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Another Christmas has passed. It was nice. It was sweet to watch my little guy open his presents and care more about the wrapping paper than the toys, while the newest member of the family stared and drooled. It was another Christmas without special, secret presents for myself and my husband to open in the morning. We had dinner at home without any guests. It was nice.

To be honest, Christmas hasn’t been exciting since we’ve lived in Las Vegas. It hasn’t been magical, or suspenseful. We haven’t had big parties to attend or gift exchanges, or the experience of watching our nieces and nephews get excited over their presents. We have spent a couple of our Christmases with friends, more we’ve spent just us.

This is one of the big reasons we have for moving back to Michigan. I miss the real Christmas. I miss the hustle and bustle of celebrations with family, the boisterous parties where the noise level rises so high with laughter and kids chasing each other around, that you have to yell to the person sitting next to you. (Brooks family, you know what I’m talking about!) I miss traveling to our parents’ houses for the weekend, bundled up in the car with hot coffee and good music for the drive. I (I can’t believe I’m going to say this…) miss the snow. I miss the feeling of the holidays. I can’t find it here. I never have. And before my boys were born, it was fine. Christmas was for the kids and people with kids anyway, so I’d put up a tree and make a ham and that was good enough. For some reason, we always have financial difficulty right before the holidays. Either a car would need repairing or our bank accounts would be recovering from a trip home, so we fell out of the habit of buying expensive and romantic gifts for each other. We didn’t really mind, as working married people without children, we could buy ourselves what we wanted anyway. Now we have these boys, and they deserve the same exciting, magical Christmas that we had growing up. Yes, Santa came and brought presents this year and filled stockings. Yes, I made Christmas dinner…but what about the rest? What about the Aunts and Uncles and Cousins? What about the excessive hugs and kisses from Grandparents? What about playing in the snow and hot chocolate and new coats and mittens?

I want it all to be different next year. I want every Christmas from now on to be magic for my kids. I want a real live Christmas tree. I want rosy cheeks and running noses from building snowmen in the front yard. I want their eyes to light up watching their cousins walk through the door. I want them wearing fancy sweater vests and dress pants for family parties. By January 1st, I want to be exhausted from exorbitant amounts of holiday cheer. I am already starting the search for holiday projects and traditions to start. I might break Pinterest by the time next December rolls around, but I don’t care. Bring on Christmas of 2015…only 363 days left!