Santa Letter’s parade right before Ashley and I’s Christmas vacation started. Giving back to those kids made me realize how fortunate I am, and how grateful I am for the little things in life. It was these moments that made any and all holiday stress seem so insignificant, and prompted me to snap back into reality. We are so lucky, and taking the time to reflect on that regularly is what kept me going through this holiday season!